Island Escape

In need of a weekend vacay? Just a one-hour flight away, the idyllic Belitung should be at the top of your list.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

In need of a weekend vacay? Just a one-hour flight away, the idyllic Belitung should be at the top of your list.

Dubbed the “Maldives of Indonesia” by the locals, Belitung is located off the eastern coast of Sumatra, and is surrounded by hundreds of unspoilt islands ripe for exploration. It’s blessed with some of the best beaches in the region, boasting pristine white sand, crystal clear waters and untouched natural scenery. In short, it’s the perfect spot to disconnect and cleanse your mind and body. 

Things to do 

If your idea of the perfect beach getaway is spending the day sitting back and soaking up the sun and sea, it doesn’t get much better than Belitung. The calm and shallow coast is also perfect for relaxed water activities like paddle boarding, kayaking and snorkeling. 

Island-hopping is another must-do. You can rent a boat from Tanjung Kelayang and go on a tour of the neighbouring islands like Pulau Lengkuas, which is home to a century-old lighthouse where you can get a panoramic view of the surrounding waters. 

Adventure-seekers can hike up Gunung Tajam, the highest mountain in Belitung. Keep an eye out for the super cute tarsier, one of the smallest monkeys in the world, during the 90-minute trek to the summit. No trip to Belitung is complete without a visit to Danau Kaolin. With its blue waters and pure white landscapes, this enchanting lake is an Instagrammer’s dream. 

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How to get there

In the past, the only way to reach Belitung was to get a connecting flight from Jakarta or Kuala Lumpur. But as of November this year, you can fly straight there from Changi Airport every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday on Garuda Indonesia. A return ticket to Belitung starts from just $250 all-in. 

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Where to stay

Book a room at the BW Suite Hotel or the newly-opened Fairfield by Marriott Belitung if you prefer staying in the city centre; or Hotel Santika Premiere Beach Resort in Sijuk if you want to be close to the coastline. For the luxury experience, consider staying at the Arumdalu Private Resorts in Membalong, which features plush villas and a private beach. 

To make the most of your visit to Belitung, head to 

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