Monday, 14 June 2010

Keyalang Beach Cottages Belitung

I have just returned from a 3 day 2 night trip to Belitung and the beach resort of Keyang Beach which is in the north west of the island around 50 minutes from the airport.
The resort itself consists of about 10 beach bungalows and a restaurant cum reception cum everything else. Thats it.
No TV, no billiards, no karaoke, no scrabble, no playing cards. Just a set menu and a fridge full of beer water and soft drinks and happy to serve and smiley staff, a few dogs and chickens and 20 lizards.
For a getaway from it all it is perfect. Why? Well on a blue sky day, the beach is pure white sand, soft and stretches away into the distance. It is broken up by its landmark rock formations, coconut trees and in the flat warm sea, boats and canoes. The sea is warm, crystal clear full of fish and sandy bottom although the rocks are everywhere but you can easily spot them.
I flew there with Sriwijaya airlines and we arrived on the first flight at 7.30am. We were met by a driver of the resort who took use the short cut route and shaved off 30km trip to the resort. 
On arrival we were given a warm welcome and shown to our bungalow which had great views of the sea.

The cottage I stayed. Basic but comfy.

The bed was very comfy and the AC worked wonders. There are Mosquitoes at night and in the day but the nets worked really well. The shower are was ok, the water comes from a groundwell and is pumped up to a tank and then fed to the room, so the water is not drinkable but showerable. Yes it is brown ish but its water and it cleans you. The pressure is not so great but the shower works,

The view from the room

The food as I have mentioned was basic but well done. The seafood was all prawn and squid but it was fresh out of the sea and very cooked and served with either rice or noodles. The menu was limited but great as all fresh and the staff more than eager to help. 
The beer was cheap and always cold. 

The view from the beach of the restaurant.

The view from the resto looking out. It was rainy it was sunny, it was hot, it was very hot. It was awesome,

Some facts for you.

They do not take anything but cash so have plenty.
2 nights with ac was 600,000 (rooms with out AC are 250 a night)
Transports to and from airport was 300,000 in total
All day boat trip to where ever you want 300,000
Hire life vests 25,000 each
Bike hire 40,000 all day (not with petrol)
Food from 4,000
Beer 20,000 large Bintang
Can Coke 4,000
Bottle water 4,000 (large)

Now the bad news :(
The beach has sandflies. If you are asian you might not feel them straight away like I did but bites do swell and itch. Oh my god do they itch. You need to bring some serious repellant with you but they are seasonal, they are not about in the wind. They are so small they are hard to spot but you will know.
If you are attacked and need relief which ultimately you will take tiger balm with you as it will help you. Then see a pharmacist off the island asap to get more relief. Sadly these bites can take weeks to go and can leave nasty scars.

Overall it was amazing. The beaches are the best I have anywhere in the world I have travelled and I have been to quite a few places, New Zealand comes close (and with the flies as wow ha ha ha) but the views are simply amazing. The boat trip is great, trips to the old lighthouse, the sand bank any island you want and snorkelling as well is well worth it. A bike trip around the island again is well worth it again the views are beautiful, the people friendly and very polite and the roads well looked after.

Out of 10 it has to be an 8. It should be a 9 but the sandflies make the place lose a whole point.

More pictures can be found by clicking here and the website for the beach cottages here