During exam time, I already promised my self to have good time travelling around Bangka for my summer holiday. I wanted to reach some places I had never been in this my own home island. So, I finally found right time which was during the Eid Fitr break.
Eid Fitr break in Indonesia is usually for 2 weeks- 1 week before the Eid Fitr day and 1 week after Eid Fitr day. It is a very suitable moment for people who live far away from their hometown to go back to their family's house. We call it as "Mudik". We usually use this moment to gather and share happiness with family and friends. I always get the chance to meet my relatives and friends who live study outside Bangka. The traffic is quite crowded during Eid Fitr break. Especially in Bangka, every house celebrates this special moment by having open house which we call as "Namu" or "Bertamu" in Bahasa Indonesia. You can eat as much as you can in everyone's house. Because each house will serve a lot of foods like cookies, Bangkanese seafood meals like Tekwan and Pempek, and also regular Lebaran foods like Rendang, Ketupat, Lepat, Opor Ayam, etc. Some other people celebrate this moment by going to beach to refreshing with family and friends
I also didn't want to miss this chance by arranging some plans with my friends to travel to Ketawai Island. Here you go....
I arranged the plan to go to Ketawai island with my high school friends. We barely meet each other except for Lebaran. This was kinda last minute plan. Especially knowing that none of us had ever been there before. We did on the spot check about the transport to go there by asking the people in the neighborhood of Kurau. Oh ya, Ketawai island is located in Middle Bangka district. We have to drive about 30 minutes from Pangkalpinang (the capital city of Bangka Belitung) to reach Kurau at first. Kurau is a fishermen settlement. From there we should find a boat that can transport us to Ketawai island. It is recommended to go with quite big number of people (15 to 20 people) to Ketawai island because the boat rent is quite expensive if we travel alone. The rent is around Rp 800,000 to Rp 1,000,000. You can negotiate with the local fisherman who own/rent the boat. It is also recommended to find the boat which is equipped with life vest for safety reason.
After around 30 to 45 minutes (depend on the weather), we will reach Ketawai island. It is recommended to go there in the morning before 12 pm. Because it is safer to go back to Kurau not too late in the afternoon. It is because the weather may not be nice and the waves are to dangerous for sailing. And do not forget to get the contact number of the boat's owner. In case something happens.
Local people recognize this island by its iconic nameplate of "Ketawai" as we arrive here. You will be welcomed by light blue and clean water from the beach. The sand is very soft and clean too. You don't have to pay any entry fee here. You may bring your own foods and drinks, but do not forget to take care of the rubbish afterward.
The island is not that big. No cottage to stay here at night, at least you want to build a tent. But I am not sure if we are allowed to stay there at night. There is a family who help to take care of this island. They provide some facilities like a small food and beverage shop, prayer facilities (small surau/mushola), and also fresh water to wash your body after swimming at the beach.
Special thanks to Katomz, my dearest high school friends. You all totally made my day! ^_^
*In anytime soon, I will be posting about my trip to Belinyu, Bangka. So, keep calm! ;-)