the flight to Belitung was in the early morning of Boxing Day, one day after Christmas. we woke up at 3am to make sure that we packed everything. ari’s house is not that far away from the airport, so we left the house at around 4am and the road was clear. it was still dark and Jakarta seemed so nice and quiet.
it’s been a while since i went to Terminal 1. it was probably years ago. even though the look is very similar to Terminal 2 — which i frequented — the flow is totally different. and it threw me off a few times. anyways, the check-in went smoothly, but i forgot to bring cash, so it was an ATM machine hunt for a little while.
we flew off exactly at 6am. all of us fell asleep all the way to Belitung… which was probably only 45 minutes.
the Tanjung Pandan airport was small, kinda like the Bandung airport. but it’s definitely cleaner and quite green.
as soon as we landed, i went to the bathroom. predictably, it’s a squatting toilet, but it was pleasantly clean. however, the door has no lock! and this would not be the first time i’m seeing WC with no locks in Belitung. weird.
our driver, Pak Antek, drove us to the center city of Tanjung Pandan. we’re staying at this hotel called Billiton Hotel, located right at the center of the city. the hotel used to be a Chinese Temple and a Town Hall during different eras. this explains the elaborate Chinese shrine located within the hotel.
it was not even 8am when we got to the hotel. so, our rooms were not ready yet. after putting on our bathing suits and dropping off our luggage in the hotel, we were off for today’s adventure.
we started with the infamous Mie Belitung Atep. located a few steps away from our hotel, the shop opened at 8 sharp. so we were the first people arriving for their noodles. amazing that by the time we finished our noodles, the places was packed and there were lines formed in front of the shop. and it wasn’t even 9am yet!
and the noodle? excellent! it reminds me a bit of pempek sauce, but not exactly. no wonder people were in line so quickly… it was sooooo delicious!
there were pictures of presidents and celebrities on the wall of the shops, showing how famous they are. i wish they would open a branch in Singapore…