On 9th March 2016, the spectacular phenomenon of a total solar eclipse will pass across a large part of the Indonesian archipelago, where among places most clearly visible to follow are on the islands of Bangka and Belitung off Sumatra. Here the pinnacle of the total eclipse can be seen for the duration of 2 minutes and 10 seconds, which will occur sometime between 06.20 am to 07.24 am West Indonesia Time.
To accommodate the enthusiastic response from space observers who do not wish to miss this exceptional opportunity, the local authorities of Bangka and Belitung Province have prepared 100 observation points, all of which face east. The enthusiasm of those wishing to witness this rare occurrence is shown from the large number of rooms that are already reserved today by domestic and international tourists alike. Over 100 rooms have been blocked by international tourist groups from San Fransisco, USA.
Highlighting this rare natural phenomenon, the local government has prepared a number of attractions to precede the moment, that include special art and cultural performances to take place in the city of Tanjung Pandan and the Tanjung Kelayang Beach. These will feature an array of traditional game competitions organized by the Office of Youth and Sports, a Fishing Competition organized by the Office of Sea and Fisheries, and parachute jumps by the Indonesian Air Force.
Do make sure to book early for this rare occasion on Bangka and Belitung Islands. Below is a 3-day itinerary that you may try:
Upon arrival at Depati Amir Airport in Pangkalpinang, you can proceed to Penyak Beach in Central Bangka to check out the observation points for the actual moment of the total solar eclipse the next day. Nearing the afternoon, it is a perfect time to stroll down Pangkalpinang city and enjoy the view at Pasir Padi Beach.
This is the day of the spectacular solar eclipse, so you should head to Penyak Beach early in the early morning. After witnessing the total solar eclipse, you can head out to Koba area where you can try a distinct traditional breakfast called Mie Koba. Mie Koba is a traditional noodle dish of Bangka. You can also visit the Buddhist Temple at Sungailiat.
Completing your experience, you can visit Bangka’s legendary beautiful beaches such as the Matras Beach and Remodong Beach. Adding a cultural touch to your experience, visit Kampung Gedog Chinatown which offers unique traditional Chinese ambience.