Island hopping arroung the island of Lengkuas is the most attractive activity for visitor in Belitung. In East Belitung, similar attraction just recently launched, which is river cruise by boat in Lenggang river, the largest river in Belitung, where the famous dam of Pice is built.
To reach this place visitor must come to Gantong village in East Belitung, the destination is replica of Rainbow Troops (Laskar Pelangi) school. Not far from Rainbow Troops school, there is a unique location called Dermaga Kirana (Kirana Dock). Dermana Kirana is an interesting place beacuse of 3 buildings made by synthetic materials form like a dome. This building called Rumah Keong (house of shell). This is a popular photo spot for many visitors because right in front of the building yu can see the beautiful lake which is actually a river.
Rumah Keong is actually a dock where there are several wooden boat that visitor can rent to explore the river. There is a wooden boat that can be used likes kayak, another one is the wooden boat with engine. This engine boat is the boat that you will use to explore the river. When this article is created the rental price is IDR 250.000 for a trip of 1-2 hours. The boat capacity is about 10 persons.
LENGGANG RIVER HISTORY
Lenggang River as the largest river in Belitung flow from Simpang Tiga village in the center of the island in the West part of the island, down until reach the sea at the East coast of Belitung. At the estuary there is an island called Naduk, which probably formed million of years ago by the mud formed by the Lenggang river. There are some unique species live in Lenggang river, one of them is Cempedik fish. Cempedik is a small fish 3-5cm length usually emerge only during rainy season. The fishes cathed by locals using nets and becoming one of the famous cuisine from East Belitung, the fries Cempedik fish is so tasty.
The result of geological exploration by Dutch, the soil under and surrounding Lenggang river reserve rich deposit of tin, as many other places in Belitung in general. To operate massive scale of mining, the tin company at that time use a sophisticated machine calles Kapal Keruk or in Dutch it is called EB (Emmer Bager). EP is the machine that dig soil far underground operates in the river or sea, floting in a huge platform. At this time EB is a key production engine for tin mining company to produce the tin in Belitung.
To operate EB that need a huge floating platform that can float on the land near the river anc cover wider areas, the Dutch build a dam in Lenggang river. This dam is still exist until now, and famous with its name Pice Dam. Pice is taken from the name of architect who build this dam in 1930s. By building this dam, the water surface on Lenggang river is raised to cover more lands with tin deposit underground. This is why in the headwaters area of Lenggar river prir Pice dam is more likes a lake rather than a river.
By raising the surface of Lenggang river, some EB can operate and produce large scape of tin sands during 1950-1970 during the golden time of PT. Timah company. The headwater areas were dag and the tin were taken by the machine. This activity actually caused large scale damage to lifes in Lenggang river at that time. Unfortunately during this time there not that many people nor NGO that care about environmental damage. The needs of running economy un the island by tin is the key for people of Belitung at that time.
The next stop is Pice dam. Even though Pice can be accessed from land by car, visiting Pice from the river will give different view and experience. The Pice dam that you will see is the new dam built in 2016. The original dam of Pice is position after this new dame and it has no longer used due to the age.
From Pice, you will be heading back to Kirana dock and the boat will take you to another unique place. If you are lucky, there will be hundred of wild white birds gather on the tree hunting for fishes under the river. If you want to take the picture of this birds, please bring you tele lens, because they will be run away when the boat is approaching.
- Swimming is not allowed. The deep of the river can vary and difficult to predict, under the river may be covered with mud.
- There might be a wild crocodile live in this river, even though they are rarely seen, it is good to take precaution.
- Since it is a short tour and the big wave is not exist, this boat does not equipped with live jacket. If you take the children, please make sure they are under your close supervision.