ARUMDALU RESORT BELITUNG (AND BELITUNG TRIP DIARY 17-18 MARCH 2017)

My Belitung blog post is one of the most requested blog post this month and due to the large amount of request, I aim to finish the blog post as fast as I can and here I am doing it for you. Will emphasize this entry heavily on my glorious stay at Arumdalu Resort because that's where I spent 95% of my time in Belitung.

Time flies and it's hard to believe that it's been a month since my quick escape to Belitung with my sister, if you read my blog posts by the end of February to the beginning of March I was on my semi-stressed weeks due to the illness and having to cope with tight schedules and constant travels. My body finally refused the way I treated it and fight back, I was pretty sick for around 3 weeks but I am like WAY WAY better now, but I am still slowly recharging myself back and change my lifestyle to a healthier path. Wish me luck!

FLIGHTS
The best & easiest way to reach Belitung is to fly (and it only takes 50 minutes to do so). There are some airlines with direct flight from Jakarta but we took Citilink to fly from Jakarta and Garuda Indonesia to fly back to Jakarta. Departed very early from Jakarta (6 AM flight) and flew back (8:30 AM) and since they have different flight time, it's by your preference.

As soon as we arrived, we went directly to the breakfast spot RM Cun-Cun which is super famous for their fried noodle and Songsui, it was a short 10 minute car ride from the airport (and located around the market and temple area) and since Belitung is a very small province it's pretty easy to get around and using car should be the most convenient.
It's been a while since the last time I had a fried noodle this good, there are various kinds of fried noodle in Indonesia but this Bangka and Kalimantan style remains my top favorite, and they're pretty similar too: thin springy noodle cooked in wok-style resulting this very flavorful, soy-heavy and aromatic fried noodle that will keep you digging for more, and the seasoning on this was nothing to complain about. I uploaded this on Instagram and some of you mentioned that OTE is better and it got me wondered how any better can this fried noodle be, but unfortunately I didn't have the chance to try it so maybe next time.
Songsui
Songsui is a pork soup (non-halal) with generous pork, pork skin and intestines condiments in long cooked pork-bone broth and IS Bangka-Belitung's signature local delicacy.

When I went to Bangka last year I had Songsui every single day for breakfast, lunch and dinner and after I had the Belitung version of it I realize that both are a bit different, most likely from the soup: the Bangka's version is mostly clear soup while the Belitung's version is infused with angcio (some kind of local miso seasoning) that gave the red color and tastier soup, and honestly I am digging the Belitung's version better! The soup was carefully cooked and seasoned hence the wonderful taste and something about Belitung tofu's texture that was silky smooth and fresh!
After our delightful breakfast at RM Cun Cun we continued the day by having a brief coffee break at the legendary Kong Djie Coffee which has been around since 1943 (and located across Regina Pacis church). I heard they also have a branch in BSD but anyway the original one should be the most special right?!
I was there around 8 AM and the coffee shop was packed with a lot of people already! The shop might be vintage but hey they freaking have WiFi here for your convenience! Expect to find various kinds of classic coffee (black coffee, condensed milk coffee) and tea with simple local snacks to pair your drinks with. Gotta highlight the fact that they still use black charcoal to boil the water and it's believed to give the coffee and tea that extra kick. Had the condensed milk coffee, classic sweet iced tea and another Belitung's local delicacy: Nasi Tempong Ikan (fish tempong rice) that's wrapped in Simpor leaf! PS you're going to see a lot of food here in Belitung that's wrapped or served on this leaf.
Nasi Tempong Ikan, meant to be served with this light curry like broth.
On our way to Arumdalu we spotted this huge stone called Baginda Hill or stone hill, it's the largest stone hill in Belitung and has become sort of like this tourist destination and for those who're willing, they can also climb the stone.
It took around one hour car ride from the city of Tanjung Pandan to Arumdalu which is located on the Southern part of Belitung called Membalong. I barely saw cars on our way there and the street was totally empty with ocassional bumpy road, and by the way I saw that the road was lacking street lights so I highly suggest you guys to seriously be careful when driving at night and if you're not planning to stay in Arumdalu and just wanna hang around having lunch and cocktails, then be sure to go back before the night rises.
Entrance
Upon arrival, the jepun flower necklace was put around us as their gesture of warm welcome, check in was very smooth and I was escorted to my room in barely 7 minutes with all my luggages taken care of.

The picture on the left was this special invitation and appreciation given to Arumdalu. I heard that hotels can't apply to be a member, the invitation will be sent to the selected hotels, not sure how they run this thing but anyway sounds legit.
A little bit about Arumdalu, it's so far still the FIRST and ONE & ONLY eco-friendly luxury resort in Belitung and you'll understand more about the eco-ness (is that even a word) of this resort as you keep scrolling and reading, at the moment the resort has 10 luxury villas with private pool in each, you know me I am a villa guy so I had good feelings already about theirs (and FYI I didn't do any research and left it to my sister to take care everything), and it doesn't stop there, the resort also owns a super clean 800m long private beach and I am seriously excited to show you more.
Stayed at villa number 6
The overview of my villa, the home for that night in Belitung, and would you guys excuse the pool?!
The villa's also equipped with a pool bench and specially designed plane-cottage (because it's shaped to look like plane wing), it was seriously hot and humid in Belitung that day but it felt so cool and relaxing inside the jet cottage, I don't even know hot to explain the feeling it's just that the cottage's designed for great air-circulation in and out.

Private villa + nice little sun cottage + swimming pool and blue sky: thanking God for the luxury!
The villa was pretty spacious and beautifully designed as a whole, but after a quick glance to the bathroom area I realize that this villa would be even more perfect for newlyweds or couples as there's no bathroom door nor they have the doors for the toilet, but luckily I travelled with my sister so I didn't bother at all but it might be awkward if you travel with friends.
Villa bathroom and toilet, completed with spacious luxurious bathtub for two! FYI they're using L'Occitane products here and I heard it's because the beauty giant supports the eco-friendly concept that's align with the resort.
Separated sink. Yes!
It was around 10:30-ish AM when we arrived in the resort and after quick photo taking of the villa and around, and since I only slept 2 hours the night before I became very tired and sleepy so I slept until about 1 PM, then woke up to have lunch at the resort's Sahang Restaurant. FYI Sahang is the Belitung word for pepper (lada).

They do have buggy service but to be honest I barely need one because the resort is pretty walkable
Sahang restaurant at Arumdalu Resort Belitung
The restaurant wasn't ultra-spacious but it offers comfortable ambiance and beach front facing view, so anywhere you sit you should be able to catch a glimpse of their beautiful private beach, but of course I prefer sitting outside to bond with nature.
Restaurant tour
Guests should notice this wall packed with testimonies from staying and dining guests, all of them left very impressive review and I notice a lot also mention that they would love to go back here!
Mentioned earlier that it was very hot and humid in Belitung, but not the case with Sahang, maybe because it's located precisely across the beach and it was actually pretty breezy at the al-fresco area.
The restaurant serves various local Indonesian inspired cuisines in casual fine dining style and what's better than exploring Belitung's best: FRESH PRODUCE! Had seafood fiesta for lunch and what you're about to see here are ones that I highly recommend you guys trying!
Blue Pea Magic Drink
Blue pea/butterfly pea (or kembang telang) is well known for its ability to change color and of course health benefits, normally it would come in this blue color but when it's in contact with water or another liquid it will turn to this purple color. This beverage was refreshing, sweet with a hint of ginger in it that I like.
Notice how on the back, the blue pea drink change to purple after some time
Left: Rosella Mojito, Right: Basil Jamu Mojito
Their Rosella Mojito was my most favorite drink here, it was so refreshing with this beautiful blend of sour & sweet and freshness of course guaranteed because they grow their own Rosella here! For that extra texture, chunks of Rosella's also included in this drink.
Arumdalu Salad
Don't be fooled by the appearance, for some of you it might seem too little for a salad but I believe that people go here not only for the salad and as I said, explore their fresh produce and this will be the great light starter for the seafood fiesta (at least in my case), the ingredients in this salad were all homegrown, harvested and foraged by Arumdalu in their organic garden so freshness guaranteed, the simple yet perfectly seasoned sesame goma dressing was the perfect pair for this kind of salad, the veges and edible flowers were so fresh that I wouldn't mind having just the leaves and flowers even without the dressing (and I actually did before pouring 1/4 the given sauce, I don't usually put too much sauce).
Steamed Fish
Salted Fish
A Thai inspired cuisine where they grill this red snapper in their special built griller with the fish being covered in generous amount of salt. The fish was naturally fresh perfectly cooked but I was expecting a little more kick of salty flavor to the whole.
Arumdalu Sea's Steamed Flower Crabs
MY FAVORITE MENU HERE! Freshly boiled Belitung crabs and you have it just like that! Short to say I think this was one of the best local crabs that I've had and Belitung indeed produce crazy fresh meaty crabs! Anyway if you want to have this I suggest you guys do the booking in advance to make sure the crabs are ready, definitely NOT TO MISS.
Mango Zori-Ebi
This was me and my sister's personal favorite! The fresh shrimp was perfectly deep fried without being overly crispy but it was the fresh mango sauce dressing that really enhance the flavor as a whole, and of course: beautiful presentation! Loving how they mix earthy elements and combine them as part of the presentation here.
After getting full from the lunch we went to the beach for a while to take some quick pictures! Prepare yourself for some hot blue! I can assure you that I did very little editing to the following beach pictures because I really don't want to lie. I literally just adjusted the brightness and contrast to match my style but didn't do much touch up on the saturation of the pictures!
To be completely honest I was seriously captivated by the beautiful beach and the shades of blue it offered my eye that day. Belitung was very humid but seeing this beach was literally like the oasis to your system. Very blue sky with torquise clear water and summer breeze to follow. HOOKED.
A little trivia about Belitung that I know: the island's mostly consist of large stones and you'll find a lot of them on their public beaches
Sympor leaf that I mentioned earlier, this leaf is commonly used here for food wrapping purpose or presentation, and here in Arumdalu they grow their own which is kinda cool.
A little organic garden placed around Sahang, and they have the bigger version of it that's located around the resort's entrance and I have more pictures as you scroll, just enjoy the ride of this post.
PS: you can literally eat the fresh veges right off the pipe-pole. I did and it was freaking fresh, and no need to worry because they use zero pesticides here!
Bokchoy
After the big lunch we felt the need to release of some of holy calories and explored the resort by foot, I noticed from the restaurant that they had this spot where I saw (I don't know some kind of) chapel and the people there told me that it's the best photo spot on the resort so obviously yes to that!
The resort also owns certain part of the forest so expect to see various beautiful flowers and wild plants, a lot I've never seen in my life before.
Fresh coconuts
Stumbled upon this corner where they crafted the table deco using the plants and elements they grew themselves.
This way to the Joglo (traditional Belitung inspired local house aka function hall) and the way to get the best landscape view in Arumdalu!
FINALLY HERE where the chapel's located, very little hiking to enjoy this STUNNING view and more dose of blue!
A little chapel on the rock, I surely can imagine private weddings here or vows renewal here.
After a brief 15 minutes of beautiful sightseeing, we then proceed to join one of the activities included in their full board package: BATIK DRAWING, the kind gentleman on the right was very patient in teaching newbies like us, so friendly that I need to show him here in this entry!
We opted for the tie-dye batik but with the suji leaves coloring, there are some coloring base available here and guests are more than welcome to choose what they want to use and I went with the natural leaf coloring, because again, eco! Long story short while waiting for the first step to dry (around 30 minutes), we decided to stroll another of their Simple Garden aka Organic Garden that's located just around the resort entrance.
Some of the beautiful stamped and tie-dye batik arts curated.
Arumdalu Resort's Simple Garden (aka Organic Garden)
Mint leaves
Strawberry
Electric Daisy! One of my favorite plants here to be completely frank, that's because when you chew this your tongue will be numb for a short period of time, similar to the experience when you bite on peppercorns only a little more intense.
Bokchoy
After further process, it needs approximately 3 more hours to let the coloring and drying to be a little more even so we decided to let the tie-dye hang around for some time and picked it up after dinner. Ok talk about the dinner, I must say I was super pleased by the fact that the team tried to suprise me and my sister with a romantic dinner, even though it's actually unnecessary as it's a bit too romantic for my sister and I HAHAHA, but still can't resist it was a total eye-candy, appreciate the effort to decorate everything, I think it was this moment where I knew even more that the service here was top notch!
Tour of Sahang Beachfront Resto at night
Bird in A Cage
This was presented very beautifully and even tho it's called "Bird in a Cage" it was actually fried duck that's served with rice and Three Elements Indonesian Sambal. I love how they're very brave with their sambal because it was bold spicy and even my sis who's such a sambal addict couldn't really handle the spiciness of the sambal! The duck was fresh and marinated beautifully hence the texture, aroma and tasty, but I'd like to see if they can make the the coating crispier

Rama Shinta Satay
The chicken satay was presented with pickle and rice, and the meat was tender, lightly seasoned but altogether fresh, and as you can see it's presented on sympor leaf! I really love the skewer holder detail where they have the Rama & Shinta faces carved on the wood.
Oxtail Tongseng
This was VERY GOOD! The soup was uber tasty, thick and boldly seasoned with a hint of spicy in the most delicious way and the oxtail was just tender with spot on texture & firmness!
Best paired with rice! Of course!
Homemade Ice Cream as sweet closure!
I don't know man, and I am not trying to be extra here, but I think their food deserves MORE love and appreciation, and most importantly the fresh produces here, seriously insane in the most delicious way and I can definitely tell you guys that the food that I had here was among some of the best hotel meals in Indonesia, even the term 'hotel meals' sounds a bit degrading, but you know what I mean. Simple local food for the soul meets aesthetic meets delicacy and culture and you should be getting a wonderful experience dining here.

I remember I had a very relaxing sleep that night and woke up feeling way more refreshed than the day before, it's sad to leave the resort but I had a very early flight to catch and went straight to my best friend's engagement day, but I promise you Arumdalu that one day I'll go back to this little paradise and stay here longer! Thank you for the wonderful memories, unique experience and of course exceptional cuisine experience.

Anyway, I saw from their Instagram that they're having this epic pop-up dinner in collaboration with Locavore Bali and it got me SHOOK! If you're a true devoted foodie it could be pretty sad missing this event so if you want to experience what I had here in Arumdalu and ate terrific food then I HIGHLY SUGGEST you guys book the seats here!!! In case you guys miss the news Locavore is currently the highest rated restaurant in Indonesia AT THE MOMENT!
Thank you for reading!
Arumdalu Resort Belitung
Jalan Batu Lubang, Membalong
Kabupaten Belitung, Bangka Belitung 33452
0819 - 2760 - 7626

FIND ME HERE
FACEBOOK || TWITTER || INSTAGRAM || GOOGLE+
SNAPCHAT: STANISLAUSHANS

Map for Arumdalu Resort