What is white and blue that will remind people of Ciwidey White Crater? The answer will be Kaolin Lake. The similarity between these sites stops here, however. While Ciwidey White Crater was created from a volcanic eruption, Kaolin Lake is different. The lake emerged as the result of a kaolin mine being abandoned.
The difference doesn’t stop there. Ciwidey White Crater contains sulfur thus it smells very strongly. Meanwhile, the kaolin minerals in the lake barely emit any kind of smell. Visitors could enjoy the scenery of the lake without any discomfort. Not to mention the size of Kaolin Lake is way bigger than the white crater.
As with Ciwidey White Crater, Kaolin Lake has become a staple of Belitung tourism. It started to gain momentum ever since it appeared in the hit film, Laskar Pelangi. Ever since then, the site gains more and more visitors. People fancy the vibrant color of the lake water especially when the weather is perfect.
Once Upon A Time In Kaolin Lake
Before it declares as a lake, Kaolin Lake was once just a mine. Locals used to mine kaolin minerals in this site. The minerals are used as pretty much the basic ingredients for cosmetics, toothpaste, and porcelain. The site was mined heavily until the resources dried up. Once it finally did, it was abandoned by the miners.
The residual kaolin minerals in the area then turned the soil white and sandy. The water turns turquoise blue on a sunny day due to rainwater mixed with kaolin. On a cloudy day, the water would turn murky green instead of blue. Kaolin Lake stretches as far as the eyes can see. In some sections, there are rock reliefs in irregular shapes that turn out to be the remnants of the kaolin mine.
In the past, people were able to swim in the lake. Some even believe that swimming in the lake would’ve actually made the skin more delicate. But today, the wooden fences circling the lake is a sign to keep the tourists out. It turns out, despite there are so many uses of kaolin minerals, the water of the lake is poisonous.
Photo Hunting & Souvenir
A pile of greyish sand, green and sometimes blue water. The astonishing lake is a perfect spot for photo hunting. The contrast of the lake water, green bush at the edge of the lake. Standing anywhere overlooking it will guarantee an amazing shot.
Although anywhere on the site offer a nice landscape. The best time to explore the lake and taking pictures is when the weather is sunny. The heat sometimes is unbearable but it’s worth the shot. At the entrance of the lake, line up several small kiosks selling souvenirs.
At first glance, it seems like the vendors are selling jewelry made from ordinary agates. But it most certainly not, these sellers claim that the jewelry is made from Satam stones. The rocks are native to Belitung and originally found in lead mines. However, researchers believe Satam stone came from meteorite fragments.
Another thing unique in Belitung is its tradition of drinking coffee. Here, tourists will be able to spot coffee shops almost everywhere. The most popular one in Belitung happens to be just 5 minutes away from Kaolin Lake and called Warkop Kong Djie. And it’s been in business since 1943. Visitors can enjoy a cup of coffee for Rp8.000 for black coffee and Rp15.000 for milk coffee.
Kaolin Lake Opening Hours
Kaolin Lake can be visited any time during the day. It is open all day. To see the lake in all its glory, it is best to visit in the early morning or late afternoon from 9 AM to 3 PM. At noon, the sun is at its peak and thus makes it too hot for visitors to walk around the area.
|Kaolin Lake Opening Hours|
|Monday – Sunday||Open 24 Hours|
Kaolin Lake Entrance Fee
Visitors do not need to pay any admission ticket to visit the lake. It’s a free site, and the lake is simply the outline of this attraction.
|Kaolin Lake Entrance Fee|
Since the lake is not an official tourist destination, there aren’t any supporting facilities available. As there is no designated parking lot. Visitors could just park the vehicles right in front of the lake. There isn’t any parking fee. Locals who live near the lake operate the lone food stall made out of blue tarp. Only snacks and drinks are sell in this stall.
Across the lone food stall, there are several small kiosks selling souvenirs. The vendors sell jewelry made out of Satam stones. For visitors who want to stay overnight, there are few lodgings nearby. The cost of an overnight stay starts from Rp100.000/night.
How To Get To Kaolin Lake
Kaolin Lake is just a short distance away from Tanjung Pandan. It is only around 4 km away and takes only 15 minutes from the airport. Due to its short distance, renting a motorbike is more convenient. Tourists could easily rent a motorbike for Rp60.000/day. For car rental, the fee starts from Rp400.000/day.
Aside from private vehicles, there is one public transportation Damri shuttle van. It departs from Belitung Airport Hananjoeddin and stops at several tourist destinations. Including Kaolin lake and Kelayang beach as the last destination. The shuttle van fare cost Rp45.000 from the airport. The first van departs at 8 AM from the airport.
Address & Location
The lake location is in Jl. Jerat Nangka, Tj. Pandan, Belitung Regency, Bangka Belitung Island 33411.