An old town with a thick cultural heritage is something worth touring at. Walking around and enjoy the old atmosphere of a certain culture could really bring you a nice experience. But Muntok Town has taken it to a whole new level. This town was the places where several cultures came and blend into one in harmony. The acculturation of multi-cultures is the unique heritage of this town. Therefore, walking around this town will give you an ultimate cultural experience of town touring.

The Town where Several Cultures Acculturated (Source: Flickr. Credit: calvinlourdeshe)
The Town where Several Cultures Acculturated
(Source: Flickr. Credit: calvinlourdeshe)

How to Get There

Muntok Town is located on the Province of Bangka Belitung. To reach it, first you need to go to Pangkalpinang city, the capital of Bangka Belitung. Pangkalpinang is accessible by plane from Jakarta and Palembang. Depati Amir Airport of Pangkalpinang accommodates daily flights from several airlines such as Sriwijaya Air, Batavia Air, Lion Air, Garuda Indonesia, and Sky Aviation.

From Pangkalpinang, it is only 140 kilometers away to Muntok Town. You can rent a car and drive there for about three hours. Other choices of transportation to take you from Pangkalpinang to Muntok are travel agent or public bus.

Muntok is also accessible by ferries from Tanjung Priok Port of Jakarta and Bom Baru Port of Palembang. Both ferries will take you to Muntok Seaport. Schedule and rate might be changing from time to time. It is best to first to the management before arranging your schedule.

 

Where to Stay

This multicultural town is popular as tourism destination. Thus, it won’t be difficult for you to find a type of accommodation for you to stay in. Here are several choices of hotels and inns that you can book in Muntok Town:

  • Pasadena Hotel & Restaurant
    • Location : Jalan Komplek Pemkab Bangka Barat Pal 4 Muntok, West Bangka
    • Phone : +62 716 7002123 or +62 821 75 65 4040
    • Fax : +62 716 7002111
    • Email : [email protected]
  • Anna Hotel
    • Location : Jalan Merdeka Raya 15, Muntok, West Bangka
    • Phone :  +62 525 21056
  • Dahlia Losmen
    • Location : Jalan Pelabuhan 18, RT 22, Muntok, West Bangka
    • Phone : +62 525 21197
  • Mawar Losmen
    • Pahlawan 22, Muntok, Bangka Barat
    • Phone: +62 525 21046
  • Alam Mekar Losmen
    • Merdeka Raya RT 2/RW 1, Muntok, Bangka Barat
    • Phone: +62 525 21077
  • Jati Menumbing Hotel
    • Jl Bukit Menumbing, Muntok, Bangka Barat
    • Phone: +62 716 21388
  • Permai Hotel
    • Pahlawan 136 Buntok, Muntok, Bangka Barat
    • Phone: +62 525 22508
  • Linda Hotel
    • Panglima Batur 28
    • Phone: +62 525 21128
  • Sari Rahma Losmen
    • Merdeka Raya 20
    • Phone: +62  525 21099
  • Sampurna Cipta Inn
    • Raya Peltim Muntok-Bangka Barat
    • Phone: +62 716 21401
    • Mobile: +62 812 717 5909 – 0812 7318 7986
    • Fax: +62 716 22124
    • Email: [email protected]

 

History of the Town

During the Dutch colonialism era in Indonesia, the town of Muntok was an important harbor town. It has a port, Muntok Port, which accommodated the transportation and distribution of commodities such as pepper, tin, and pewter. Those commodities were explored in Muntok and will be brought out to several major cities in Europe by the Dutch government.

The harbor at Muntok was then also used by merchants from other countries to distribute their commodities to Indonesia. There were lots of merchants from China and Malay to sell goods.

Muntok Seaport (Source: Flickr. Credit: slbnegerimuntok)
Muntok Seaport
(Source: Flickr. Credit: slbnegerimuntok)

 

The Regions

Every people from any country who had business in Muntok surely would have left several influence in the neighborhood culture. They built some buildings, they sold goods, and they influence the local people way of life.

As there were many people from several different countries, the culture acculturated with the local. But in general, there were three major imported cultures that still exist in Muntok Town. Those are the European, Chinese, and Malay. At the town, you will find three different region that represent each of those cultures.

  • Kampung Eropa (The European Region)

Kampung Eropa is located at the center of the city. During the Dutch colonialism era, this region was very busy and active as there was a huge tin company named Banka Tin Winning Bedrif. This Dutch company explored and processed tin from Bangka. Surrounding the factory, a complete facility and several buildings were provided to support the business. Those buildings were residence complex for the mining staffs, Wilhelmina Park, post office, and more.

At this region, there are also two buildings called Pesanggrahan Muntok and Pesanggrahan Manumbing. Both buildings are very historical. Pesanggrahan Muntok was used to exile Ir. Soekarno (the first President of Indonesia) and Pesanggrahan Manumbing was used to exile Muhammad Hatta (the first Vice President of Indonesia). They got exiled because he fought so hard for Indonesian freedom. Both buildings are now museum where you can learn how Indonesian fought for their independence.

Pesanggrahan Manumbing at Kampung Eropa (Source: Flickr. Credit: slbnegerimuntok)
Pesanggrahan Manumbing at Kampung Eropa
(Source: Flickr. Credit: slbnegerimuntok)
  • Kampung Melayu (The Malay Region)

Kampung Melayu is located at the south of Kampung Eropa. The region consists of three sub-regions; Kampung Tanjung at the west side, Kampung Rubia at the east side, and Kampung Ulu at the north side. The oldest sub-region is Kampung Tanjung. Most buildings at the region are still using the traditional Malayan architecture with raised platform. Malay Region is dominated with Muslim. You can see it from the several buildings and places such as Jamik Mosque and Malayan Royal Cemetery.

Jami’ Mosque (Source: Flickr. Credit: ayra_lampung)
Jami’ Mosque
(Source: Flickr. Credit: ayra_lampung)
  • Kampung Cina (Chinatown or The Chinese Region)

Kampung China was the region where Chinese merchants and immigrants used to live during the Dutch colonialism era. Lots of them decided to stay there permanently and earned Indonesian citizenship. Now, the region is filled with people with Chinese ethnicity. Going around the region, you will see many buildings that sparkles the strong Chinese atmosphere such as Kong Hu Cu shrine, Chung Hua School, marketplace, and the Chinese Major’s House.

Kong Hu Cu Shrine (Source: Flickr. Credit: eriko_le)
Kong Hu Cu Shrine
(Source: Flickr. Credit: eriko_le)

Tips

  • Renting a car would be very useful as it might be difficult to find public transportation to explore around the town. Hire a driver as well to avoid you from getting lost.
  • Bangka has a lot of traditional foods, especially snacks that you will not find at anywhere else. Make sure to each any variation of foods while you are there to enrich your culinary experience.
  • Prepare your camera while going around the city and be sure that the battery is sufficient as there will be plenty of beautiful sights to capture.
  • Muntok Town also has a beach called Kelian Bay. The environment of the beach is clean and the scenery is very beautiful to see. The beach also has a lighthouse with 117 meters of height, allowing you to enjoy the breath taking scenery and strong wind from above.

 

Every culture has its own unique characteristic. There are many things you can learn from there. By visiting Muntok, you get to explore several different cultures at the same time. Thus, there will be more lot to learn. By exploring Muntok, you can also learn the value of harmony, how several cultures can live side by side in one community, or how it could also blend it perfectly.