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GENERAL CONDITION OF BANGKA ISLAND

Bangka Belitung

Bangka Island is one of the island belong to Bangka-Belitung Province. The name Bangka is derived from the word ''Wangka'' which means ''tin''. This word was also written in Sriwijaya inscription dated 686 AD and discovered near Kota Kapur in West Bangka. Bangka lies east of Sumatra. Pangkal Pinang is the largest town and the capital of Bangka Belitung, and Sungailiat is the second large city in Bangka Island. One village, called Kampung Kim Hin, lies to the south of Sungailiat, this village is known for a type of alcohol called arak, which is produced from fermented rice. While, Muntok is the principal port.

From Jakarta it is one hour by plane. It has beautiful beaches. Boat service from Palembang to Muntok or Pangkal Pinang is adequate and should not take more than an overnight voyage.

This Island population is approximately 600 thousand people; consist of different ethnic groups, which come from all part of Indonesia. There are a large number of Chinese in habitants especially in the north around Belinyu. Accountings for 30% of Bangka population, 66% of Bangka people still depend of farming, other descendants of the tin mining company worker, fishing and other activities. Bangka has its own unique crafts witch are made of Bahar root (a kind of seaweed), craftsmen make it into various kinds of souvenirs such as rings, bracelets, cigarette pipes, etc. There are also handicrafts made of tin or pewter.

The best product from Bangka Island is "BANKATIN", which has a worldwide reputation amongst tin consumers as standard tin or grade "A" tin. The other important products of the island are rubber and pepper. During the Dutch occupation in Indonesia, the Muntok white Pepper became very famous and continues to be one of the best export commodities of Indonesia.

Sepintu Sedulang dance performed to welcome distinguished guests, the dance describes the open-hearted character of Bangkanese people, it is also performed during festivals occasions, other dance is Lion dance, it is performed to chase away evil spirits, some dancers being under a magicians influence go into a trance.

Geographically

The province is surrounded by South China Sea, Bangka straights and Java Sea. Bangka lies just east of Sumatra, separated by Bangka Strait. The marine environment around these islands is colorful. Bangka Island, which is situated at the Southern of the China Sea, it's between Sumatra and Borneo Island. The land area is about 11,6 thousands square Km, stretching 180 km from Northwest to Southeast, the island has various highlands that are mostly located in the middle of the island and many rivers follow diverse of the open sea. There are many beautiful beaches located in the Northwest of Bangka Island. This Island is bordered by:
North Side: Natuna Sea
East side: Natuna Sea
South side: Pangkalpinang town and Bangka Tengah Regency
West side:Bangka Barat Regency, Bangka Strait and Kelabat Bay

Demographics

The majority of the inhabitants are Malay Indonesians and Chinese mostly Hakkas. The population is split between those who work the pepper farms and those who work on the tin mines.

Temperature

The average temperature on the island is 26 degree C and has an average rainfall of 179.3 mm per month; the rainy season is between October to March. The average humidity is approximately 80 %.