Desa Gedong is a humble and old village that located in Kuto Panji Village, District Belinyu, Bangka, Bangka Belitung province. Desa Gedong is the oldest Chinatown settlement in the Pacific that has been existed since the 18th century. Reportedly, the residents of the village inhabitants are descended from the Chinese mainland (Chinese Hakka) were brought into the Pacific by the Dutch to be employed as a tin miner. Guangdong Province is touted as their areas of origin because supposedly the citizens of Guangdong are famous as skillful miner.
This humble village which was rewarded as tourism village at year 2000 is inhabited by approximately 50 families or 300 people. Occupying a land area of 2.5 hectares, the atmosphere in this village seem deserted, quiet, and remind us about the atmosphere of old films set in the village of Chinatown.
The vivid impression of the old village is can be seen on the buildings. There are houses with China's architectural style along the neighborhood when you visiting Gedong Village. There is a simple monument made by iron frames welcomes the tourists before exploring inside the village. The antique houses are still inhabited and the houses are mostly made by wood and it roofed with tiles.
Located about two hours from Pangkal Pinang, the capital city of Bangka Belitung, Gedong village is the village with no electricity. The residents use generators to supply their electricity needs. At the early 18th century, the Dutch built a Mantang power plant in Belinyu to meet the electricity needs for the tin mining practices. Even so, the condition of the lack of electricity seemed to add to the uniqueness of this antique village Chinatown.
Gedong village is 14 km from Kota Belinyu, 53 km from Sungailiat and 90 km north from the city of Pangkalpinang, the capital Bangka Belitung Province. To reach Gedong village, tourists can use private vehicles, buses, and public transportation. Located approximately 90 km from Pangkalpinang, the drive is can be reached in approximately two hours.
The condition of the highway to Gedong village still rouge and not paved yet. The street along the village is largely in the form of hard soil but the journey will be so much fun.