VISITING SELIU ISLAND

Image by Remco Poortvliet from Pixabay

Seliu Island, which is located to the north of Belitung Island, belongs to Membalong subdistrict of Belitung regency. It is far away from Tanjung Pandan town and you should spend a long time to arrive at this small and remote island.

It is 1,645 hectare in size and there are 1,136 people living on this island. Most of the inhabitants are fishermen. They go to sea in the morning and come back at nightfall. After having dinner, they sit with their family members in front of their houses in the moonlight. They live a very happy and peaceful life without the interference of the outer world.

Fishing boats and sailing ships usually cast anchor at the wooden harbor. Coconut trees grow along the sand beach. The sound of waves and the whispers of birds are so melodious, which will let you feel that you’re walking on the beach of heaven.

I have ever witnessed a wonderful and romantic sunset with my good friends at Malang Buro beach on this island. It is seven kilometers from the harbor. I know there’re countless attractive sunsets in the world, but my sunset is the most beautiful in my life.

You can drink coconut water while you’re thirsty. If you are not used to opening young coconut with a knife, it’s better to ask somebody to do it for you. Coconut water contains antioxidants that help to neutralize oxidative stress and free radicals. It’s beneficial to drink it after you’ve walked along the beach in the warm sunshine.

Besides drinking coconut juice, you can buy roast fish at a fisherman’s house. It feels extremely delicious while you’re eating roast fish with your friends under a shady tree.

When I visited the island many years ago and I still remember it was Sunday. I was very hungry after I set foot on the harbor. I walked here and there, but I didn’t see any restaurants and what I could buy was only the roasted fish.

One of the mainstay commodities of the inhabitants is slipper lobster. Fishermen are able to catch 20 kilograms of this creature each time they go out to sea. Usually, people hunt slipper lobsters when the sea is calm. They can sell their lobsters at the price of 80,000 to 100,000 rupiah per kilogram.

Businessmen collect the lobsters and sell this commodity to Belitung, Jakarta and Singapore. Besides slipper lobster, there’re snapper fish, crabs and yellowtail.

Some investors are going to build the cannery and cottages. Perhaps, it will be crowded with tourists from all over the world in the years to come.

It is said that long ago there was a Liu family living together with the Sekak tribe on this little island. That’s why it is called Seliu Island.

Some also say that the name Seliu is derived from the word keseleo. You can say keseleo if your ankle is sprained. It’ll be much clearer if you read the legend of the Seliu people who fought against the pirates.

The last is that people call it Seliu Island because the push carts used by the islanders in olden days made the strange “LIU…….. LIU……. LIU…..” noise all the way.

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