Bangka Island

Bangka (or sometimes Banka) is an island lying east of Sumatra, administratively part of Sumatra, Indonesia, with a population of about 1 million. It is the 9th largest island in Indonesia[1] and the main part of Bangka-Belitung Province, being one of its namesakes alongside the smaller Belitung across the Gaspar Strait. The provincial capital, Pangkal Pinang, lies on the island. The island is administratively divided into 4 regencies and a chartered city.

بڠک (Jawi)
邦加島 (Chinese)
Bangka Topography
Topography of Bangka island
LocationSouth East Asia
Coordinates2°15′S 106°00′E / 2.250°S 106.000°ECoordinates: 2°15′S 106°00′E / 2.250°S 106.000°E
Area11,693.54 km2 (4,514.90 sq mi)
Area rank68th
Highest elevation699 m (2,293 ft)
Highest pointMount Maras
ProvincesPangkal Pinang, Bangka Regency, Central Bangka, South Bangka, West Bangka
Largest settlementPangkal Pinang (pop. 134,082)
Population960,692 (2010 Census)
Pop. density82.65 /km2 (214.06 /sq mi)
Ethnic groupsMalay Indonesians and Chinese, mostly Hakkas


Bangka is an island province together with Belitung Island. Bangka lies just east of Sumatra, separated by the Bangka Strait; to the north lies the South China Sea, to the east, across the Gaspar Strait, is the island of Belitung, and to the south is the Java Sea. The size is about 12,000 km². Most of the geographical faces of the island consists of lower plains, swamps, small hills, beautiful beaches, white pepper fields and tin mines.

The largest town is Pangkal Pinang which also serves as the capital of Bangka-Belitung Province. Sungai Liat is the second largest city in Bangka island. Mentok (formerly called Muntok) is the principal port in the west. The other important towns are Toboali in the southern region, Koba an important tin mining town, also located on the southern part of the island, and Belinyu, a town famous for its seafood products. There are 4 sea ports in Bangka; Mentok on the far west, Belinyu on the far north, Sadai on the far south, and Pangkal Balam which is in Pangkal Pinang. It was intended that a nuclear power station be built there. [2]

The population was 626,955 in 1990,[3] and 960,692 in the 2010 census; the area is 4,487.87 sq mi (11,623½  km²).


During the glacial periods, Bangka was connected to mainland Asia similarly with the larger islands of Java, Sumatra, and Borneo as part of the Sunda Shelf, and got separated once the sea level rose.

The Kota Kapur inscription, dated from 686 CE, was found in Bangka in 1920, showed Srivijayan influence on the island around the 7th century[4]. Later, the island was conquered by an expedition from Majapahit, led by Gajah Mada, which appointed local rulers and established social structures. As the empire declined, Bangka fell into neglect.

Bangka was recorded in the 1436 Xingcha Shenglan, compiled by the Chinese soldier Fei Xin during the treasure voyages of Admiral Zheng He. Contemporary records show that the area - close to the busy Strait of Malacca and waters of the Musi River - had significant presence of Chinese traders[5].

Later on, the island was taken over by the Johor and Minangkabau Sultanates which introduced Islam to the island. It continued to pass to the Banten Sultanate before it was then inherited by the nearby Palembang Sultanate sometime in the late 17th century. Soon after, around 1710, tin was discovered on the island which attracted migrants from across the archipelago and beyond.[6] Descendants of the Chinese immigrants, mainly from Guangdong, still form a large portion of modern Bangka's inhabitants.

COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Portret van arbeiders in een werkplaats bij de tinmijnen te Koba TMnr 60048709
Photograph of tin workers on Bangka.

As tin mining developed further, the Palembang Sultanate sent for experts in Malay Peninsula and China. The Dutch East India Company managed to secure a monopolistic tin purchase agreement in 1722, but hostilities began to develop between the Sultan and the Dutch. During the British Invasion of Java in 1811, then-Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin attacked and massacred the staff of the Dutch post on the island. He was later deposed and executed by the British.[6] His successor ceded Bangka to Britain in 1812, but in 1814 Britain exchanged it with the Dutch for Cochin in India following the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814.

Fort Toboali North Wall
Ruins of the Dutch Fort in Toboali, built in 1825

Around the late years of the 18th century, Bangka was an important production center of tin in Asia, with annual outputs hovering around 1,250 tons[5]. In 1930 Bangka had a population of 205,363.[7]Japan occupied the island from February 1942 to August 1945 during World War II. The Japanese military perpetrated the Bangka Island massacre against Australian nurses and British and Australian servicemen and civilians.

During the Indonesian National Revolution, republican leaders Sukarno and Hatta were exiled in Bangka in the aftermath of Operation Kraai. Bangka became part of independent Indonesia in 1949. The island, together with neighboring Belitung, was formerly part of South Sumatra (Sumatera Selatan) province, but in 2000 the two islands became the new province of Bangka-Belitung. In the recent years, tin mining has declined notedly, although it is still a major part of the island's economy.

Bangka is also home to a number of communist Indonesians who have been under house arrest since the 1960s anti-Communist purge and are not permitted to leave the island.


Since c. 1710, Bangka has been one of the world's principal tin-producing centers. Tin production is an Indonesian government monopoly, and there is a tin smelter at Muntok.[3] White pepper is also produced on the island.


The majority of the inhabitants are Malays and Chinese, mostly Hakkas. The population is split between those work on the tin mines, palm oil plantations, rubber plantations, fisherman and those who work on pepper farms.

See also


  1. ^ "Largest Islands of Indonesia". Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Indonesian Government Eyeing Bangka Island for 2 Nuclear Power Plants". Jakarta Globe. 2010. Retrieved 2013-11-03.
  3. ^ a b "Bangka." Columbia Gazetteer of the World Online. 2013. Columbia University Press. 01 Nov. 2013. [1]
  4. ^ Sujitno, Sutedjo (2011). Legenda dalam sejarah Bangka. Jakarta: Cempaka Publishing. p. 281. OCLC 958845419.
  5. ^ a b Utomo, Bambang Budi. "Bangka-Belitung dalam Lintas Niaga" (PDF) (in Indonesian). Indonesian Ministry of Education. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  6. ^ a b Abdullah, Husnial Husin (1983). Sejarah Perjuangan Kemerdekaan R.I. Di Bangka Belitung. Karya Unipress. p. 393.
  7. ^ Columbia-Lippincott Gazetter
105th meridian east

The meridian 105° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole.

The 105th meridian east forms a great circle with the 75th meridian west.

Bangka Island (North Sulawesi)

Bangka Island is a small island located off of the northeastern tip of Sulawesi, Indonesia. Bangka is known for its unspoiled beaches and dive tourism. It belongs administratively to the district of East Likupang in the North Minahasa regency, North Sulawesi province. The island has three main coastal villages: Lihunu, Kahuku and Libas. Controversy exists over the local government’s decision to grant mining exploration permits for Bangka to a Chinese company, which would then plan to mine iron ore and build a refining smelter.

Bangka Island massacre

The Bangka Island massacre was committed on 16 February 1942, when Imperial Japanese soldiers machine-gunned 22 Australian Army nurses and 60 Australian and British soldiers and crew members from two sunken ships. Vivian Bullwinkel was the sole survivor of the nurses; two soldiers survived. Recent evidence collected by historian Lynette Silver, broadcaster Tess Lawrence and biographer Barbara Angell, indicates that most of the nurses were sexually assaulted before they were murdered. However, Bullwinkel was not permitted to speak about the rapes after the war. According to the Australian government, the perpetrators of the massacre remain unknown and "escaped any punishment for their crime".

Bangka Strait

Bangka Strait is the strait that separates the island of Sumatra from Bangka Island (Indonesian: Pulau Banka) in the Java Sea, Indonesia.


Banka, Banca or Bangka (Russian: банка, Azerbaijani: bankə) may refer to:

Banka (film), a Japanese film (1957), based on popular novel

Banka, Bihar, a town and municipality in India

Banka Junction railway station

Banka district in Bihar, India, with headquarters in Banka town

Banka (Lok Sabha constituency) in Bihar

Banka, Uttar Pradesh, a village in Uttar Pradesh, India

Bankə, a village and municipality in Azerbaijan

Banka, Cameroon, a town

Banka, Piešťany District, a village in the Trnava Region of Slovakia

the old name of Wanhua District, a district in Taipei, Taiwan

Banka, an island between Sumatra and Singapore, see Bangka Island

Sant Banka, Maharashtran saint, and brother in law of Chokhamela

Banka shrew

The Banka shrew (Crocidura vosmaeri) is a species of mammal in the family Soricidae. It is only known from the Bangka Island in Indonesia and possibly Sumatra. It lives in primary and secondary lowland forest and it is not clear if can adapt to human settlements such as plantations. It is threatened by forest loss for logging, expanding plantations such as palm oil and mining.

Betta burdigala

Betta burdigala is a species of gourami endemic to Bangka Island in Indonesia. It is an inhabitant of peat swamps. This species grows to a length of 2.5 cm (0.98 in).

Betta chloropharynx

Betta chloropharynx is a species of gourami endemic to Bangka Island, Indonesia. It inhabits the leaf litter in a pool in a secondary forest. This species grows to a length of 5.9 cm (2.3 in).

Chalcosia coliadoides

Chalcosia coliadoides is a moth of the family Zygaenidae. It is found in south-east Asia, including Sumatra, Burma, Annam, Malacca, Borneo, Bangka Island, Nias, Enggano and Java.

The wingspan is about 60 mm.

Chinese in the Bangka Belitung Islands

Chinese Indonesians have lived in Bangka Belitung Islands, Indonesia for centuries. Bangka Belitung is one of the regions with the largest Chinese population in Indonesia besides Java, Riau, Eastern Sumatra and West Borneo.Chinese came to Bangka-Belitung Islands in several waves during 1700-1800s. Many Hakkas from various parts of Guangdong came to the islands to work as tin miners.

Bangka Island Chinese is quite different from Belitung Island Chinese because the first Chinese generation who were entirely male arrived in Bangka Island left China without women, they took local women as wives, so many Chinese in Bangka had mixed blood (Indonesian:"Peranakan"), especially those who lived in the Eastern part of the island. Bangka Island Chinese language is a creole language mixed together Malay and Hakka words. Belitung Chinese is considered purer (Indonesian: "totok") because they were the first generation who arrived on the island, and they did so with chinese wives after 1800's. Although some town in Bangka Island, purer degree of Hakka can be heard as well, the Hakka-Malay mixture language is uniquely of Bangka Island Chinese. In Belitung, Chinese people adapted well with local culture. They changed their clothes and would like to wear Malay baju kurung with kebaya, pants with sarong. Hakka language is spoken among majority Chinese with few Hokkien.

Crested fireback

The crested fireback (Lophura ignita) is a medium-sized, up to 70 cm long, forest pheasant with a peacock-like dark crest, bluish black plumage, reddish brown rump, black outer tail feathers, red iris and bare blue facial skin. The female is a brown bird with short crest, blue facial skin and spotted black-and-white below.

The crested fireback is found in lowland forests of the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Borneo and Sumatra. There are four subspecies of the crested fireback, but in 2014 the subspecies rufa was split as a distinct species from the others. Males of the subspecies from Borneo and Bangka Island, L. i. ignita (lesser Bornean crested fireback) and L. i. nobilis (greater Bornean crested fireback), have brown central tail feathers, whitish legs and are rufous below. The male Vieillot's crested fireback, L. rufa, of the Thai-Malay Peninsula and most of Sumatra has white central tail feathers, red legs and bluish black streaked white below. The final subspecies, Delacour's crested fireback, L. i. macartneyi, is found in south-eastern Sumatra and the male has white to the tail, whitish legs and a variable amount of rufous below. As macartneyi specimens are variable, the Handbook of Birds of the World regards it as a hybrid between rufa and a possible relictual or introduced population of ignita. The female of L. i ignita and L. i. nobilis have a dark, blackish tail and whitish legs, while female of L. i.a rufa has a chestnut brown tail and red legs.

The diet consists mainly of plants, fruits and small animals. The female usually lays between four and eight creamy white eggs.

Due to ongoing habitat loss and overhunting in some areas, the crested fireback is evaluated as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is listed on Appendix III of CITES in Malaysia.

Dark-tailed tree rat

The dark-tailed tree rat or Sundaic arboreal niviventer (Niviventer cremoriventer) is a species of rodent in the family Muridae. It is found on the Malay Peninsula (Thailand, Malaysia), including some offshore islands (Myanmar: Mergui Archipelago), and in parts of the Malay Archipelago (Singapore; Indonesia: Anambas Islands, Sumatra, Nias, Belitung (=Billiton), Bangka Island, Java, Bali; Borneo and some its offshore islands). It might be a species complex.Dark-tailed tree rat is a common species that lives both arboreally and on the ground in primary forest habitats and also secondary wooded habitats, but not outside forests. Such habitats are being lost, especially in the lowland areas, representing a threat to this species.

Hylarana baramica

Hylarana baramica, the Baram River frog, brown marsh frog, or masked rough-sided frog, is a species of true frog in the genus Hylarana. It is found in Brunei, Indonesia (including Borneo, Java, Sumatra, and Bangka Island), Malaysia, Singapore, and the extreme south Thailand. Its type locality is the Baram River in Sarawak, Malaysia, giving it one of its common names. Its natural habitats are tropical moist lowland forests and swamps. It is not considered threatened by the IUCN.

Kota Kapur inscription

Kota Kapur Inscription is an inscription discovered in western coast of Bangka Island, offcoast South Sumatra, Indonesia, by J.K. van der Meulen in December 1892. It was named after "Kotakapur" village, the location where this archaeological findings were discovered. This inscription is using old Malay language written in Pallava letters. It was one of the oldest surviving written evidence of ancient Malay language. The inscription dated first day of half moon Vaisakha on the year 608 Saka (28 February 686 CE), mentioned about the curse of whomever committed treason against Srivijaya and the beginning of Srivijayan invasion against Java.

The inscription was first examined and dated by H. Kern, a Dutch epigrapher that worked for Bataviaasch Genootschap in Batavia. At first he thought that Srivijaya was the name of a king.

George Coedes noted the name on the inscriptions was that of Srivijaya, a Buddhist kingdom in 638-86, "that had just conquered the hinterland of Jambi and the island of Bangka and was preparing to launch a military expedition against Java." The name corresponds to Yijing's.

List of national parks of Indonesia

This is the list of the national parks of Indonesia. Of the 54 national parks, 6 are World Heritage Sites, 9 are part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves and 5 are wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar convention. A total of 9 parks are largely marine.

The first group of five Indonesian national parks were established in 1980. This number increased constantly reaching 41 in 2003. In a major expansion in 2004, nine more new national parks were created, raising the total number to 50. Mount Tambora was added in 2015. 3 more National Parks in Sumatra, Sulawesi, and Bangka Island were added in 2016.


Muntok (Chinese: 文岛) or, more commonly, Mentok is a town in the Indonesian province of Bangka-Belitung, Indonesia. Mentok is the capital of the West Bangka Regency (Bangka Barat). Mentok is the site of the biggest tin smelter on the world.

Mentok refers to the tip of the island.

Persibabar West Bangka

Persibabar stands for Persatuan Sepakbola Indonesia Bangka Barat (en: Football Association of Indonesia West Bangka). Persibabar West Bangka is an Indonesian football club based in West Bangka, Bangka Island, Bangka-Belitung. Club played in Liga Indonesia First Division.

Swinhoe's white-eye

Swinhoe's white-eye (Zosterops simplex) is a bird species in the family Zosteropidae. It is found in east China, north Vietnam, the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and Borneo.

This species was formerly treated as a subspecies of the warbling white-eye (Zosterops japonicus) but based on the results of a molecular phylogenetic study published in 2018, it was promoted to species rank.There are five subspecies:

Z. s. simplex Swinhoe, 1861 – east China, Taiwan and extreme northeast Vietnam

Z. s. hainanus Hartert, 1923 – Hainan (off southeast China)

Z. s. erwini (Chasen, 1935) – coastal Thai-Malay Peninsula, lowland Sumatra, Riau Islands, Bangka Island, Natuna Islands and lowland west Borneo

Z. s. williamsoni Robinson & Kloss, 1919 – Gulf of Thailand coast and west Cambodia

Z. s. salvadorii Meyer, AB & Wiglesworth, 1894 – Enggano Island (west Sumatra)

Vivian Bullwinkel

Lieutenant-Colonel Vivian Bullwinkel, AO, MBE, ARRC, ED, FNM (18 December 1915 – 3 July 2000) was an Australian Army nurse during the Second World War. She was the sole surviving nurse of the Bangka Island Massacre, when the Japanese killed 21 of her fellow nurses on Radji Beach, Bangka Island, in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) on 16 February 1942.

Regencies and cities of the Bangka Belitung Islands

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