Tanjung Kelian Old Lighthouse

Kamis, 11 Maret 2010 06:45:38
photo: hanry tando / panoramio

Mercusuar Tanjung Kelian or the old lighthouse Tanjung Kelian was built in 1826, dating back to Dutch colonial era. It is located about 9 km of Muntok district, arround 10 minutes from Muntok port.

The red white-lighthouse guides ships entering the Bangka Strait between Sumatera island and the smaller island, Bangka. Not only that, this lighthouse is an eyewitness of Muntok history.

So while visiting Tanjung Kelian beach, take time to climb up 199 steps to reach the top of the lighthouse and enjoy the spectacular view from the height of approximately 60 M above sea level. Visitors can see the whole beaches in Muntok, fishing vessels that are leaning calm, fisherman, and beautifull rows of palm trees.

In the top, in the middle of three meters-room, stand a beacon. This light can highlight the waters up to 40 miles so far to guide ships in the busy Bangka Strait. Its need 20 liters fuel to operate this light for 12 hours.

Peta & Citra Satelit

SS Vyner Brooke

In the surrounding area visitors still can find wrecks of Dutch and British ships, a small coastal steamer, S.S.Vyner Brooke which were torpedoed by Japanese warships during the Second World War, on 16 February 1942. Many of the victims was Australian nurses that enlisted in the Australian Army Nursing Service. Honouring the victims, a memorial, Nurses Memorial was built in front of the lighthouse, in the shade of Ketapang tree.

The Memorial incorporates stone from the: 'Women's Camp' which the Australian Army nurses occupied for a time as prisoners of war. A bronze plaque records the names of all 65 nurses who were aboard the s.s.Vyner Brooke. In 2000 and 2002, survivor and their relative came and visited this place.

There was a sad story, also. In March 2006 the lighthouse was vandalized, the thieves taking some of the ironwork. Not only that. The white painted-wall in the top filled with graffiti.

In Islamic holy month, Tanjung Kelian beach become a giant camping ground. In the eve of the first day of Ramadhan, people flock and set up their tents along the beach and arround the lighthouse.