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Belitung Island, Indonesia

Hundreds of granite rock formations lie scattered in piles along Belitung’s coastline - some rocks are the size of a typical house.

The beaches of Belitung are especially known for their brilliant white sand, with grains so fine and soft it resembles powdered sugar.

Belitung was once at the centre of the Dutch colonial tin mining industry, and contributed to making the Dutch one of the wealthiest powers of the 19th century.

The majority of the ethnic Chinese who live on Belitung are direct descendants of those who moved to the island to work in the tin mines.

The Lengkuas Island lighthouse off Belitung was built in 1882 by the Dutch and still functions to guide ships in and out of Belitung’s ports today.

Dutch-style buildings can be found across Belitung, where masonry row-houses line the streets, each painted in different colours.

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© 2014 Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)