Some experts believed Bangka is derived from Sanskrit word, Wangka (vanka), which means tin. The history of tin mining in Bangka dated back to 1710 AD; initiated by people from Johor and Siantan (Malaysia peninsula). Since then, more people from Asia and Europe come to Bangka because of this mineral. Migration of skilled workers from China to Bangka during the mid 18th century increased productivity of tin mining. They settled down and made Bangka their home. Nowadays, their descendants are also coloring diverse communities of Bangka.
One of influences of immigrants from China to Bangka’s diversity is very apparent at culinary heritage. Bangka is well-known for otak-otak, pempek and terang bulan. All of them is legacy of the immigrants. Please noted that people in Bangka tend to consider these meals as snack. Meanwhile, traditional cuisines of Bangka such as lempah kuning and lempah darat are as tasty as its snacks. Anyway, we’d be happy to teach you cooking them.
Still related to culinary heritage, Bangka is also well-known as the greatest producer of white pepper. The international market trade it as Muntok White Pepper; it was mainly shipped out from Muntok, at the west coast of Bangka, to the rest of the world. The soil of Bangka is, somehow, not only blessed with a lot of tins, but also minerals to produce the best quality of white pepper in the world.
Tourism in Bangka has been emerging recently. It’s very understood that the economy of Bangka can’t rely on tin mining forever. Therefore, the government of Bangka would like to develop tourism through promoting its unspoiled beaches, tasty culinary heritage, undiscovered diving spots (you may find shipwrecks), or historical places where visitors could trace back the modern history of Indonesia.