Bangka has long been one of the world's biggest producers of tin. Tin-mining might not be as lucrative as gold or platinum, but has long formed the basis of the Bangka-Belitung economy and the archipelago's fortunes have largely swung on the price for tin on world markets.
From the 18th century onwards people from impoverished provinces of China migrated in large numbers to Bangka to mine for tin. As a result, there are many fine old Chinese temples on the island. The best of these on the west coast is Kung Fuk Min, dating from 1820, and famously located right alongside the town mosque.
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