Tag: Kalimantan

The palaces of Berau

Coming back from Derawan, we stayed half a day in Berau until our flights out of Kalimantan in the next morning. Berau is a busy little city and seems to profit quite well from the mining and logging industries. There are a couple of sites worth a visit, most famous are the two palaces (keratons) of Gunung Tabur and Sambaliung. Gunung Tabur is still inhabited by the daughter of the last sultan of Berau, and she is in her early 90s. After we spent some time in the museum, in which almost everything is in yellow, we visited the daughter

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Swimming with jelly fish on Kakaban

The one day trip we were most excited about on our stay on Derawan was going to Kakaban, an atoll about 45 minutes by speedboat that houses a large salt water lake packed with sting-less jellyfish. You can snorkel and swim with them and seeing them floating and paddling was super-awesome and magical. The lake is totally packed with them, as soon as we jumped of the jetty, we found ourselves surrounded by the jellyfish. We swam around very carefully trying to avoid bumping into them. The jellyfish seem a bit fragile and flippers should not be used in the lake. There

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Baby turtles on Sangalaki island

After a couple of very relaxing days on Derawan island, we chartered a speed boat with some other travelers to visit the nearby islands. Sangalaki, which is even smaller than Derawan, houses an upscale dive resort and a sea turtle research station and hatchery. Fortunately, we chose a good date for the trip – the night before, a batch of baby turtles hatched and we saw them practicing their swimming skills in a little sheltered pool. They stay in the pool for a couple of days before they are released into the sea at night. A walk around the whole

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Snorkeling with turtles on Derawan Island

For the second part of our honeymoon trip we scheduled 7 nights on Derawan, a tiny island a couple of kilometers off the shore of Kalimantan. After the wonderful but exhausting hikes at Kutai NP, we wanted something laid back with not much action around. There is one village on Derawan with approximately a third of all houses transformed into guest houses or cottages for tourists. Since we stayed over the Christmas holidays, we booked a night in advance at the Sari Cottages. The cottage was nice, however, due to a big renovation of the place we changed the following

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A day in Samarinda

Between Kutai NP and Derawan island, we made a one day stop in Samarinda, the capital of East Kalimantan. We got the exit seats on the 5h bus ride from Sangatta, so we arrived quite exhausted and treated us a nicer hotel right in the city center. Samarinda has about 750,000 inhabitants. Thus, there is an abundance of street food carts, selling all sorts of Tofu, Tempeh and fried Bananas. And after 3 nights in Kutai with our sad ramen noddle dinners, we were more than ready to enjoy them as much as we could. We spent most of the

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Kutai NP – Meeting wild orang utans

The first item on our travel agenda for Kalimantan was the Kutai NP, a 2,000 km² protected rainforest with an estimated orang utan population of 600. Only a tiny fraction of the park is open to visitors, allowing them to stay at one of the 2 rooms at the ranger station which is reachable with a 20 minute boat ride from the outskirts of Sangatta. The best way to go is to call the senior ranger Mr. Supiani beforehand, asking him about the conditions. The accommodation is nice, visitors are asked to bring their own food and water for the stay

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Kutai NP – Boat trip to the delta

On our last day in Kutai NP, we joined another couple for a boat ride to the Sangatta river delta. It’s possible to see proboscis monkeys on the trip, the ones with the funny noses, but unfortunately, we didn’t see any. Nevertheless, the trip was fantastic, even though the small wooden motorboat proved not to be very comfortable for a 6 hour boat ride. During the trip, the shore of the river changed from rainforest to mangroves. We did see lots of makak monkeys, a crocodile, and several lizards. And going through the city of Sangatta was a lot of

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Kutai NP – Day and night hikes

During our 3 days at Kutai NP we did several hikes in the morning to meet orang utans and one night hike to to spot insects. While unfortunately most of the forest is not primary growth due to bush fires in the 1980s and 1990s, there is still lush wild life in abundance. Next to the orang utans the park is famous for, we saw beautiful animals, plants, flowers, and insects. During the day, we saw more plants and flowers, while at night the insects came out and our awesome guide Udin spotted several birds sleeping on the branches on

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