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 for a little chat. She enjoys to meet visitors of the palace and told us about an article published in the National Geographic about the sultanate and the lives of her and her twin sister. The Sambaliung was a lot less spectacular since it was closed. On the way back we visited the local Hindu temple, which has been built not long ago but has some beautiful sculptures and a cute watchdog.

Going back to our hotel, we bought a large bag of Rambutans and then dived into the street food alleys. There is a huge night market on the river shore which also had heaps of vegetarian treats. We started with fried tofu and tempeh with spicy peanut sauce, had fried and stuffed tofu packages (tahu isi), and a couple freshly made juices. As desert, we had little pancakes stuffed with chocolate or cream cheese rolled in a banana leaf.

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