Blogs from Balikpapan, Kalimantan, Indonesia, Asia


Asia » Indonesia » Kalimantan » Balikpapan May 26th 2018

From Labuan Bajo on Flores, I started a bit of a complicated journey to Nunukan Island off of Borneo. It involved a flight/nights in Bali, a flight to a city called Balikpapan on Borneo, followed by a flight to an island called Maratua and then boat ride to Nunukan. The best part of this journey was in Balikpapan...and I didn't take any pictures, except one of the band at the end. It was a Friday night, during Ramadan. My hotel hosted a huge celebration buffet for breaking the fast, and Friday night was definitely party night. There were hundreds of people celebrating, in huge groups of families, all dressed up for a night out. There was a band, and people would go up and join them singing. They mostly played traditional songs (I assumed...none were familiar), ... read more
As was my routine, Bali = laundry time. I was a bit surprised when this was the sign on the closest place to my hotel (I kept walking to the next spot)
Balikpapan - apparently the "oil capital" of Borneo - lovely view from my hotel room of what I assume was an oil refinery...although there were a lot of flames up in the air
Band at the Friday night celebration

Asia » Indonesia » Kalimantan » Balikpapan March 10th 2013

The Mahakam River is long, obviously not nearly as long as the great rivers of the world, but long enough to do some cruising. It reaches right up into the heart of Kalimantan, and though it sounds like a ‘Heart of Darkness’ experience, it isn’t. Being rather big means all kind of river traffic can make its way up, and that in turn makes it easy to exploit the natural resources along it. And exploited they have been and are still being. Coal is the main resource, followed by timber, and, so it seems, gold. With rapids only really restricting access to the last third, the rest has been up for grabs. As you take a passenger ferry up or down it you will pass a lot of coal barges, and a lot ports serving the ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Kalimantan » Balikpapan July 19th 2011

Woke up at the hotel and headed out back to the commercial district by angkot. My friend was looking to buy a new camera and i wanted a fuse to fix my travel adaptor. Stores weren't open when we got there so we wandered around. Eventually Aurelie got a new camera and i got a cinnamon bun fresh from a bakery. We decided to try out the city beach and on the way i found a place for a fuse. It fixed the plug part but the usb ports still didn't work which was the main point. Most things i have are usb powered. We wandered along a promenade when it started to pour. We found a little restaurant to wait it out and continued on. We found the tiny and rocky beach. We walked out ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Kalimantan » Balikpapan September 10th 2008

Although not down at the eighth or ninth level, this one's a couple of levels lower in hell than the bus trip on Flores. We leave Kandangan in the dark, heading for Balikpapan on the eastern coast of Borneo. No banana bags stacked in the aisle or conspiracy theorist babblers, but worse...a driver who seems to think he's an F1 racer. He aims the bus full speed down the middle of the road, smoking clove-scented cigarettes constantly, eating junk food and sometimes talking on his cell phone as we hurtle past every other vehicle. For the next 10 hours only two cars will overtake us. Just as in India, the biggest rule the road. He doesn't slow for motorcycles or cars coming at us. For other buses and trucks he slams on the brakes at the ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Kalimantan » Balikpapan October 17th 2006

Its getting closed to my way to Norway...its just 3 days left. I m getting nervous, its all coz of thinking i would be so much long in the flight trip and also I m wishing NOT get lost in the huge airport while im transitting in Amsterdam... I havent pack,yet..but tommorow i will try to get things i need and pack so nothings left coz im worry for that least i dont forget to bring the coffee for my sayang :)... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Kalimantan » Balikpapan March 22nd 2006

Its been a while since I was able to update but I finally found an Internet cafe or maybe Internet Online game-joint would be more appropriate because thats what most of the customers here are doing. But I have been offered tea to drink and once been informed that smoking was allowed here :) After landing at the Balikpapan airport, we were picked up by a minibuss and driven to the terminal. Getting Visa was just simply standing at the right counter, handing over the passport and $25 for the 30 days as Balikpapan is one of the entry points to Indonesia. Then it was time to get my luggage, which I located immediately because there was only two suitcases there but was nevertheless helped by a man (he had probably been assigned to making sure ... read more

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