Blogs from Sangatta, Kalimantan, Indonesia, Asia


Asia » Indonesia » Kalimantan » Sangatta July 30th 2012

We left Kuala Lumpur for Balikpapan in East Kalimantan (South Borneo) on the 27th at 4 in the morning. Two taxis, a flight, train and two bus journeys later we arrived mid-afternoon in Samarinda. Here we checked into the Hotal Gelora which looked slightly run down to say the least. However, it was pretty clean and the staff, with very limited English, were all lovely. After most people being able to speak at least a bit of English in Malaysia, Indonesia is a stark contrast where charades are needed to describe the simplest of things but everyone says hello to you on the street. We organised, through the hotel, a trip up to Kutai Wildlife National Park where we were to do jungle treks in the hopes of finding orangutans! We drove for 4 hours and ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Kalimantan » Sangatta July 17th 2012

We slept surprisingly well with no AC and funny noises all around, waking after dawn. Breakfast was again provided and served by Sipiani and we got ready for our next walk. It was actually pouring with rain so we weren't holding out much hope of seeing an orangutan. They make nests at night high in the trees and don't move much if it is wet. We wandered around the forest for about 3 hours without spotting another orangutan, but we did see hornbills and macaque monkeys high in the trees. Several times the path was really muddy and the river crossings unsafe. Several times one or another of us ended up in the mud on our bums or knees. We also saw centipedes and these red bugs which curl into a ball like a marble when ... read more
Crossing the streams
Macaque at the camp
Insect disguised as a marble

Asia » Indonesia » Kalimantan » Sangatta July 16th 2012

We had come to Kalimantan for only one reason - to see orangutan. We knew that they could be spotted at various places in Borneo but that if you want to see them in the wild and not at a feeding station, the best place to go was Kutai National Park. The big issue is that the information on getting to them at Kutai was very hard to collect. Lonely Planet had a small section which was full of names and options which made it confusing. There were blogs from people who gave several options and a link to the Ntional Park website. This was on Bahasa and set up in such a way that finding information was like searching for a needle in a haystack. One blog Fiona found of people who had been in ... read more
On the bus before everyone joined us
Searching for crocs

Asia » Indonesia » Kalimantan » Sangatta September 26th 2009

The bus ride to Bontang was officially our scariest yet.. yes we know we do go on our about transport a lot but it plays such a huge role in travelling it's hard not to! The bus driver really did seem to want to scare the bejesus out of us and literally flew round corners virtually on 2 wheels, this was bad enough in daylight but a million times worse when it was pitch black and he was flying down the equivalent of narrow country roads back in the UK with a constant flow of oncoming traffic. We always use the locals on the bus with us to judge how bad a journey is.. if they don't bad an eyelid then you can assume it's normal, but on this occasion even they were closing their eyes ... read more
Chameleon in Borneo
Tarantula in her hole
Dale & the tarantula house

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