The gateway to East Kalimantan and one of the gateway to "Borneo Rainforest." Balikpapan is located between 1'LS-1, 5'LS and 116.5 'E-117'BT. Consisted of 5 District, bordering the city of Samarinda, Kutai Kartanegara, the Strait of Makassar, and Regency Sand. The total area of approximately 503,306 km2. Although the indigenous Dayak tribes, but the life of a multi-ethnis (heterogeneous) are characteristic in the life of this city.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Posted by fathir On 7:22 AM

The BLUE SKY HOTEL is located in the west side of the Oil City of Balikpapan, five minutes drive from Major Oil Company offices and twenty five minutes drive from Sepinggan International Airport, which makes it the perfect location for our business or pleasure trip to Balikpapan. The BLUE SKY HOTEL has a luxurious and modern interrior elegantly finished in a soft color scheme, which creates a feeling of warmth and welcome the minute you step through our doors. You will feel safe and secure at the BLUE SKY HOTEL protected by our high security entry system and delicated staff. The are 122 luxurious rooms and suites with City Check in service for all guest and Butler Service on our Executive Floor at level 8. We also provide free usage of our Airport Executive Lounge upon arrival and Airport Transit Lounge upon departure. Superb cuisine as available in our Golden Palace Suki and Oriental Restaurant, Kaizeki Japanese Retaurant, Garden Coffee Shop and Island Seafood Restaurant. Enjoy tea and coffee at our Lobby Piano Lounge or Sunset Lounge (on the Executive Floor at level 8) or perfectly mixed cocktails in the Color Beat Pub & Lounge or at our Wine Cellar – An abundance of choice with wonderful facilities to delight both the business and holiday traveller. We can offer excellent conference and banqueting services tailor made to suit any meeting or ocassion. Our well equipped facilities include the magnificent Kalimantan Ballroom which can be divided into nine separate conference rooms. In addition 2 new meeting rooms and a new Board Meeting Room and also a Business Center complete our extensive range. Round the clock Room Service, Body Fresh Health Club & Spa and Drug Store all combine to ensure that you have a wonderful experience at the BLUE SKY HOTEL.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sungai Wain Orangutan Rehabilitation and Jungle 

Posted by fathir On 7:50 PM

Samboja Lestari National Park & Reserve with Rain Forest and Orangutan Rehabilitation Center "Wanariset" is about a hour drive from Balipapan city as the main Gateway to East Kalimantan. Samboja Sungai Wain National Park is the location of Samboja Lodge as part of BOS (The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation), handling three different kinds of projects; orangutan and sunbear rehabilitation, till release back into their natural habitat, reforestation of the area with hardwood trees, and now also an ecolodge called "Samboja Ecolodge".
The Lodge has in total 26 rooms completed, 22 standard with Airconditioning, Two Suite Rooms with Airconditioning and hot water shower and 2 treetops suites, with fantastic view, and offcourse Airconditioning and hot water shower.
The Lodge is completed with a towering area to oversea the Jungle area, a Lobby and a Restaurant, laundry service and kitchen facilites, including an Internet access area.

Alligator Farming

Posted by fathir On 7:11 PM

The farming place has lots of alligator for sure. Some were placed in muddy cage-park which I believe those alligator belong to the Estuary family (Crocodilus porosus), some were in smaller cage-room with greenish water everywhere which if I am mistaken was called Supit alligator, so that means those belong to the Supit family (Tomistoma schlegel), and some more were in another cage-room belong to Lake family (Crocodylus novaeguineae).

To see around this alligator farming is quite amusing as you can see the baby alligators as well as the huge ones. Some of them were just laying there quietly, some more were biting and fighting and they splashed water almost everywhere, and that of course, scared the younger visitors.

In this farming place, there are quite a few of snakes’ cages as well. It’s amazing how the cage is not closed cage as in made with glass just like aquarium, so it is quite open. Visitors can poke the snakes or even if parents are not careful, their kids can touch the snakes with bare hands! Isn’t that scary? But when we were there, there weren’t any visitors that stupid enough to give their hands or fingers willingly to the snakes in the cage. Thank God!

At the farming area as well, we saw a few small eatery places, almost like restaurants. We didn’t make a stop at these eatery places as the youngster in the family ran for elephant trip already! Yes, not too far from the parking lot of the alligator farming place, there is a park where they have 1 huge elephant and 1 tiny elephant and kids can ride them. My husband as shown in the picture rode the elephant along with our Indonesian niece and nephew ha-ha.

Nearby were street vendors selling snacks and drinks and the kids were crowding them. I quite liked this trip to the alligator farming. It was a nice day and I keep plenty beautiful memories.

Manggar Segara Sari Beach

Posted by fathir On 7:03 PM

There is another beach that you can go to if you are visiting Balikpapan in East Borneo, Indonesia, called Pantai Manggar (pantai means beach in English). Before there were other beaches such as Lamaru and de Dalmas Beach, Manggar was the most developed and well managed beach in Balikpapan. The place used to be clean, nice, full with visitors who would like to enjoy the water, or just relaxing with family, eating at the food vendors offshore.

Even today people still go to Manggar, but the numbers of visitors are certainly declined big time in recent years as the other beaches I mentioned are more better managed and cleaner than what Manggar looks like today.

At this beach, a few vendors are renting big used tires for kids to float with while they are in the water. The last time we went to Manggar beach back in 2004, it was Daisy’s (my niece) first time ever swimming day. She was so scared and even though we rented one of the smaller tire for her, she wouldn’t go near the water unless all of us go with her ON tires as well. So it was really funny :-)

In most of parts of Indonesia, people hardly go to beaches using swimsuit; unless you go to tourists’ city such as Bali, I suggest you forget your swim suit if you want to swim in Balikpapan’ beaches; but of course it is different story if you are at a public swimming pool, you do need to put on your swimsuit!

If you go to Manggar beach and wanting to try the food there, get Bakso, it’s similar to Vietnamese Pho Bo (beef noodle soup), and it is yummy. They usually also offers Es Kelapa Muda which is coconut on ice with sweet syrup, yum


Posted by fathir On 6:51 PM

The beach is located Jend. Sudirman street close Tukung Island, a place where the traders sell a variety of cuisine - a delicious drink with a relatively cheap price. Visitors can sit down relax, dine on the mat while enjoying the waves and see the sailing ships, as well as being anchored in the harbor unloading Semayang sea. This location is open starting at 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m..

MONPERA : People's Monument in Balikpapan

Posted by fathir On 5:36 AM

Monpera (Monumen Perjuangan Rakyat) is used to be one of local tourists’ destinations of Balikpapan; it was well managed, clean, and very attractive especially at evening, open for public with lots of food stall lining up along the beach shore, haven for drag queen and late night prostitution, plenty shows and fireworks were held here before; however, today, Monumen (as people in Balikpapan would refer it as) even though it still is considered as one of Balikpapan’ landmark, is no longer active, it is kind of dirty and abandoned, not really open for public, and just looking sad. The water fountain is no longer running, no food stalls available no more, no children laughter or family togetherness can longer be seen here as it was before which I have no idea why and it is such a shame.

Located in downtown, along Jalan Jenderal Sudirman, right in front of the monument is the central office of the army station of Balikpapan. Although it is somewhat abandoned, you still go inside the monument area as there is always a pole or two of the gates that are opened illegally by people and the entrance gate even though most of the times is closed, pedestrians can still walk inside; you still can find the grand statue symbolizing the Indonesians in old days kicking the invaders (the Japanese and the Dutch).

Sun Bears Nature Reservation

Posted by fathir On 5:33 AM

Around KM. 23 or KM. 24 of Jalan Soekarno-Hatta, Balikpapan, there is an area for nature education of Beruang Madu (Honey Bear or most known as Sun Bear), called Enclosure Beruang Madu. We actually went there due to a wrong information ha-ha. We thought at this place we would at least see Orang Utan, monkey, birds of Borneo, wild orchids, etc but turns out, the place is only for sun bear.

When we arrived we were greeted by an Australian agent speaking in Indonesian. She was friendly but a slightly annoying or perhaps just being too-too friendly. We were disappointed though because we did not plan to see bear; we told her if we wanted to see a bear, we wouldn’t have flown all the way to Indonesia as there are plenty bears in Canada ha-ha; but of course we don’t have sun bear here in Canada so after being suggested (too suggested actually), we went to see the sun bear area.

There is this trail made of wood almost like a bridge where there is a sign for us to be quiet, don’t make too many noises as we would intimidate the sun bear to not show up whatsoever. Apparently, sun bears are known as a bunch of shy yet smart bears. We did not see any bears though no matter how quiet we were. We only heard their growl and such and my brother in law said it was just a trick of radio because we waited in silence for almost an hour but nothing; yet every time we said it was just for fooling us, then we would hear the growl, but still no appearance ha-ha.

We walked all the way until the end of the trail and we saw a place where it seems it was the classroom or school for the bears. At this Enclosure Beruang Madu place, there are quite a few dogs and cats and funnily they are like standing in the public washroom provided there so we couldn’t really use it. There is a big empty house, well more to a hall it seems, and I don’t know what the place is for. We went home feeling sad and more sadder as the rain started to fall, it was really an unlucky day for us; but if you wish to try your luck out, perhaps the sun bears will show their face for you ;-)

Note: KM. 23 or KM. 24 of Jalan Soekarno-Hatta is more addressed as Kilo 23 or Kilo 24 instead saying the whole address of KM. 23 or KM. 24 of Jalan Soekarno-Hatta.

Oil Refinery Balikpapan

Posted by fathir On 5:27 AM

Balikpapan is one amongst the quite a few of important oil cities in Indonesia, thus, it is only make sense that when you are in Balikpapan, you will see plenty oil refineries; however, all of them are located at one area, which is in Jalan Minyak (it means oil road, literally). More than 12 years ago, when there weren’t any bombing threats or any other threats whatsoever, the refinery area was not even lined with sharp metal wire as Balikpapan was (and still is) a pretty safe city which mainly because the residents obviously understand how important it is to be safe and sound as there are like more than 30 giant refineries in their city. Since old days again, youngsters would take the opportunity to have illegal racing around the area and as years grew, Pertamina, the oil company, for that reason started to place the metal wire for safety purposes.

Jalan Minyak was also lovers’ “destination”; usually, in the evening to mid-morning especially on week-ends, it is a common view to find lovers on motorbikes around the area. Jalan Minyak is an attractive place to hang out at in the evening; the Obor Pertamina (the fairly tall torch) is on continuously day and night which is another thing to look at besides the refineries.

Today, even though bombing threats are already calmed in Indonesia, Pertamina decided to close Jalan Minyak for public which is sad because now people could not really see the “Little Hong Kong” area as what Jalan Minyak with its oil refineries were known as. People would also need to drive round to reach the Semayang Port and/or RS Pertamina (hospital); however, if you cross Balikpapan to Penajam, you still could see Jalan Minyak with its glamour lights at night, the Little Hong Kong of Balikpapan.