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Derawan/Maratua Islands (East Kalimantan) Day2-Samarinda Seberang

Location : Samarinda Seberang, Kalimantan Timur, Indonesia.

Guntur my host suggested we did a tour of the opposite side of River Mahakam or as the locals call it Samarinda Seberang. But just before that we dropped by at South East Asia’s third largest mosque called Masjid Islamic Center Samarinda. Giant of an icon which one cannot miss from anywhere around the city.

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Samarinda Islamic Center Mosque

Kalimantan Timur, Kaltim, Kampung Wisata Tenun, Mahakam river, Masjid Shirathal Mustaqiem, Obyek wisata, oldest mosque, Sutera sarung, Sarong, Sungai Mahakam, Tourism, tourist attraction, travel guide, kota tepian

Next it was off to the Bugis weavers’ village (Kampung Wisata Tenun Samarinda). Their looms were pretty much like the ones I saw in Indochina. Decided to pick one silk sarong from the weaver that Guntur recommended, with a Dayak motif.

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Entrance to weavers’ village

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No coffee grinder no problem. Do it the Bugis way

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Marhumi shop

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Please enter. Purchase or not we will still thank you- that’s what the sign says

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The weaver at work

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Wooden weaving machine

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Selecting a piece of silk sarung for remembrance

We also visited a beadwork producer with quite a good stock for sale.  Very enterprising and hardworking lot these Bugis. They can adapt so well into Kalimantan that they are now controlling the beadcraft and woodcarving business a long traditional art of the Dayaks. Not only do their business thrive here but all over Kalimantan, Bali and even in Sarawak where their crafts have found their way into Main Bazaar in Kuching. You can respectfully call them the Jews of the Malay Achipelago! Since hundreds of years ago their ancestors have already made a name for themselves as sea faring traders. Sailing to as far as Singapura and made their presence felt with a street named after them. Remember Bugis Street? Well, it has evolved from the sleazy ‘pondan’ haven to big time retail shopping, just for your information. Just where did they get the maritime knowledge to sail from Sulawesi to Singapore, I wonder. Beside the technical know how to build sail boats big enough to transport goods for the barter trading there. Anyway, just to say I did not buy anyway of the beadwork offered here although the price was good considering the amount of work put in which could easily have taken half a year to complete the 2′X4′ coffee table size beadwork. I have enough of collection of beadwork of my own and besides I spotted too many flaws in the motifs. To an experienced eye there is a glaring difference between the ones done by the Kenyah/Kayan and others.

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Beadwork with 2 Star of David- interesting

Next on the list to visit places here was the Bugis Cultural Centre but unfortunately it was closed so nothing much could be seen from the outside. Impressive belian architecture as always here in Kaltim.

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Bugis Cultural Centre – solid iron wood

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Time for the Zuhur prayer for my Muslim host Guntur and off he drove us to the 135 year old mosque “Masjid Shirathal Mustaqiem” to perform his religious duty. While he was busy praying we took a tour of this oldest mosque in Kota Samarinda Kalimantan.  The mosque was built in 1881. Still standing because of the 100% belian or locally called ‘ulin’ timber. Truely impressive.

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Masjid Shirathal Mustaqiem – interesting pagoda like tower

Kalimantan Timur, Kaltim, Kampung Wisata Tenun, kota tepian, Sungai Mahakam, Masjid Islamic Center, oldest mosque, rumah adat, Sarung, Samarinda Seberang, Sarong, Tourism, tourist attraction, travel guide, tradisional,

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My friend Guntur doing his prayer

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Another mosque @ Samarinda Seberang, nice & little one

Time for lunch. Nothing exciting in Samarinda as far food is concerned especially with being vegetarian. So settled for Tahu Sumedang & huge cassava cracker.

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Cassava cracker (Krupuk ubi kayu)

Spent the rest of the day admiring Abeng’s (he’s Guntur son) newly completed house which was just next to Guntur’s. Fine Balinese design. with a pool.

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Abeng’s house designed by a Balinese architect

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Gazebo on the first floor

Like father like son- works hard for the money. While I was visiting he was busy rushing on his order from a Europe buyer for his belian totem poles. Kalimantan timur, Kaltim, Mahakam river, Obyek wisata, Sungai Mahakam, Tourism, tourist attraction, furniture, travel guide, belian, iron wood, ulin, kota tepian Borneo, Kalimantan timur, Kaltim, Kota, Mahakam river, Obyek wisata, Sungai Mahakam, Tourism, tourist attraction, furniture, travel guide, belian, iron wood, ulin,To see more photos, please click our FACEBOOK PAGE

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