Location : Kecamatan Pulau Laut Utara, Kabupaten Kotabaru, Kalimantan Selatan, Indonesia.
Pulau (Island) Laut was never part of our original itinerary until Oyonk our ‘accidental’ guide came into the picture. Weeks before our trip we had been WhatsApping with Rudy R. my Facebook friend, back and forth on a somewhat touristy package. We would like to officially apologise to Rudy here for failing to engage his tour services despite all the planning. Oyonk offered an ‘off the beaten path’ itinerary that was too attractive not to accept. That was to tour Pulau Laut & nearby Pulau Sebuku although, out of regrettable ignorance, we decided to skip Sebuku.
Our adventure route at Pulau Laut
Our early morning adventure began with a drive with local boy Eko at the wheels. Top on his list of places to visit was of course the city’s promenade and as with all the other promenades of Kalimantan, this was just as beautiful.
Surveying Kota Baru’s waterfront
Owner of the cafe entertaining the early morning crowd
We noticed an impressive looking pagoda and Chinese temple across the street and decided to climb the hill where it was situated, catching a nice view of the sea and port. Too quiet for a Lunar new year day. We hardly meet any Chinese here.
Tennis court near the pagoda
‘Beca’ is still very popular in Kalsel
As we strolled further round the summit we noticed a lady busy at the kitchen preparing food for her husband to sell somewhere in town. We invited ourselves in to see what nice food she was cooking. We had a little chat and somehow, we managed to convince her to serve the 4 of us breakfast. She agreed but there was no place to do it and Oyonk was quick to suggest we did it at right at the doorway. A strange but very memorable place to enjoy a nice hot meal and coffee.
Nasi lemak Javanese style
CNY breakfast at the most awkward spot
After the impromptu CNY breakfast we made a quick visit to a hotspring before visiting a crab farm. The Indonesians called it ‘kepiting soka’ which is a soft shell crab harvested within 3 hours of molting otherwise its shell will harden up. Very ingenious way of eating the crab whole minus the hammering. Perhaps, Kuching folks will have the chance soon to taste these crabs as we have passed the exporter’s info to Lok Thian Restaurant’s boss who seemed very interested. We were fortunate to have the presence of the owner of the farm Pak Ali to explain how the industry operated. Lots of hard work as every individual crab had to be fed and monitored daily for signs of its molting period.
Crab farming boxes
Fodder for the crab
Sumur Manggurak Hotspring
Next, we moved on to visit Sarang Tiung’s ladies sorting out the different sizes of fish fries to be processed and sundried into anchovies, a very important Asian culinary supplement.
Farther down the road was the popular and very clean Gedambaan Beach. Chalets available for rent if you prefer the quietness here. Food and plenty of coconuts available here. To be continued……