Location : Kecamatan Samboja, Kabupaten Kutai Kartanegara, Kalimantan Timur, Indonesia.
Coming out from Kebun Raya Balikpapan and continuing northwards along the Soekarno Hatta Road, we turned to the left at the 38Km junction in search of Bukit Bangkirai National Park. First hour drive was pleasant but the second half was along very poor condition road which was surprising for such an oil rich town as Balikpapan the upkeeping of such an important road to an outstanding landmark was disappointing. Upon reaching the compound of Bukit Bangkirai made me wished I had visited it in my two earlier trips to Balikpapan. Very clean and pleasant with polite English speaking staff. Even the canteen operator was very accommodating when we ordered for vegetarian meals.
Paying entrance fees at the counter
Outbound facitilities were in place for those looking for a physical challenge. Hiking trails looked promising too especially with primary jungle housing trees well over 40m tall consisting mostly of naturally grown bangkirai or otherwise called ‘meranti’.
Flying fox gears ready for guests
An old fallen tree
Swinging and bouncing bridge
The highlight would of course be the 18year old American designed canopy walk. Canopy bridge along 64 m were hanged connect 5 Bangkirai tree at a height of 30 m. Lucky us as in two years time these canopy bridges would be decommissioned as the allowed ‘life span’ is only 20 years.
Netting for safety
Apart from the road leading to this park, the facilities here looked very well maintained. Overnight stay here would be a good idea as lodging is available. Next : Bontang Kuala Water Village.