Location : Kelurahan Karang Joang, Kecamatan Balikpapan Utara, Kota Balikpapan, Kalimantan Timur, Indonesia.
Taking the 14hr bus ride from Banjarmasin to Balikpapanturned out to be less exciting as I was hoping. I should have known that 3 quarters of the journey was done in the dark. Even if there were nice sceneries we would not have known. Well, we learned from our mistake.
A very common sight along most roads in Kalsel, people soliciting for donations in the middle of the road
Dodol sellers hoping into the bus
At the station where we disembarked
Skyline of Balikpapan has not changed much
We had to wait a further agonizing 90min at the bus station upon arrival at Balikpapan at 7am as our friend Antok from Samarinda who came to pick us got mixed up with the wrong station. Balikpapandoes not have a centralized bus terminal. Different bus companies have their own private stations. Anyway, Antok finally found the right one and off we went for the city’s Kemala beach front for breakfast.
Kemala Beach & Resto
After which as we headed for Samarinda, he suggested we visited Sungai Wain proboscis monkey park and nearby Kebun Raya Balikpapan. We had a short tour of Sungai Wain and spotted quite a handful of proboscis monkeys who seemed fearful of humans, dashing off as soon as they heard us coming. We concluded this spot was not the most impressive as far as proboscis watching was concerned. After having visited so many proboscis parks in Borneo we tend to be more choosy.
Visible head of a crocodile at Sei Wain
Managed to snap this curious one
A short drive away at Kebun Raya (Botanical Garden), some kind of eco park for different species of trees although not fully completed, had good potential. We continued our journey to Bangkirai National Park.