Location : Kota Nunukan, Kalimantan Utara, Indonesia.
After 2 days of tribal villages, arts and crafts in Malinau, it was time to move on to our final leg of our journey to the island of Nunukan. It would be wise to pack lunch for this double boat ride. The express boat ride to Tarakanwould take 3hrs and switching to another different boat would take an hour plus to Nunukan.
The dock at Tarakan during peak hours was chaotic and not passenger friendly. No counter to sell/buy tickets. Travelers needed to ask around who the tickets sellers were. He would be someone seated among the huge crowd without an identification or uniform holding a bunch of tickets. Business was transacted there and then. If you asked him when the boat will leave, the answer will most probably be ‘now’. So that would leave travelers no time to leave the dock to catch lunch. The express boats plying Tarakan/Nunukan were smaller but very speedy with triple 250hp engines. For your information, there is a daily bigger ferry servicing Tarakan/Tawau direct from a different pier which we did on our previous trip. We chose to stop over at Nunukan for a bit of exploration.
Inside the express boat to Nunukan
Bagans dotting the horizon is a major source of supply of fresh seafood to international buyers as well as Tawau
Big church under construction
Beautiful mosque seen from the boat
Liem Hie Djung wharf at Nunukan
The Liem Hie Djung wharf at Nunukan looked a lot more civilised and staff was friendly as well. Then again not surprising as Nunukan has always been a major gateway for crossborder trading in terms of seafood products, daily consumable commodities, hardware and oil palm estate labourers! Not forgetting the traditional barter trading that is still practiced in this part of the world. Although Nunukan is just a tiny town but the business volume might just blow your mind. Tiny vans were waiting outside the wharf to pick us to Hotel Laura as it was highly recommended. After checking in, we wasted no time hitting the streets looking for food. We slowly covered the whole town in about 4hrs. Next……Nunukan island tour.