Location : Kelurahan Bontang Lestari, Kecamatan Bontang Selatan, Kota Bontang, Kalimantan Timur, Indonesia.
So it was time to say goodbye to cute little Beras Basah island which I believe in the not too distant future will be submerged judging by the amount of erosion on its shoreline. The boat ride to Tihi Tihi took us about 15min.
Coming here without a clue of what to expect proved to be a pleasant surprise. When we arrived at the jetty and alighted, Swandi chosed to do a bit of fish hunting around the jetty.
Tihi Tihi was essentially a little Bugis water village built next to a tiny mangrove island. We could not believe how such a remote and tiny place was such a hive of activities. We enjoyed every minute of our visit as we walked along the plank walk watching these friendly villagers busy with many different stages of activity in seaweed & sea cucumber processing, mending boats, fishing hooks making and cuttlefish bait making. Gentle speaking villagers here who are ever ready to show you what they can do and what they have.
There was this guy proudly showing us his homemade goggles and live giant clam right under his house.
There was another trying to sell us his treasures from the sea- red fan coral, black coral popularly made into man’s bangles, mother of pearl and a mysterious lump of turquoise coloured rock. He tried to strike a deal but I had to disappoint him as I did not want to be caught trafficking protected species. He allowed us to take photos though.
If we had a choice, we would rather spend the night here with a homestay. Tihi Tihi should have been made the main destination and Beras Basah the side trip if I were to organise this Bontang package. Sometimes, locals do not see the gold in their own backyard until a foreigner tells them so. We thank Swandi for switching us over to this option. We learned so much in the hour and a half tour here. If a homestay could be arranged we will definitely come back again to learn more about this humble seaweed farming water village. Next….bonus visits to equator monument and a Kenyah village.
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