It was one month after my 2 weeks holiday to India that I was scheduled for a short vacation with my mother and youngest sister. This time, to Balikpapan. Balikpapan is a seaport city on the eastern coast of the island of Borneo, located in the East Kalimantan province. It is a very resourceful city when it comes to oil and gas product.
So we flew in vide Sepinggan International Airport and straight we went to Aiqo Hotel. Though near to the City Centre, it was smacked in between narrow roadside. I was not too picky on accomodation as long as it provided for clean bathroom, so it was fine with me. My mother who is usually more picky in terms of where she wants to sleep, found the place good. One thing I have to comment on Aiqo Hotel is that the breakfast provided was too basic and without much choice. It will fare more guests if the wireless network is extended to individual room instead of the current lobby wireless connection.
The weather was a bit off. By then, tsunami swept the coastline of Japan. Imagine, the impact! It was raining all day long. Our first day was spent in shopping mall where we experienced our first mall black-out. Apparently, according to wikipedia, Balikpapan suffers from frequent black-outs. At least 2 – 3 times a week.
To be honest, there’s nothing much in Balikpapan unless you plan to travel to its twin city, Samarinda. The locals charged ridiculously extreme prices for adventurous activities like jungle walking, climbing, canyoning etc. So we passed adventurous activities and enjoyed the usual tourist places. We didn’t event have ample time to go to Samarinda.
So here’s the list of what we did throughout the trip in Balikpapan:-
#1 Hello Honey Bear
The shy little bears were spotted in the backyard of Kalimantan. Like Malaysia’s Sepilok, Kalimantan houses the sanctuary of honey bear.
#2 Medan Ikan Bakar in front of Aiqo Hotel
Yummy but I don’t have picture for this one.
#3 Penangkaran Buaya, Balikpapan (Teritip Crocodile Farm)
Home to thousands of crocodiles. Smelly and stuffy. It opens from 8.00am to 5.00p.m. There is a stall where you can purchase a dead chicken to be fed to the crocodile. Of course, you throw the chicken from a safe distance!
# Kebun Sayur Traditional Market Centre
I bought few jewelries to bring home as souvenir. Lots of tribal souvenir if you are interested! Ah, I bought 2 vintage bags here too. Each for RM10.00.
A famous cuisine in Balikpapan. But the restaurant near the airport was a far cry from the reviews I read on the internet. Damn expensive for such a below standard taste.
We went back to Kuala Lumpur, emptied heart as there was not even a highlight during the trip. We might have been in a rush while we were in Balikpapan. But seriously, consider thousands of time if you are to buy your air ticket to Balikpapan.