Recommended Vaccinations

Specialised travel-medicine clinics are your best source of information they stock all available vaccines and will be able to give specific recommendations for you and your trip. The doctors will take into account factors such as past vaccination history, the length of your trip, activities Consider including the following in your medical kit Antibiotics - consider including these if you're travelling well off the beaten track see your doctor, as they must be prescribed, and carry the...

Insect Bites Stings

Bedbugs don't carry disease but their bites are very itchy. They live in the cracks of furniture and walls and then migrate to the bed at night to feed on you. You can treat the itch with an antihistamine. Lice inhabit various parts of your body but most commonly your head and pubic area. They can be difficult to treat and you may need numerous applications of an antilice shampoo such as permethrin. Transmission is via close contact with an infected person. Pubic lice are usually contracted...

Muara Teweh

In the heart of Sungai Barito logging country, Muara Teweh is the last river-boat stop, unless the water is high enough to reach Purukca hu. From Purukcahu you can go further north by boat and hire Dayak guides to trek into the northeastern mountains and forest featuring waterfalls, stone carvings and orchids. Climbing Gunung Bondang, a holy peak to some Dayaks, takes a day. Near Gunung Pacungapung, on the border between Central and East Kalimantan, a cement pillar marks the geographic centre...

Upper Mahakam Melak Around

The early morning wail of 4WDs and slosh of mixing concrete drown out bird songs in Melak, far different from fishing villages along the route from Samarinda. Hosting a colourful market on Tuesdays, Melak is a good supply stop for trips further north. Areas surrounding Melak are the real reason to stop here. The orchid reserve at Kersik Luway 16km southwest , particularly noted for black orchids, was badly damaged in the fires of 1997-98. Recovery remains slow. Prime season is around February,...

Lahad Datu

With a small flat area along the bay hemmed in by a large hill, Lahud Datu resembles Sandakan, but its 19th century legacy is pirates, not plutocrats. The nearby village of Tungku was an infamous base for the Lanun brigands, who did a sideline in slave trading. There's still piracy in these waters with speedboats and machines guns rather than schooners and sabres, so stick to land, lubber, and be warned that the waterfront with some ATMs gets deserted after dark. Modern Lahud Datu is an...

Leeches Suckblood

There's just no getting around it if you want to experience Borneo's magnificent tropical rainforests, you're going to encounter leeches. If it's been dry or you happen to visit a relatively leech-free area, you may come to the conclusion that all this talk of leeches is just a way to scare off the greenhorns. But, it's likely that, at some point, you're going to encounter leeches, perhaps lots of them. There are two types of leech in Borneo the common ground-dwelling brown leech and the...

Hepatitis E

Hepatitis E is transmitted through contaminated food and water, has similar symptoms to hepatitis A, but is far less common. It's a severe problem in pregnant women and can result in the death of both mother and baby. There is currently no vaccine, and prevention is by following safe eating and drinking guidelines while you're travelling in Borneo. In 2000, dozens of participants in an Eco-Challenge event held at Borneo Rainforest Lodge in Danum Valley Sabah came down with leptospirosis,...

Kutai National Park

Lauded by wild orangutan buffs, Kutai National Park's 198,000 hectares include coastal mangroves, Indonesia's largest, relatively untouched ironwood forest, plus a wide variety of wild orchids. The park was hit hard by the fires of 1997-98, but has recovered to face renewed threat from illegal loggers and wildcat miners. Kutai is surrounded by energy extraction - coal, oil, gas - and park authorities have enlisted companies in preservation efforts. Besides orangutans, Kutai has at least a...

River Rafting Kayaking

The rivers of Borneo offer scope for exciting river-trips, whether by kayak or raft. Keep in mind that water levels vary significantly throughout the year. Setting out to descend an unknown river in an isolated part of Borneo is a serious and dangerous undertaking indeed. Make sure you know what The'Coral Triangle', in you are getting into and, ideally, bring a local along with experience on the which Borneo is located, river in question. More than a few would-be first-descenders have come...

Sungai Mahakam

The 920km-long Sungai Mahakam provides easy access - by Kalimantan standards - to the natural wonders and traditional communities of southeast Borneo and beyond. Much of the riverbank, especially near Samarinda, bears scars of industrialisation and resource exploitation. Veering onto tributaries and small lakes transports travellers back into jungle and societies that resist the 21st century. Passenger boats leave Samarinda daily at 7am. These kapal biasa are 4m wide and at least four times as...

Transborneo Putussibau To Long Apari

The reasonably fit, ambitious and funded can attempt crossing to East Kalimantan. Trekking experience helps, but even novices are likely to do better than George Muller, the first European to try it. In 1825, Muller crossed the mountain range that now bears his name, then was beheaded. From Putussibau, trans-Kalimantan travel begins by boat to Tanjung Lokan. Then it's five to seven days walking across the Muller Range and pristine forests to the headwaters of Sungai Mahakam at Long Apari. From...

Long Bagun to Long Apari

When conditions allow, kapal biasa from Samarinda reach Long Bagun 350,OOORp, 36 hours , a small setdement with an abandoned longhouse, a decent shop for supplies, and quite basic Penginapan Artomorow r 40,OOORp . Rapids and shallows that restrict access for large vessels have also protected forests to the east and dampened the impact of modernisation. From Long Bagun, travellers can charter boats or trek through the forests. River rapids between Long Bagun and the next major set-dement, Long...

Sungai Kahayan

Central Kalimantan s interior is so far off the tourist track, there aren t even footprints to follow. Isolation has limited modernisation in Dayak villages above Tewah in the headwaters of Sungai Kahayan. Independent travel here is improvised, expensive and sometimes uncomfortable, with excellent Bahasa Indonesia essential. Any route is an adventure. Prices may fluctuate wildly from estimates following. Take a speedboat from Palangka Raya beyond Tewah, then a klotok up Sungai Hamputung to...

Samarinda O

Samarinda Seberang Picture

Hotel Pi rus......................... Internet Caf ...................... H any an i Hotel.................... Hotel MJ............................ JB Hotel............................. To Angkasa Express 500m I DAS 500m Plaza Lembuswana 500m Lempake Bus Terminal 2km Pampa ng 2 6km Kota Bangui3 60km Bontang Okm 30,000Rp offers buffet breakfast and 24-hour room service. JB Hotel 0 737-688 jbhotel_samarinda yahoo.com Jin Agus Salim 16 r 150,000-240,OOORp E New...

Klotok Hire

Klotok travel is a windfall pleasure of visiting Tanjung Puting. These 8m-to-10m houseboats serve as transport, accommodation and restaurant, generally for up to four adults. At night, crews moor well away from settlements, so passengers can enjoy sunsets and wildlife peacefully. Sleep on mattresses on deck under mosquito nets, and wake to the haunting cries of gibbons and lilting songs of sun-birds It s like those tapes of the rainforest, one visitor said. Three days is a reasonable length of...