Sungai Kapuas

Sungai Kapuas

Click to Enlarge !

KAPUAS-800

Indonesia’s longest river, Sungai Kapuas begins in the foothills of the Muller Range and snakes 1143km to the sea. Unlike the Mahakam, however, there is no kapal biasa to make your way upstream from Pontianak, nor are the views as good, as the forests of the lower Kapuas have been heavily logged and developed. Buses have replaced boats as the primary means of transport all the way to Putussibau, via unremarkable Sintang. Thus, for the traveller the primary area of interest lies upriver, in the area known as Kapuas Hulu (upper Kapuas), half of which is now a protected area.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/indonesia/sungai-kapuas

Sukadana

Sukadana

Click to Enlarge !

Sukadana-800

After Pontianak, Sukadana is a most welcome surprise, all the more so because few people seem to know about it. Half the fun is just getting there, via a wonderful four-hour river trip by longboat from Pontianak. After travelling down the Kapuas, all bets are off as to what the route actually is, as no published map reflects it. You enter a tributary which eventually broadens into a lake, Warah Kubu, full of attractive jungle-covered hills and various islands. Along the way you stop for lunch at a scenic riverside warung serving world-class fried chicken. Then you’re back in the region known as Teluk Air, which contains a vast and largely uninhabited mangrove swamp. Finally you reach a broad bay on the South China Sea and skirt the coastline, passing Batu Daya, where a vertical wall of rock soars in the distance. Sukadana is hidden in a fold of this coastline. As you round a corner, its major landmark, the Makhota Kayong, appears suddenly, making you wonder how a huge hotel built on pilings over the water can exist this far from anywhere. You then enter a horseshoe-shaped bay with an attractive beach surrounded by rolling hills of green jungle. Add nearby Gunung Palung National Park and some offshore islands to explore, and you have the makings for an excellent getaway. The new BNI ATM adds the final essential element (accessible 8am to 3pm Monday to Friday, but knock and, reportedly, the 24-hour guard will let you in any time).

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/indonesia/sukadana

Pontianak

Pontianak

Click to Enlarge !

Pontianak_tone-800

Standing astride the equator, Pontianak is a gateway to all points of the compass: Putussibau (east), Singkawang (north), Sukadana (south) and Natuna (west). Commerce keeps things buzzing, but the city is otherwise a grey jumble, brightened only by some inexpensive luxury hotels and lukewarm sights.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/indonesia/kalimantan/pontianak