Here I will talk about my experience having a business trip to Samarinda & Balikpapan, Kalimantan. It was happened in January 2014. I spent 3 days in these beautiful cities. You could check my first flight experience to Kalimatan via Garuda Indonesia in previous post. But promise me that you will not laugh me *grin*
A car picks us up to go to one Balikpapan’s dealer, our customer. Then we go went to have lunch. Yeaay. I did not remember the name of the restaurant (sorry again). Since I did not really like complicated food, I mean food with too many seasoning, so I just took some pieces of fish and tumis kangkung. There were much kind of fish, I could not remember well. I just kept eating. Hahahhaa. The taste is not really strange, taste familiar. You know, we can find grilled fish everywhere, right?
There were still lots of food. Special dish of Kalimantan also. I only tried common food like fried calamari and prawn. Wooow they tasted really delicious, and full of cholesterol for sure. Aiissh, I could not stop (Ohtokee). This not happen every day, so just enjoys it. One of dealer bosses sang some songs, Hahaha they were so friendly. Their teams welcome us very well. Like old friend that had not been met for years. Very warm. I felt really into them although I am newbie in this business.
So after Balikpapan, I went to Samarinda. My task was stock opname in Samarinda’s dealers. Pak H, one of boss of the dealer accompanied us, me and Pak R, my stock opname partner. Hehe
So here we go, the journey started, with Escudo. I hope I will be fine until the stock opname end. Yap, the goal of this business trip was to do yearly stock opname. Along the way to Samarinda from Balikpapan, there were only forest, forest, and forest again. What I only find another than forest was the only resting point, Rumah Makan Tahu Sumedang, in Jalan Raya Balikpapan-Samarinda. That place were very crowded with customers. The owner must be very happy, huh? I thought it only sell tahu (tofu), however later I saw that they serve various menus. Tahu Sumedang is the special menu. I heard that the staff and the owner were come from west Java.
Well, Pak H and Pak R bought some drinks. I still had my mineral water so I did not buy another. The journey continued. Oh, it felt like forever. I started getting dizzy. You know, the road there is winding. I kept praying not to get car sick. Finally, we reached Samarinda after 3 hours drive. Wow, that was Samarinda. Quite different with Balikpapan. Samarinda look like Jakarta, crowded and dusty, but still less traffic than Jakarta. Different from Balikpapan, very clean, organized and calm. Even I heard that the road is mopped every day in Balikpapan. No wonder then if they have such beautiful city.
Once we arrived at the dealer, we started working. Count the item on by one. We went from one dealer to another. Two beautiful ladies from the dealer and Pak H help me. Very tiring (sleepy). I started feeling dizzy again at 8 pm. Oh, I was draining. I stop the counting for a while. A kind staff of the dealer made me a glass of tea. I felt little bit better. After half an hour resting, we started counting again. Only one more dealer left. I was very excited to get this done today. Today’s stock opname ended at 10pm. Hufffttt very long day. We met with Pak R team in a dining place. Actually I don’t really want to eat at that time. However, I have to eat, I am afraid will get sick if I didn’t care my body well.
After a short dinner and warm chitchat, pak H escorted me and Pak R to Grand Victoria Hotel. The receptionist asked me to pay advance cost, and I don’t really realize how much the rate of the room. She wanted IDR 600,000 from me. After signing the register form, I went to my room in 4th floor. While walking to my room, I tried to remember the number written in the register form. Oh my God, I was very sleepy and I did not understand well the agreement there. Wow, finally I remember. It was around IDR 600,000 per night for deluxe room. Ya Alloh, I was surprised and could not stop thinking about it. How to pay? The rate excessed the limit that covered by company!! I was really worried (then I knew that it could be covered with boss approval, yeay).
The room was very nice. No wonder if the rate is expensive for me. It was completed with air con, paid tv channel, bath up. The bed was large. Very suitable for newly married. Hahahahaa (can’t wait to get married). However I felt little bit scared. The hall way in front of my room was very quiet. No people pass come and go. Am I the only one in this floor?? Hooooo.. I did not used to sleep with light on. However for this time, I had to keep the light on. And I set the tv volume loudly. I sleep right after connect to wifi. To get connected. You know, I could not get good connection on my tablet all day with that provider, Xl. So only telkomsel works well here. Of course, no need to ask more (service works with cost).
In the middle of the night I heard a strange sound. Like people hitting something. OOhhhh, I got more scared and try my best to close my eyes and continue my sleep. When I woke up in the morning, I feel really hungry. Very very hungry. I got dressed and get ready to go to hotel restaurant in the highest floor. Before that I take a sneak peek into the room beside my room. I saw that the room was renovated. Ohhh.. I felt relieved. So the strange sounds came from this room. The sound of renovating staff. Hmm, I think I will sleep tightly tonight since I know that there were human beside my room. Hahaha funny huh why guest love noise when they are resting in hotel.
I went to buffet place, waiting for Pak R to have breakfast together. But he got little bit sick so he woke up late. I could not get much food here, there were not many choices to eat. So just eat whatever there. Hahahhaa. I did not find any special thing in the buffet.
So today, after finishing stock opname in dealer warehouse, we went to Tenggarong. I was really curious how Tenggarong looks like. I heard that this place is very prosperous. What kind of people who stay there? However, the journey to get there was not easy. The road was very very winding. Oh I felt my stomach started queasiness. Once again, I try my best not to get car sick. I know, actually the most important thing to avoid the car sick is not thinking about car sick or queasiness. So we have to order our brain to think about the other topic. So I struggle with that feeling. Tried to forget that my stomach felt something. I saw the view outside the car. Lots of cliff and mining. I tried to enjoy them. But unfortunately, I could not help it, my car sick. We stopped for a while, to give time and place for me to puke. Oh what a shame. But again, they were very kind. Patiently wait and take care of me.
We have to cross Mahakam river to get to Tenggarong, it took about 15 minutes. The cost to was around IDR 15,000 to IDR 20,000 for each car. The ship leave for Tenggarong once the it full. Actually, Samarinda and Tenggarong used to have a bridge connecting them. But unfortunately, the bridge fell in 2011. So today, people here use the ship to get to Tenggarong.
When I arrived in Tenggarong, I see the situation around there. What makes this place special. Hmm.. clean? Yes. What thing that shows prosperity? Hhmm.. no beggar there. And lots of car there. But motorcycle also could be found easily. Then I ask one of the dealer staff, he live in Tenggarong. He said that Tenggarong is very prosperous , indeed. The resident here live happily with enough financial support. the public servant has good benefit and subsidy better than other places. Education is also easy. If the resident did not have enough money to fund their children education, they can ask for help to the Tenggarong government, I heard that they can directly ask to the Regent (Bupati). And one more, everyone will get angpao every Idul Fitri. Hmm.. now I know why this place is special. I wish another place in Indonesia could follow good example of this place. No more corruption, no more poor people, everyone deserves good education for their live. I wish…
We had lunch with rawon. Long time no see rawon. I did not remember when the last time I ate rawon. Oh I really miss rawon. As I remember, I did not eat rawon since I move to West Java. Wow, it was almost 2 years for no rawon. The rawon there was so delicious. They said that the owner was really from east Java. No wonder if their rawon meet my taste, hahaha.
After delicious rawon, we headed back to Samarinda. But before that a friendly friend from Samarinda’s dealer brings us to see the regent’s house. Wow very very big house. Then we also go to ex kutai kingdom king house. Now it is a souvenir center. The souvenir were so beautiful so you have to be careful. Control your money. Hehehe.. I got a beautiful stone bracelet for IDR 40,000. You know, Kalimantan is popular with stone jewelry. Other than that, I bought a daster (cozy cloth for my mum) and a pair of cloth for Haura, my nephew.
We arrived in Samarinda at around 4pm. Yes, it missed the initial plan, 3pm. But no problem then. We leave for Balikpapan and again, I could not help from car sick. I puke for three times before arriving in Balikpapan. We ate kepala ikan (fish head) that was very popular here. Since I am not a fanatic of fish, I just thought that the taste is so so. I mean, it is good taste, but nothing different from another fish that I found in Java.
In Balikpapan, I stayed in Swiss Bellin, the building was smaller than Grand Victoria in Samarinda, but somehow it was cozier. The lobby, the restaurant, the room, was smaller, but again, it was cozier than previous place where I stayed. It was not scary. The place was lively. So I could sleep well even without tv sound and renovating sound beside my room. Alhamdulillah.
Oh, you might remember that my room rate was almost over the limit of cash advance. So how I solve it? Hahahaa maybe it will make me sounds stingy, but willy nilly, inevitably, I had to get smart idea to prevent me covering the room rate. Well, fortunately, my another colleague, a girl, she stayed with her relatives in Balikpapan and doesn’t sleep at hotel for that night. I took the chance to stay without paying. Hahahhaaa. I ask her if I could stay in her unused room. Actually Swiss Belinn rate was not really expensive. Only around IDR 300.000. Ahhhh, it was the same type of room, deluxe. The room was smaller, with almost same facilities, like king bed, tv, and bathroom. No bath up this time. I also did not used to use bath up (I did not know how to use bath up). In business trip, I don’t think I need bath up since all I want to finish taking a bath soon, then sleep, hahahaa. Overall, I really recommend Swiss Bellin for a place to stay. It really meet my taste. Minimalis but the service is excellent. One more thing, the breakfast buffet was so delicate. At least I feel satisfy with the menu. I took mi ayam (chicken noodle). So classis, yeepp. With some glasses of juices. I love the idea of the juice.
The bathroom was so beautiful, cozy and smart I think. You know, it is not too wide, but everything we need was there, very functional. It was around 4 square meters. I think I could follow this example to arrange my bathroom to be more beautiful. Unfortunately I didn’t take picture of it. There were shower, mirror and basin, hanger with some clean towel. Complete, huh? Functional with limited space. Lovely.
On the next day, after checking out, we went to go to “Penangkaran Buaya”. This the place to protect and raise crocodiles. Such as crocodile farm I think. The place is quite far from our hotel. It takes about an hour to reach there. The ticket cost is quite cheap, less than Rp 20.000. Sorry I don’t remember well. Wow there were many crocodiles there with various size and type. We tried to see how they eat. We bought 2 live chicken and throw them away to the crocodile cage. Wow.. I could only say that it is scary seeing the chickens were eaten very quickly.
Next, we went to market to buy souvenirs, of course.
That was Pasar Inpres Kebun Sayur. The product is very complete. I got some t-shirts with “Kalimantan” written on it. I also bought necklaces with very affordable price. These were stone necklace. It is quite long, around 50cm. I paid Rp 30.000 for them. Very cheap, right?
Finally, that was my story of visiting Kalimantan. I brought lots of souvenirs and very happy with my purchase. Roti durian is great. Kerupuk kuku macan is also yummy and irresistible. The accessories is super cheap. Wow..
See you on next post guys..