In my four days trip on Borneo, I visited Kalimantan Barat to Pontianak and Singkawang. Pontianak is the provincional capital of this region, known as Bumi Katulistiwa [The Land of the Equator].
Meanwhile, Singkawang known as ‘Little China’, because reflecting a city in somewhere of China, by their lingo and thousand temples.Singkawang taken from ‘Tengkawang’ [unique plants from Borneo], but Chinese lingo pronounced as Shankouyang.
‘Shankou’ means in front of the mountain or hill, meanwhile ‘Yang’ means sea or ocean. The story begin at 1293, after Ike Mese and Shibi, the famous admirals from Yuan dinasty of Mongol unsuccessfully landed at Singosari [Majapahit, east Java]. Then they make a small fort on the estuary of west Borneo.
It’s become bigger in population after 6th century, and they build a city called Nanga Pinoh. And the culmination of the migration from China [Tiongkok] happened at 18th century. People from Hakka [ke] and Teochiu [Chaozhou] were coming and since then, Singkawang known as ‘Little China’ or ‘Extremely Chinatown’ of Indonesia.
‘Ponti’ is how I called Pontianak city, meanwhile ‘Shankouyang’ is Chinese lingo for Singkawang city. Both are situated on Kalimantan Barat [west Borneo].
Kalimantan [Borneo] is the third-largest island in the world. Situated at the southeast of Semenanjung Malaya [Malay Peninsula] and southwest of Philippines. With Laut Cina Selatan [South China Sea], Laut Sulu [Sulu Sea] and Laut Jawa [Java Sea] around it. Divided by four political regions; Kalimantan [Indonesia] for 736,000 square miles, Sabah and Sarawak [Malaysia] then Kesultanan Brunei [Brunei Darussalam].
And Kalimantan as a region of Republic of Indonesia, divided by 4 provinces; Kalimantan Barat [west], Kalimantan Timur [east], Kalimantan Tengah [central] and Kalimantan Selatan [south].
* picture courtesy of adlisal rivai
Land of the Giants
I am proudly addressed Kalimantan as ‘Land of The Giants’ because primarily Borneo is mountainous with the highest peak Mount Kinabalu [13,455 feet]. With wet climate, hot temperature also rainfall annually, makes the island covered by clouds, that’s why, also known as Land of the Clouds.
West Borneo has tropical climate, with temperature range between 22 – 40 degrees Celcius! It’s according to the characterized as area which has location exactly on the equator line. But the average of rainfall between 2,000 and 3,000 mm per annum.
The abundance of rainfall makes Borneo has many various of flora, nearly 11,000 species of flowering plants. And the vegetation over than 700 species of trees. These tropical forests produces various type of woods, like rattan and tengkawang [illipe nut]. Also plantation, from rubber, coconut, palm, clove ’till white pepper.
Covering by green forestry and finally reach Sungai Kapuas make me so fresh and free …. Sitting on the rock and put the naked feet into the water were very romantic!
* My special thanks for the buddies who accompany me on this memorable trip:
~ Arron Klanjscek [rank #5 Australian Motocross 125 cc] and Bruce Wilkinson [coach and talent-scout of motocrossing]
~ Aep Dadang [National rank #2 grade A] and Irwan Ardiansyah [National rank #1 grade A], Hendra Kumala [National rank #1 grade B]
~ Bang Adlisal, Kak Lala and Andi … the fellow journo and photographers.*