Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Glance of Balikpapan

I keep thanking God for all of the magic God had done to me so far. This week I got a chance to go to Balikpapan for FREE. As in the transportation as well as the accomodation. I have a plan visiting Balikpapan after graduation, just because I haven’t been to Borneo Island, and fact that (from what I’ve browse) there are so many interesting places there.

So, when TOTAL E&P gave us the opportunity, they called us for job interview, it’s a yay-ness for me. Balikpapan is 2 hours flight from Jakarta, and its time difference is 1 hour earlier than Jakarta.

The GA 516 finally landing on Sepinggan Airport, Balikpapan. It was 4.55 pm Balikpapan time and the weather is quite friendly. Not too windy yet not too hot either. After picked our baggage, we looked for the hotel car that already waited for our coming. We stayed at Pacific Hotel for 4 days, and it’s quite a good hotel, with a not so bad service either.

Sepinggan Airport, Balikpapan
Day 1 we didn’t go anywhere. The first thing in the morning tomorrow we’ll have panel interview with user, technical interview. So after dinner, we decided to go back to our room and studied. The next day, we leave hotel at 7 am (yeah, that is soooooo early!) and get ready for the interview. I got the first turn. The interview was quite stressing, because there are 6-9 person asking about technical stuffs. We all went back to the hotel on exhausted stress mode.

Luckily, I got some friends here in Balikpapan. So to relieve my stress, I call them to hangout with me. So Rachmad picked me, and after that we picked Cindy at her workplace in Pasar Baru, and then Dita at her house near Tri Darma University. We had dinner at Bandar Klandasan. Since Balikpapan is a city surrounding by sea (and oil), there are lots of restaurant or café with a sea side view (and you get to see the offshore oil rig platform as well). It was fun. The next day Dita and Cindy picked me at TOTAL office and they took me to Balikpapan Beach Club, again, it’s another sea side restaurant, but this one had a very beautiful decoration and view. Too bad we don’t make it there by sunset, it’s dark already when we get there. Dita said it has very beautiful scenery by sunset. I should check on it another time.
Balikpapan Beach Club

Round two we continue our culinary trip to Palm Hills. As it named, the place is on the hill, inside a housing called (okay I forgot the name). It’s a buffet and each person paid Rp 30,000 all you can eat. Not bad, huh? Well there are not many choices for the food but it’s alright. After sea side view, you get to see hill view. The restaurant decoration is also beautiful. It feels like we’re in the garden and there’s also an art gallery so we can see lots of beautiful paintings.

Day 4, last day before our plane to Jakarta leaves at 5.40 pm Balikpapan time. After breakfast and packing, we went to Kebun Sayur Market to buy some souvenirs. Funny thing is, eventhough the name is Kebun Sayur which means Vegetable Farm in English, it’s a market that sells jewelries, clothes, bags, and other souvenirs. I don’t even know if this market really sells any veggies. We went there by public transportation, in Bandung we called it “angkot”, but here they called it “taksi”. Public transportation in Balikpapan is very easy to get. By “taksi” you can go anywhere with Rp 3000 according to its route, just like Jakarta’ busway. I also see some “ojek”.

Kebun Sayur Market

After bought souvenirs, we planned to stopped by at the Kemala Beach near the harbor before went back to hotel. Cindy said it’s one of beautiful beaches in Balikpapan that is reachable from the hotel. Entrance ticket is only Rp 1000 per person, and when we get there on midday, it was very quiet. Only two people playing with the water and sands and some men having their lunch in the café. After playing with the sands and take some pictures, we went back to the hotel and prepared for our flight back to Jakarta.
Kemala Beach

Overall, Balikpapan is an amazing city. There are sea and beaches, but it also has hills. Weather is okay, public transportations are easy to get, lots of culinary places to try, I saw some malls, just haven’t visited any of those yet. I hope I can go back there, one day, or maybe if I got the job (amen).
Bye, Balikpapan!

PS: But nothing beat my hometown, Bandung ;)


donidanika said...

Balikpapan is the best city to live... its pluralism, its political stability, its economic growth... the only thing is that Balikpapan lack of great High School & University, thus we send our kids to Bandung :D

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