When life gets a bit dull, and you have the urge to pack your bags and go for an adventure… Well… Just get on a KLOTOK!
Famous by the name “Pulau Seribu Sungai”, Kalimantan has one unique way of transportation that live up to its name.
KLOTOK, a wooden boat used to go down the river, take you on a wild cruise, and exploring one of the island’s hot spot; Tanjung Puting National Park, world’s largest Orangutan conservation center.
On our journey, this time, we took a sizeable two floored Klotok that could take up to 8 passengers. The captain, crew, cook, and our tour guide stayed on the second floor, which also got the bathroom (with shower!), toilet and small pantry.
The first floor got the bridge, the stern, and a quite large multifunction lounge area. On a hot midday, we arranged two knocks down tables and six chairs and changed the whole bar area into a made-up dining room. And when the night came, the crew would lay down the bed in the same area and voila! You got the bedroom.
The bridge was our unspoken lazy kingdom. When we were not trekking the forest, we would roll out the mat there, relaxed and just enjoyed the nature…Not to forget the stern at the back of the ship where we kept our supply of fresh water. This area was even larger than the bridge. Hmm… to be honest, I have never thought that life on a boat, on a vast river, in the wild nature… could be this good.
It was the first time for me seeing the forest as it is, the real jungle, from the heart of Kalimantan. The klotok took us down the rows of Nipah trees and then watched the nature took action as the river parted ways and turned into two different colors of brown and black.
The color of Sekoyer River was naturally dark due to the roots of the trees growing on the riverside. But, although black, the water was amazingly transparent! It kept on calling me to jump down the boat and swim away… which was quite impossible, unless I wanted to swim with crocodiles. Yep, the river was also home to the families of crocs.
So, I had to be content just by watching the gibbons, monkeys and bekantan… also got surprised at times by white heron flying close by, or some birds with bright blue feathers that I did not even know what they called. And most of all, the never-ending amount of butterflies in different sizes and colors… black and white spots, bright yellow, purple…
Life on klotok was really an adventure. From the jaw-dropping scene of misty leaves, the sound of the jungle that brought goose bumps throughout our body, and the urge to sing “we wish you a merry x-mas” whenever we saw fireflies lighting up the trees and made them look like Christmas trees.
And one night, we just lay there, watching the stars that seemed brighter than ever… when it happened. For the first time in our life, we watched shooting stars that went on and on and on… and I remembered thinking “I just saw one of the most remarkable views of the Milky Way, here, in Tanjung Puting…”
Tips & trick travelling on klotok
∙ Wear something thin and comfortable
∙ Bring your snack
∙ Mosquito repellant lotion is a must
∙ Boredom repellent is also a must; books, play cards, etc.
∙ Hit songs on your music player!
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