Bangkirai Canopy Bridge
Bangkirai Canopy Bridge Balikpapan Reviews
Bangkira Canopy Bridge Balikpapan Apr 17, 2011
I had lived in Balikpapan since 2004 for almost 5 years and I only finally visited Bangkirai just recently in April 2011. I always thought I had ¬¬time to visit it. It was a conservation forest around 150 km drive from Balikpapan ( 2 hours drive ) towards Samarinda. We rent a car for 250000 Rupiah for a Daihatsu Xenia, enough speed to drive in Kalimantan High Way. There are 2 ways to go there, if you come from down town Balikpapan, it is better to take the Kilo road to Samarinda and the sign is pretty clear that you need to take the left turn on the junction to Samarinda and Bontang. The other way is from Manggar/Batakan which is already 20 km from Balikpapan, drive to the road to Handil and take the left turn to the road to Samarinda. Basically it would end up on the same junction before going up to Bangkirai.
We arrived at Bangkirai parking area around 10 AM, after quiet interesting drive all the way up to the gate. The entrance to the area was very cheap around 3000 rupiah/person plus additional charge for the car. The area has some bungalows for whom fancy to stay overnight and do tracking in the morning. The camping ground is also available. However the weather on the day was quiet hot. There are some water supplies available from the mosque and the toilets.
Bangkirai itself is the name of the tree from Kalimantan/Borneo. The forest park is famous of the canopy bridge which connected better 4 trees. It was maintained under the Indonesia Forestry Department. To reach the canopy bridge it starts with the mini canopy just to cross the small river. To start, it has some tracks which split into 400m tracks which named after the former forestry minister of Indonesia. The track is easy and alot of high straight trees up to 50m height, called Bangkirai. In the rainy season the track could be slippery.
Arriving to the canopy bridge, which was built by American in 1998, it has a wide stopover. The ticket to going up to the bridge is cost 15000 rupiah for Indonesian and 30000 rupiah for foreigner. However it is bargain-able as I told the ticket guy that this bule ( white guy ) has KITAS :p
To be honest with you, I am not a fan of height! And climbing up that decent wooden stairs was pumping my hearth beat. To cross the canopy was even more like fear factor for me, I don’t even dare to look down and the girls had to keep cheering me up that I could make it to cross the canopy. However the view from the canopy was nice, it has 360 degrees view of the forest and also looking down which made me realize I was in 50m height!
Just right after I stepped on the last platform to go down, a little boy 4 years old crossed the canopy happily while his dad was so worried try to follow him from his back. He may not realize how deep what was down there.
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