From June 23 to June 25 2016, As previous winner of Indosat Wireless Innovation Contest for 6 times, i was invited as a speaker at Universitas Tanjungpura Pontianak. I requested to extend my trip for another day, planned a day trip to Singkawang. The beaches between Pontianak and Singkawang are very beautiful, quiet, definitely unspoiled from tourist. And while pontianak doesn’t have particular characteristic, Singkawang, a small city located by 3 hours drive from Pontianak, doesn’t not dissapoint. Keep read on to see where beautiful beaches, delicious food and dessert these two cities has to offer.
Thursday, June 23, My Garuda Airways landed at Bandara Supadio Pontianak at 10:30. Funny thing is, since the airport is so small, and only has one runway and one taxi way to the plane parking area, after landing, the plane had to take a U turn and took the same runway to return to the terminal. lol.
Also speaking in the event is Rey from Snapcart and Kevin from Dicoding, and they are on the same plane with me. We were picked up by Kompas Gramedia person (Mas Agung), and he brought us to Tugu Khatulistiwa. So Pontianak is also known as Khatulistiwa city as its location is intersecting with Khatulistiwa line. Being so, its HOT in here and the driver says it can go up to 41 degree celcius hot!
There is really not much to mention about Tugu Khatulistiwa. They keep the original Tugu inside a dome that also has some explanation of the Tugu and its history.
THen after, we went to the Tanjungpura University and waited until the event started at around 1:30pm. After series of speaker from the university representative, Rey and Kevin, i delivered my presentation about ‘How to develop and idea.. that can win IWIC’. My presentation is about how easy to find an idea of building apps by first deciding whats the ‘object’ that will cause ‘background problem’. i’ve uploaded the slide below, its not wordy as it was meant to be presented, not read.
Actually all the students were very excited, they asked basic question, very loud when laughing and some of them are actually pretty confidence while delivering their speech. This is as expected since tech / startup event like this are not common in the city.
The event finished at 7.00pm and we went to Jalan Merdeka to try Sotong Pangkong, a culinary that is only popular during Ramadan month. Sotong Pangkong is basically seasoned squid, made dry, grilled then hammered till tender. Its served with chilli and peanut sauce. The squid taste similar to Juhi, but rather bland. Dipping it to the tangy and spicy peanut sauce gives it better taste.
After Sotong, we tried the famous Kwetiau Polo. I ordered half-portion and it taste just okay, a bit too wet for my liking.
Lastly, we went to Pasar PSP, Pusat Oleh-Oleh Pontianak (souvenir shops center). As far as the 200 meter streets, lined are plenty of shops selling souvenirs such as traditional shirts and snacks, but there is only one shop that is very famous, called ASIA. I purchased some snacks, candies and Lidah Buaya Drinks. I think the price is rather expensive compare to Jogjakarta / Bandung souvenirs shops.
For the night, i stayed at Santika Hotel. Its rather old hotel but have nice free facilities such as sauna, jacuzzi and big gym (which i really enjoyed the next evening).
Friday, June 24.
Its a Trip to singkawang day! i had booked a car + driver for Rp. 500,000. The price exclude gasoline and the driver refilled the gas for only Rp. 150,000. My driver, Pak Wawan, was very friendly and polite. I explained my plan of where to visit and eat to them. The trip between Pontianak and Singkawang can take about 3,5 hours, but i stretched that time because i made several stop to the beaches. As it was weekdays, all the beaches were practically EMPTY from any human! making it feels like private beach.
I See: Kijing Beach
its the closest beach to Pontianak, the entry cost is Rp. 10,000 per person. The highlight of the beach is the iconic white wooden bridge.
I see: Pantai Pasir Panjang (or Long Sand Beach)
is more expensive at Rp. 20,000 per person. The name is derived from its loong white sandy beach. It also has a wooden bridge that makes a good photo composition
I see: Tanjung Bajau Beach
is the most expensive at Rp. 35,000 per person. the complex does not offer only beaches, but also small zoo, theme park (that wasn’t operating when i came), hotel, resorts and.. far better beaches than the previous two. It also has hills that has view of coastlines and singkawang city. Tanjung Bajau Beach is located right before entering Singkawang City.
I arrived at Singkawang around 12:30, its really a small city, its like trapped in time, dated back to 1970s, with old indochina architecture building. Singkawang is mostly populated by Chinese – Hindhu decent. Its a city of hundreds of colorful Vihara, and fusion of Indonesian food with chinese touch.
I Eat: Bakso Sapi 68 at Jalan Diponegoro
Its meatball soup with tofu and sliced beef. The meatball has bouncy consistency, soft texture, but the meaty taste felt lacking. Nothing worth mentioning from its tofu and sliced beef as well, however, the broth is excellent. For a drink i ordered Tofu Water, which apparently is sweetened soy milk (Tofu is also made of Soy).
I see: Masjid Raya Singkawang
its beautiful piece of building right in the heart of Singkawang. Its green color stands out among other dull looking old building. the two tower are perhaps the highest building in the city
I see: Vihara Tri Dharma Bumiraya
This oldest and small vihara is located in the intersection of 5 streets! making it the center of the city! My driver told me that during Imlek or Cap Go Meh, the main celebration (or prayer) is held at this Vihara. There are plenty of Dragon Ornament in this vihara
I eat: Rujak Mangga of Thai Phui ji
Finding this small street vendor is not easy! its one of the corner of Hongkong Street, make sure you search it in Google map. But it surely is very popular as most table were seated when i arrived.
Rujak Mangga is not ordinary rujak! shredded mango with shrimp (ebi) spicy sauce served with Emping crackers on top. The tangy mango taste blend perfectly with salty ebi sauce, the emping cracker is slightly overfried, leaving a burnt taste. i ordered half portion but its still plenty to finish. The tablet next to me ordered a plate of Emping Crackers with peanut sauce. because the emping cracker is THAT good
I Eat: Es Campur khas Singkawang of Thai Phui Ji
Black Jelly, Red bean, Fermented Cassave, Grass Jelly with Soy Milk, served with shredded ice and chocolate syrup. The portion is huge and very fulfilling.
I see: Dragon Statue
Its an iconic symbol of Singkawang, built at intersection of four roads, the golden dragon statue is encircling a lamp post, facing a green hill at far away. The street was very quiet and i can take the photo of the status from middle of the street without worrying a speeding car will hit me.
I see: Vihara Budhi Dharma
This is the biggest vihara at Singkawang, and the most recently built at 5 months old. And this is perhaps the most beautiful vihara i’ve ever seen in my life, check out the bright colours and ornaments. Plus, its very well taken care of and spotless clean.
I Eat: Bakmi Kering Haji Amman
As i was full already, i ordered half portion of Bakmi Kering Campur (Chicken + Beef), yet the portion is still quite big with generous topping of tofu, shrimp cake, fried wonton, sliced beef, seasoned diced chicken, egg. A portion cost Rp. 25,000.
I Eat: Chai Kue Sak Kok (also known as Choi Pan)
This place is slightly outskirt of Singkawang and is very difficult to find without google map as it has no sign and the entrance street is very small and looks like residential area. Type in ‘Chai Kue Sak Kok’ in google map. Chai Kue is Indo Chinese dishes, authentic to Pontianak / Singkawang. Its similar to wonton but the filling they offer here are vegan-friendly: Chives, Bengkoang and bamboo shoot. Each piece are Rp. 2,000. The filling taste very fresh, and the crispy garlic on top is really kicking the taste. very delicious!
I see: Vihara on the rocks, Vihara Fuk Tet Chi
This Vihara is slightly evelated and built on top of rocks.It was opened since 2015. Again, just like all other Vihara at Singkawang, this one is also very well maintained, and spotlessly clean everywhere. My driver said that the caretaker live inside the rocks
I see: Sunset At Tanjung Bajau Beach
it was 4.30 and had nothing else to do at Singkawang, so i headed back to Tanjung Bajau, apparently i don’t have to pay for re-entry, showing previous ticket (of the same day) is good enough to get through for free. I waited for sunset at the rocky beaches, now that the tide had risen, some smaller rocks are no longer visible, and the waves are crashing into rocks. I was there, alone, no one else, no other sounds, just me, waves crashing and sometime flying bird chirping.. it was VERY PEACEFUL.
Then we hit the road for another 3 hour trip back to Pontianak, make a short stop at
I Eat: Pengkang at Desa Peniti
Pengkang is grilled glutonious rice with dried shrimp wrapped in banana leaf. mine was served with clams spicy sauce. The Pengkang is below average i think, it lacks taste and dried shrimp are too little. The clams sauce has nothing to mention about. Each pengkang cost Rp. 9,000 (2 pieces per portion), and the clams spicy sauce cost Rp. 30,000
THen i arrived back at Santika Hotel at 9pm. I made use of the Sauna facilities, but refrained from using hot Jacuzzi because i didn’t bring swim shorts
Saturday, June 25.
Last day at Pontianak, with not much plan to do. I headed to the gym in the morning for treadmill run and some weight lift (its always feels good to sweat in the morning). Then i checked out at 12:30am.
The problem with Pontianak is.. it doesnt have public transportation, no bus, no mini bus, not even official taxi. The only way to travel around is using rented car + driver which cost 70 – 100k per hour, or 500 – 600k per day. There is no UBER yet in the city, however, it has a working alternative! i found this in Google, the service is called Trippy, which can be downloaded at Google Play and iTunes Store. It works similar to UBER, but the pricing is very expensive. Almost twice as much as UBER Jakarta! and it has minimum fare of Rp. 25,000
Anyway, using the service, i went to Es Krim Angi, which is famous for its homemade ice cream.
I ordered Ice Cream on Coconut Shell, i chose Cempedak, Jackfruit and Chocolate Ice Cream. The ice cream taste simple but excellent! not too sweet but very well flavoured.
Then i headed to the airport, using Trippy for Rp. 99,000. The airport is about 40 – 60 minutes ride, and i arrived at 16:00pm, but my plane is scheduled to take off at 20:30, and the check in gate will only open at 18:15. So that’s a long time to wait!
While waiting, i found this little gem, a dessert shops called TOFU. it sells dessert using Bean Curd as base ingredient. I ordered Cookies Soy Bean Ice Cream with Oat Crunchies on top, and it was surprisingly good!
Later i found out that my plane is delayed to 21:30 :|. i waited at the Gapura Lounge (Thanks to my Mandiri SKYZ for the free lounge access) until they call us for boarding.
So.. very nice trip! Although Pontianak really has nothing to offer, but Singkawang and all the beaches of West Kalimantan are absolutely beautiful. Someday, i’ll make another visit to northern part of West Kalimantan.