We’re Famous! BIWA’s Biking Group Caught on Camera

Indonesia’s Independence Day, August 17, is right around the corner, and the streets festooned with mini Indonesian flags and garlands of red and white painted party cups make this a fun time to stroll or bicycle through the villages (“kampungs”). This Wednesday, the BIWA cycling group did just that.   Bike rides with the Balikpapan…

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Hiking Bukit Dinding off Samarinda Road, Kilometer 45

Bukit Dinding (Wall Hill) is a stunning backbone of boulders arching above East Kalimantan’s rain forest, about an hour and twenty minute’s drive from downtown Balikpapan. Pak Yayan has been telling us about this place for months, and since Sam had a weekend off to go further from camp, we said, “Let’s do it!” Now, the title…

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Cycling through Kalimantan’s Rubber Tree Plantations

Cycling around Balikpapan is all kinds of fun, but perhaps the best part of it is the random field trip encountered during these rides, like riding through rambutan plantations, watching mussels gleaned at low tide and then smoked, visiting a farmer harvesting seaweed for sale to cosmetic industries, or, as was the case this Sunday, cycling…

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Cycling the Appian Way

My earlier post about the holy month where we currently live got me thinking of my own favorite time of year: Christmas! And though I am not Catholic, I especially love the way Catholics celebrate Christmas until Epiphany, January 6. Because otherwise, it’s kind of a bummer, right? There’s all this to-do leading up to…

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A day at Manggar Beach, Kalimantan Indonesia (East Borneo)

Manggar Beach lies about 21 kilometers east of downtown Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, and though it isn’t even close to the white sand and crystal blue waters of one’s dreams, it’s got something else to offer that’s completely unique. Try visiting on a Sunday afternoon when bizarro homemade, self-propelled paragliders weave treacherously between picnicking families, girls…

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Cycling Trip from Balikpapan to Penajam: 7 bikes and a boat!

One of the best things about living in Balikpapan is the stupendous, completely original, I-can’t-believe-I-get-to-do-this-on-a-regular-basis! cycling here. One recent experience was a group ride from Balikpapan’s Kampung Baru (also known as “Water Village”) to Penajam, a village across the Balikpapan Bay, where back roads lead through idyllic little plantations of tapioca, water farms filled with fish,…

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A Flying Pigeon in the Hand is Worth Two in the Factory

*This article on my experience locating and purchasing a genuine Flying Pigeon bicycle in Tianjin, China was published in JIN Magazine’s January issue, and re-posted on the government’s tourism site, exploringtianjin (dot) com.* Due to word-count limit however, I wasn’t able to provide as much history on Tianjin’s famous Flying Pigeon bicycle as I would have…

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