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This is Indonesia

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    This is Indonesia

    Another country that doesn't have it's own thread on CVF is Indonesia and is my favourite country. Contrary to popular Western perception it is not "just some dirt pore third world country, somewhere in Asia".

    Indonesia is a very large and diverse country, with a population of abt. 240 mill. with more diversification then in Europe. From Arabic descendant in the Ache province to Melanesians in the Mulukas and Papua. There are abt. 300 indigenous ethnic groups who originally spoke different languages, but who now can communicate in one national language, Bahasa Indonesia.
    Only the island of Java, Madura and Bali is densely populated, the rest is fairly lightly populated, especially East Indonesia and Papua.

    Although the GDP is only USD 4,300 per capita, there is a growing middle class. (i.e. has buying power eqv. to western nations, or better) Presently maybe 5 - 10% of the population) Abt. 2-3% of the population is "rich", with buying power exceeding that of the average European or American.
    To put that in context: 10% = 24 Mill. people, or abt. eqv. to all of Scandinavia. 2% = 4.8 Mill. people, or abt. eqv. to the Norwegian population.

    The land area is about 1.920,000 Sq. Km., spread over 16,667 islands, of which abt. 3,000 is inhabited. But, since the Archipelago Principle in the Law of the Seas prevail, Indonesia has territorial right to all the sea areas between the islands. On top of that, the EEZ stretches 200 n.miles, or to the median line, all around the archipelago.

    Distances are also wast; From Sabang in the North West to Merauke in the South East is approx. 3,000 n.miles by the shortest route, which is abt the same as from Southhampton to New York.
    To describe that you know Indonesia is you say; "Sabang ke Merauke".

    The distance from the northernmost Island (Pu. Maru) to the southernmost (Pu. Roti) is approx. 950 n.miles, or the eqv. of North Cape to Lindesnes (Direct line)

    Although Indonesia straddle Equator (4.5 degr. N to 11 degr. S) the diversification in landscape and climate is also quite dramatic, from tropical rain forest from sea level to abt. 1,000 m. Temperate climate to 2,000 m., fairly bare above 3,000 m. and even glaciers at the highest peaks in Papua. (See the "What place is this" thread)

    Don't worry, pictures to follow.

    Handil Dua

    Let me take you away from the tourist places of Bali and bustling Jakarta.

    Warning: All the pictures to follow are shot with a simple "point and press" camera and scanned from old prints, so don't expect High Definition and sharp focus.

    Handil Dua is a small village in the province of East Kalimantan. It serves as a base for the oil and gas exploration in the Mahakam Delta and the offshore fields just off the delta.

    I spent abt. 6 months there back in year 2000, working for Total Indonesie' as Marine Advisor and Trainer. This was my living quarters:

    And to put you in the right mode, here is the view out the window in the morning:

    And the view at dusk:

    The Mess Hall at the Base:

    The Helipad with Marine Office in the background:


      But enough about the Base for now, here is the gate out to Handil Dua Main Street:

      Part of the time there was a curfew due to the trouble that was experienced in Indonesia at the time.

      Handil Dua Main Street and Financial Centre:

      The Main Street was lined with stores of all kinds on one side:

      Inside the Textile shop:

      The General Store:

      There is always somebody that wants their picture taken
      Inside the General Store. A little bit of everything:

      And I mean EVERYTHING:


        My favorite shop, the Sundry Shop:

        A place to sit and watch the world go by:

        And the friendly lady that run it:

        A shy customer that reluctantly accepted a free gift:

        On the opposite side of the road, the base for Komaritim (Stolt Seaways):


          The Clothing shop is at the end of Main Street and into Mean Street:

          So is the local Petrol Station:

          And her regular customers, the Taxi drivers, are waiting for a fare at the local bus and ferry station at the end of Main Street:

          The Mini Buses in the background could get you to Balikpapan in abt. 2 hrs., but was not approved for Total Senior personnel.

          The River ferries transport people in comfort to the various villages up river:

          But if you want to get there fast, take a taxi boat:

          There are those who want even more regular service so they charter their own Crew Boat:


            Love watching those historical shots from Indonesia.
            With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

            Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
            Main page:

            Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.


              Now for "the other side of town". I.e. no asphalt road, since Total only paid for upkeep of the road to and from their Base.

              Here is the dirt road further down from Main Street:

              The Water Truck has arrived:

              Plenty shops and eating places along here:

              The Storm Drains could due with a little cleaning:

              This drain is in a bit better shape:

              That is because it also serves as washing place and to have s**t.


                The back streets are narrow:

                But this one can actually accommodate a car.

                While the purely residential roads are only meant for motorbikes:

                Nice and clean though.

                Housing standard varies from the very primitive:

                Note the Shower arrangement.

                To the modest but adequate:

                I didn't find any pics of the house belonging to the richest guy in town, the "Prawn King". A pink villa with a "statue" of a large Tiger Prawn in front.


                  But TV antennas is a must, regardless of the standard of your house:

                  There was also a some Satellite Disks to be seen already then: (10 years ago)

                  Laundry out for drying is everywhere:

                  One building that is well built, maintained and clean is the Mosque:

                  Golden hour in Handil Dua:

                  Time to head for home after a long day on the river, working in the oil and gas fields:

                  This one is a bit blurry:

                  I was trying to catch how you can get 5 people on one Motor Bike.

                  That should give a inside view into the daily life in an Indonesian village. Although this is not entirely typical of the mostly agricultural villages, which is the norm in Indonesia.

                  PS: Please ignore the date on the prints. All these pictures were taken sometime in year 2000.


                    Just seen this wonderful new thread has appeared while I was away, and you’ve been posting in the Malaysia thread too. This means a pause in our walk in Singapore while I catch up . . .


                      I just LOVE INDONESIA... this country and it's people has a very special place in my heart.

                      As my Indonesian language skills are fading and the years since my last visit is moving further into the past, I long to return some day.
                      With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

                      Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
                      Main page:

                      Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.


                        Through an aquaintance of mine from Indonesia, I came across these wonderful images from Indonesia... some of which are pretty spectacular... they really make me want to go back to Indonesia so badly.

                        The photographer is Nikolay Titov and he has generously allowed me to share his images here with all of you... take a look at his flickr-albums and you will surely be amazed, and if you don't want to go see Indonesia after seeing these, there must be something wrong somewhere....

                        Sample image:

                        Copyright Nikolay Titov.

                        His other albums:

                        Jakarta's Portrait (32 images)

                        Market (54 images)

                        Indonesian transportation (25 images)

                        Paragliding (23 images)

                        Daily photo (343 images)

                        With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

                        Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
                        Main page:

                        Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.


                          My favourite country, Sabang ke Marauke.


                            Ombugge, you said at the beginning: "Don't worry, pictures to follow." But that introduction made all the difference and I, for one, found it really interesting as giving me the background to a country of which I know nothing. Don't apologise for it.
                            This thread has been a fascinating snapshot of one small part of the country and the photos have great atmosphere - I was amused by one of the early ones which seemed to sell everything from bread rolls to a lawnmower! Have you any more views of Sabang ke Marauke? If so post them, please.

                            "To thine own self be true.......
                            Thou canst not then be false to any man."


                              Mahakam River Delta

                              OK, I will continue with more pictures from the same area, the Mahakam River Delta in East Kalimantan (Kaltim), which is on the East side of the island of Borneo, just South of the Equator.

                              Mahakam River is one of the largest rivers on Borneo. It originates in the mountainous boarder area between Indonesia and Malaysia (Sarawak) and is 980 km. long, of which approx. 520 km. is navigable by small river boats and ferries.
                              Here is a link with more facts and figures for those who like to know more about the river:

                              There are many small River Cruise boats playing their trade from Samarinda, here is a link to one of them; if anybody would like to be adventurous and take a trip to visit Dyak Longhouses or Orang Utan sanctuaries along the river.

                              Samarinda is the capital of East Kalimantan Province, which is abt. 48 km. from the river mouth and accessible by fairly large vessel. I don't have any own pictures from Samarinda at hand, so this is lifted from GE:

                              I signed off from my last Cargo Ship at Samarinda back in 1974.
                              Last edited by ombugge; December 22nd, 2011, 10:42.