Sunday, 3 April 2016

Adventure At Bangkirai Hill Rainforest And Canopy Bridge, Indonesia

The adventure of the rainforest jungle. I had amazing adventure walking on the treetop walkway and Canopy Bridge, what an amazing adventure I have when visited Canopy Bridge, Bukit Bangkirai (Bangkirai Hill), East Kalimantan, Indonesia. I feel like I'm Tarzan jumping one tree to another tree. Or like Indiana Jones searching for a treasure.

On my way to Tenggarong from Balikpapan, I decided to visit Bangkirai rainforest Canopy Bridge, located 58 km from Balikpapan. Bukit Bangkirai is part of Kutai Kartanegara District, in East Kalimantan Province. There is no public transport from Balikpapan to Bangkirai rainforest Canopy Bridge. So most of the visitors have to rent a car from Balikpapan or Samarinda. If you come from Jakarta, take a flight to Balikpapan or Samarinda.If you plan to visit from Jakarta, take a fligh to Balikpapan or Samarinda.

The road from Balikpapan to Bukit Bangkirai is quiet smooth, and after two-hour drive, my friend and I arrived in Bukit Bangkirai. Next we had to drive through a rough road about 15 km to get into the entrance of the Bangkirai canopy Bridge. The entrance fee is Rp. 3,000 for adult and Rp. 1,500 for kids. After we parked the car, I went to the Canopy Walk ticket counter to buy a ticket which is Rp. 20,000 for domestic and Rp. 50,000 for foreigners. 

There are many routes you can take to go to the Canopy Bridge, but a short walk from the entrance is the highlight. The Canopy Bridge is high up in the forest canopy. 
For the note that the only toilet in the area is located at the entrance only, so you'd better go to the toilet before exploring the forest and the bridge.

It’s so much fun walking through this narrow road, as I can most of the trees in this rainforest dominated by trees more than 150 years old, and the height about 45-50 meters. Some trees had been adopted which we can see the adopter name on the sign. 

After the 1st 150 meters walk, we entered to the 2nd road, only 300 meters to go before we arrive at Canopy Bridge. The length of the road it just 450 meters, since the path is going up through the forest, and also has narrow and slippery steps, you must be careful. 
On the way to the bridge, we found the trees with hanging rope, so my friend tried swing like Tarzan….. But it’s not as easy as to swing as Tarzan did, because I think he needs to diet…

Finally… Here you are the amazing bridge….
The bridge was built in 1998 from imported materials from the USA. The only local material used was the timber.  It’s connected 5 big trees around 30 meters above the ground level. This is the first canopy bridge in Indonesia, the second in Asia and the eighth in the world.  

Before going up to the bridge, there are rules that you need to obey, it's written in Indonesian and English. Walking along the canopy walk is so amazing, from the canopy we could see the rainforest with huge trees and feel the fresh air; the sounds of many different birds singing. If you are lucky, you may spot hornbills, gibbons, leaf monkeys, macaques and maroon langur monkeys.  

To really appreciate all there is to see I suggest bringing binoculars. We didn't, and it was hot, so the was not too much wildlife to see. But it was still worthwhile walking along this canopy walk, enjoying the rainforest view and the beautiful sounds of birdsong.

On the way back to the parking lot, we took a different road, and enjoyed the rain forest insects sound from the ground, and found some beautiful butterflies

The best times to visit would be the early morning or late afternoon when the forest comes alive.  

Do not try it in the rainy season. If the weather is too treacherous the bridge is likely to be closed, so it is always best to check beforehand.

Remember this is a rainforest. Weather patterns can change rather quickly.  So don’t forget the rain jacket, lots of water to drink and some very good insect repellent are a must.

If the visitor need a place to stay in this area, they have cottage that built with a woods and cozy. 

Happy traveling.....

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