It was my third coming to Tarakan, a small island at the border line between Indonesia and Malaysia. My first coming was only a transit to Bukat Block, using Beechcraft plane from Balikpapan to Tarakan and a Chopper from Tarakan to the rig. I did not feel any sense of this island, except a crumpled wreckage at the end of the runway of Juata Airport. My second coming actually visited this island, but not for a tour, but the duty to check the readiness of some rigs for drilling operation. At the time, my knowledge of the city is only the hotel, the shopping mall across the street, the boats jetty and Kentucky Fried Chicken.
I have felt lucky on my third coming, by Mandala Air, made me decide to enjoy Tarakan even more. Although my main goal is to check the completeness of drilling equipment, I use my spare time to visit some of the things that makes Tarakan is a tourist destination. I am pleased to find my colleagues to support the plan. That afternoon we went to the Mangrove Forest Tour of Tarakan, to see the original habitat of proboscis monkey. Then look for lai and durian as afternoon snacks. Force the “Indra” or “A Seng” coffee shop on the street Yos Sudarso which almost close to would have us drink a glass of tea tarik and pao.
The words “never ending borneo” in t-shirt that I bought from mangrove forest tour made me want to know more about Tarakan. Unfortunately I do not have time to dig again Tarakan attractiveness. Maybe someday I can return to do it.