Getting from Derawan to Tarakan island is an achievement itself. It took us the whole day and we used four different transport options; first we hired a speedboat to get to the mainland. Then we took a Kijang to Berau and there we switched to Tanjung Selor. In Tanjung Selor we boarded another boat to Tarakan island. It can be done in one day, but you have to plan carefully. The above photo was taken during lunch stop on a way to Tanjung Selor. It’s our Kijang driver. I wonder what is the use of this fingernail:)
A port at Tanjung Selor. It pays to get early on the boat as it fills quickly.
Here is the proof for that But still comfortable – for Indonesian standards…
Tarakan is known for its Mangrove reforestation project. When you disembark at the port you can already see the saplings planted around the main pier. The place is a bit chaotic though. My advice – stay calm, do not listen to the touts and head for the main road to catch an angkot (a type of shared minivan), the cheapest way to get around.
We needed to stay one night at Tarakan before we continued our trip across the border to Malaysia. I was glad we did it, because when we got there I noticed that there are thousands of Mudskippers all around the coast.
Bastards were smarter than me! No matter what I did and how long I waited that mudskippers would get out of their hiding holes, they knew I was there! These little crabs were far more easier target.
But finally I got a decent shot – with a help of the local harbour workers. They showed me a half sunken ship where I could hide and wait for them. Well I had a great fun stocking these charming creatures. And so did the locals – they gathered in a big number, observing a silly tourist sneaking around the mud with his camera. They even offered me a bucket of water to wash my muddy feet!
This photo is the last one I took on Indonesian side of Borneo. Small boy is selling fuel which is stored in glass bottles on the left.
Tarakan was fun. We got a luxury room without any windows, rather dampish and mouldy. And we disturbed a colony of cockroaches – poor animals!
And here is some literature we read during our trip: