20 Sep - 23 Sep 2013 Bengkayang

Republic of Indonesia (CPI = 32/100 and BPI = 7.1/10.0) 
West Kalimantan aka Kalimantan Barat (KalBar)
Jalan Perwira 2
Hotel Ridho +62562441546
Adequate double room (no. 20) with fan, private bathroom (bak mandi) and clean enough Asian squat loo for IDR 100,000.- or US$ 8.75 per night.
Friendly, young Dayak staff; reasonable English.
Beer: 330-ml cans of refrigerated Korean/Malaysian Dester Premium Pale Lager (c. 5.0 % alc./vol.) for only IDR 10,000.- or US$ 0.90 per can from any of the clever and smiling Hakka grocers in the town centre.

Click below for an interactive road map of the Hotel Ridho in Bengkayang and for directions:
N 00° 49.19' E 109° 28.95'

Matt: Walking around and exploring Bengkayang’s quirky town centre (i) with its busy Dayak morning market aka pasar pagi, (ii) the adjacent old and new Hakka shophouses with their multitude of grocery shops and (iii) the riverside slums along Sungai Sebalo, basically a natural sewer and probably a health hazard for rats, chatting with friendly urbanites and relieving the fatigue from my feet with the help of cheap Ankers and Desters over ice on the daily night market aka pasar malam (where I seemed to be the only pedestrian among at least hundreds of motorised two wheelers, in a country where probably each person above 14 years of age owns his or her personal scooter or motorcycle).

Matt: Agreeing with Henry Miller (“…one’s destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things…”) and establishing a simplified ethno-political model of West Kalimantan: (i) the Malay Indonesians, together with Muslim imports from Java, pray in their mosques to Allah, work mostly for the government and have the power to print money, (ii) the majority of Christian Dayak have neither much money nor much power but receive benefits and handouts from the government in exchange for loyalty, they take comfort in Catholic and Protestant churches and spend their money in the Chinese shops, (iii) the Chinese efficiently run their family businesses, generally keep a low profile and pay some tax to avoid anti-Chinese sentiment, burn plenty of fake money in their temples, invest their real money overseas and send their grown-up children to Australia, Canada and, for the time being, still to the United States.

Matt: Taking a weathered regional bus from Bengkayang’s bus terminal, located right in the town centre, to the nondescript one-horse-town of Anjungan (c. 90 km, 3 ½ hours, IDR 25,000.- or US$ 2.15 per person) and hereafter taking another dilapidated regional bus from Anjungan via Ngabang to the riverine town of Sanggau (c. 140 km, 3 hours, IDR 40,000.- or US$ 3.45 per person), thus seeing and smelling, for the first time on my trip, the murky waters of the mighty Kapuas River aka Sungai Kapuas, at 1,143 km the country’s longest river and a highway for cargo from Pontianak into Kalimantan’s heart of darkness.

Click below for a summary of this year's travels

Facing Kalimantan
© Konni & Matt

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From the 2013 Moral Travel Compass for Our Grand Children's Journey of Life:
It’s bad to demand;
It’s good to do.
Keep your bearings!