Even though Indonesia is not the place where Bell and Peterpan reside, it does not mean that Indonesia does not have a place like Neverland. The Dutch once called Indonesia as Emerald of the Equator because of its vast vegetation. Among those emeralds, sitting in Eastern Kalimantan (Borneo) is a hill namely Bukit Bangkirai. Numerous old Bangkirai trees with the average age of 150 years are here. They have approximately 2-3 meters of diameter and 40-50 meters in height.
The marvelous thing is, you can walk among those trees on canopy bridge. It is just like you land in Neverland, minus Peter Pan and Tinker Bell. But you can be the Lost Boys. It is because the hill has lush vegetation that may make you lost. Back to the bridge, located 30 meters above the ground, has magnetic view and will give you challenging experience. It is especially when you feel the bridge slowly swinging up and down, left and right. Therefore, walking over the bridges are not suggested for people with acrophobia.
With 64 meters in length, canopy bridge connects five bangkirai trees and there are platforms at each end of bridge path. On the platforms, you can enjoy Bukit Bangkirai from top, especially its natural green canopy. Occasionally, you will also see bird nests near to you or squirell or even monkey. If the wind is speedy, over 30 miles/hour, no one is allowed to go to canopy bride.
To reach canopy bridge, you have to climb wooden staircase or tower. It is not as easy as it seems. But your exhaustion will disappear as you get to the bridge. Canopy bridge was made of wood, steel, and sturdy rope in 1998. It is estimated to last for 20 years. So not very soon from now there will be reconstruction to the canopy bridge that tourists cannot feel the sensation of crossing it.
Anyway, Bukit Bangkirai is not accessible for public transportation. It takes about 2 hours from the capital city Balikpapan. It is recommended that you rent cars. Buses are available at certain schedule. Road access to Bukit Bangkirai is somewhat tough. Approaching the forest, holes and cracks are almost everywhere on the tarmac. As you get nearer there is only unasphalted road with vast forest on the both sides of it. In the wet season, it is absolutely slippery. Watch out as you drive, especially if you travel by motorcycle.
It is not over because you have to hike hilly path to go to main gate of Bukit Bangkirai. The serene surrounding is a part of the tour itself. So it is recommended that you take some rest or meal before continuing your journey. As you walk, you will hear birds singing, wind blowing the thick of the greens, crickets chanting. Watch your surrounding because you may find some beautiful tropical flowers or plants, with butterflies dancing around.
Bukit Bangkirai is inhabited by 113 birds species. Most of are migrating from Bukit Soeharto National Park or burnt forest. Deforestation of fire is such a serious issue in Kalimantan. There are also squiler, ling tailed monkey, lutung, rusa sambar (deer), short tailed macaque, and an endemic fauna called owa-owa.
In the forest, go further to thick of it. Bukit Bangkirai is a conservation for black orchid as well as over 40 more orchid species. There is also fruit plantation in 4-hectare terrain. It is tropical fruit like mango, guava, and rambutan. You may also take part of the conservation by adopting one of the tree. Simply ask the forest management and they will show you how.
You can spend a day or two to trek around here. There are outbound area for you to play around. Camping ground is also available. There are cottages too, either with electricity or not. The cottage with no electricity namely jungle cabin. Experience remote life by doing miscelaneous activities as you stay here. This area is located 300 meters before the canopy bridge.
This Neverland of Borneo will give you unforgettable experience. Do not worry about being lost here because you will always find your way back. As long as you act properly, there is nothing to be afraid of here. Just beware of the mosquitos!
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