An Unfrogetable Experience in Balikpapan (October 25-27, 2016)

This is my first time to go to Balikpapan. My main occasion in Balikpapan is to give a presentation of my paper that I submitted to ICSITech 2016 conference at Gran Senyiur Hotel on October 26, 2016. Obviously, I will not abandon the chance to explore the beauty and delicacy of Balikpapan, so I booked my plane ticket and guest house where I will be staying one day earlier. I also have booked a motorbike that will accompany me to explore Balikpapan from Kevin Motorcycle Rental.



My flight left from Yogyakarta at 07.45 (WIB) and arrived in Balikpapan at 11.40 (WITA). On my way to the departure gate, the staff of the motorbike rental send me a message to meet him across the Sepinggan Airport gateway. So, I quicken my pace, because I don’t want to waste my ‘precious’ short trip in Balikpapan. After we met, we do the procedures, filling a terms and agreements form, take a look to my ID card and driving license (C), surrender my driving license (A) as a gurantee, photo session with the motorbike, then he gives me the motorbike key and its document.  I am ready to go!



I have made a list that contains some destination that I will visit during my time in Balikpapan. I always use Google Maps to direct me to my destination. My first destination is Depot Simpang Empat to fill my growling stomach. I have read some reviews about this place before, and it said that the beef with black pepper sauce and mantau was the best serving. Unfortunately, it is quite pricey, so I choose another menu, which is crab fried rice, ice tea, and a mantau. The mantau is quite good even without filling or the black pepper sauce, and the crab fried rice is tempting, though the rice rather hard to chew.

After my stomach is satisfied, I hop on to my bike and move to the next destination, Margomulyo Mangrove. I follow the directions Google Maps gives, but when I arrived in the point, I found a downtown near a river. I can see some mangrove plants on the river, but the river itself is very dirty, there are so many paper, plastics, and any other litters floating on the river. So I decided to leave that place and move to the next destination, the crocodiles farm in Teritip.

I ride my bike through the west bay, and find something interesting. There is a gigantic and vast oil refinery that managed by Pertamina. After I rode my motorbike almost 10km away from the Pertamina complex, I see the port of Balikpapan, take some photos of Pertamina ships and scenery at pantai Melawai near the port, then continue my journey to Teritip.

There are hundreds of crocodiles that occupy the conservation. The caretaker put the crocodiles in some cages and grouped them based on their sizes. I found some various kind of crocodile, but I only give my attention to the huge saltwater and gharial crocodile. The visitors must pay Rp 17,000.00 to enter the conservatory and parking fee. I just spend about 30 minutes there, and then going back to the city.

On my way to the city, I read “Pantai Lamaru” (Lamaru beach) written in a huge board on the left side of the street. Without further ado, I turn my motorbike to pass the gate. It costs Rp 20,000.00 to enter the area of Lamaru beach. There are many pine trees that placed neatly along the sandy road to the beach. After a while, the white sand, calm waves, wood and iron barriers welcomes me at the beach. To appreciate their greetings, I take out my camera from my bag and picture them respectively. Well, I really love to visit beach, so I took some times to feel the sun warms up my body and the wind gently blows towards me. After spending my time there for about one hour, I leave the beach and go to Sentosa 76 guest house to rest my weary body. When I check in for the reservation, they costs me Rp 50,000.- as deposit fee for the room key.

After taking a short nap, I clean my body and hunt for the sunset. How lucky I am, there is a hill that serves a beautiful scenery of Balikpapan city with blue sea and orange sky as the background. That’s only a fraction that Balikpapan serves during sunset. So, I quickly ride my bike to pantai Melawai to capture the sunset, beacuse I don’t want to miss the glorious moment. And hope never fails, I see an awesome panorama of sunset there. I’m just thank God for I still have a chance to see those view with my very own eyes, and obviously take some picture of it.


The Conference

This is the main purpose of my trip to Balikpapan. From this event, I will get my sertificate of publication of my paper as a requirement for my Master Degree in Universitas Atma Jaya Yogyakarta. The event starts at 07.00, and my presentation will begin at 11.20. During the first session of the event (opening speeches and keynote speaker sessions), I’m not feeling well. The temperature is really low, it makes my eyes heavy and I’m dazed. That condition still remains until the parallel session or presentation session begins. The presentation last for almost 15 minutes, and followed by question and answer time. A presenter from Thailand and a participant from Indonesia asking me a question about the presentation. Praise God, I still can answer those questions even though I’m feeling dizzy. After the presentation, I go back to the ballroom to get lunch and then continue the keynote speakers session.


The Curse

After the keynote speakers session ends, I leave the rest of the schedule and will be back when the gala dinner starts. I come back to the guest house, change my clothes, and ride my motorbike to explore Balikpapan more, and when I’m on my way back to guest house, ‘the curse’ begins. When I ride my bike, a man shout to me “Mas dompetnya jatuh!” (“Hey, you drop your wallet!”). I checked my pocket where I placed my wallet, and it’s gone. I park my motorbike on the side of the street, and trying to look around to find my wallet frantically. My mind is darken, because my documents (ID card, ATM card, etc.) and all of my money are in those wallet. While finding my wallet, I’m trying to think about the consequences, and come to a conclusion “It’s okay, I can request to make the new documents later, and I still have my driving license (A) in the motorbike rental, also I still have my Rp 50,000.- from the guest house deposit”. Then, I remember that I put the document of the motorbike I rent in the wallet, then the panic strikes me again. After one hour and half I spend my time searching for my wallet without any result, I decided to report the problem to the rental owner. I said that I will exert every effort to find that wallet, but the result is the same, I still can’t find it. I call the rental owner again, and ask him if I could report this incident to the police, and he said yes. Desperately, I go to the police station and the officers ask me about the scene, time of incident, and list of missing documents. The officer need the document of ownership of the motorbike to process it. So, I call the rental again and tell him so, and then I go back to the hostel and prepare myself to join the gala dinner. I don’t have any money left, so this is my last resort to fill my empty stomach that night. After the gala dinner, the rental owner meet me in front of the hotel. We go to the police station together, and tell the incident to the officer again. Due to some circumstances, the rental owner must go for other occasion, and I still remains in the police station waiting for the certificate of loss and then get back to the guest house and sleep.

(The reason I said it was a curse is because there were also some incidents (it’s different though) when I prepare my requirements for my Bachelor degree. And it happens when I’m trying to collect the requirements for my Master degree)



Next day (October 27, 2016) is my last day in Balikpapan, my flight scheduled on 11.40, so I need to go to the Sepinggan airport at 10.00. In there, I meet the rental owner and give the certificate of loss to him. He said that I must pay the cost of making a new motorbike document, and of course I agree with that condition because I am the one who made this problem. So, I ask him his account number to transfer the compensation fund, and do the farewell handshakes. I walk to enter the airport, and he ride the motorbike to the administration office to make its document. In the lobby, the rental owner calls me with a disappointed tone, he said that the certificate of loss can not be used to make the new document, so he need to go back to the police station to make a new certificate of loss. Well, I am really speechless at that time, because I only have 10 minutes until my boarding call, so I can’t help him. All I can say to him is just my deep apologies. I fly back to Jogja, and when I turn on my phone he calls me again. He said that he must transfer the motorbike ownership to his, because he bought those motorbike from other man in the past. My mind get darken and darken, I can’t event think rationally at that time. The only one that I can think is the costs that I will spend to resolve this problem. As I knew, the cost of ownership transfer is quite high. Okay skip to the conclusion, the rental owner calls me again to bill the costs. He said he will only bill the document cost with a total of Rp 278,000.00. I said okay, but I need some time to take care of my ATM card first. After I get the ATM card changed, I transfer the mentioned fund to him as soon as possible. I feel so relieved and to celebrate it, I book “Doctor Strange” movie ticket for two (my friend and I). The film scheduled at 18.15.


Miracle Happened

15 minutes before I depart to the movie theater, I take a peek to my Facebook. There is a person sent me a friend request yesterday, precisely around 19.00 on Wednesday, two hours after I lost my wallet. I accept the request, and in a few minutes he send me a message that HE FOUND MY WALLET YESTERDAY! and he also gives his phone number for me to call. That was a joyous moment for me, and then I call that number as soon as possible. I introduce my self to him, and let him know that I am the owner of that wallet. He told his side of story about how he find my wallet. So, he tell me that when my wallet was dropped, the money were scattered on the street. People try to picked up my money for themselves, but this man who found my wallet is a hero. He said that he tried to collect the picked up money and he said that he will take care of my wallet. In that moment, I am very touched when he is telling that story. Then he asks me for my Blackberry Messenger (BBM) PIN, and we continue our chat via BBM. He wants me to send a picture of myself as proof. I send it, and I got his trust. He introduce himself as Gojek driver (driver of application based motorbike taxi). He tells me that he will send my wallet back to me, I gladly accept that offer. I insist him to use my money inside that wallet to pay for the delivery service and tell him that he can have some my money in that wallet as my form of gratitude.

UPDATE! On October 28, he send me my wallet and then send me the delivery receipt via BBM.

UPDATE! November 1, I get my wallet back. All the documents are still there with some of my money. Although, I offer him to take my money, he didn’t took it all but only take some of it (maybe only for the delivery service and his transportation costs). Such a rare good guy!




You can see all of my photos during my visit in Balikpapan at