I was scrutinizing each of my travel files for pictures to tag along with my travel articles when I stopped at Sangatta’s file, and then realized, I hadn’t talked much about one of few areas where I spent my childhood.
I moved to Sangatta in 1994 with my (late) mom, couple years after my dad moved. Dad was pursuing his carrier better paid job in coal mining for their 5 children. I can brag about this one that since in elementary school, most of my school tuition was covered by the scholarship that I had received from here and there. Oh, I should have remembered that I was a bright student back then.
Back to Sangatta.
It has been 23 years since I first came, in contrary, I am a little bit ashamed to admit that I don’t have much thing to tell about this now a capital city of Kutai Timur (East Kutai) regency. It is mainly caused by my lack of presence in this town. I spent lesser time here after 2000. Even after that, when I came to Sangatta, my only purpose was seeing my family and of course I spent more time at my dad’s house.
I have no idea what have happened in between my absent, which has changed this once one unknown dust-filled town with gravel access into a residence where more and more people consider to come or reside. In other words, it’s getting more crowd.
However, no matter how much Sangatta has turned into, my favorite places to spend a weekend stays the same. It’s mostly nature related places because the mushrooming cafes and hangout places are not my thing to do there, except for giving my niece or nephew a little space to breath outside our neighborhood.
And here is my list;
Pantai Aquatic (Aquatic Beach)
Kiddos who are growing up in Sangatta in 90s must know how important this human-made Aquatic beach for the resident. It was once a restricted beach made by the biggest private coal company in Sangatta for its employees. Honestly, the whole restricted area called Batu Putih included Aquatic Beach mainly served the expatriates who worked in Sangatta and also the top levels managements. They were plenty of expatriates back then in 90s. The other employees and family could enter this small beach with that special holy badge followed by some stritc procedures.
Despite of its restricted and rules filled stuff, as a kid, one of my pleasures revolved around Aquatic beach. Playing in the water has never been my thing since then, but I loved spending time around water-sand boundary, watching the other kiddos swimming or playing. I was pleased enough by seeing the expatriate playing canoe from afar or sun-bathing from their provided cruise. (I might have been growing my people watching amusement since my childhood).
The enjoyment was getting merrier at the end of the year, around the Christmas time and New Year, when company held the celebration close to Aquatic beach.
Fast-forward to years later, my sister and friends told me that Aquatic beach has opened for public for years, but only on the weekends, still with procedures to enter.
It’s good news because my dad is no longer part of the company, but I still can enjoy Aquatic beach, which is a little bit different ways now, but it’s still amusing. Moreover, the Aquatic monkeys are still there to see, even though the Bekantan is barely seen as much as I saw in 90s.
Besides that, they also open the pub for the public only on the weekends, along with the pool.
Teluk Lombok is not my favorite, but I have seen my social media friends posted numerous posts about the beach that lies approximately 30 km southward of Sangatta center. Sangatta residents and its neighbors are fond of Teluk Lombok. Recently the (villagers) management of Teluk Lombok provides few water activities that have succeed attracted more visitors to come. I enjoyed it once and already posted it here. For me, in the near future, I don’t think I want to join the water activities at Teluk Lombok. Once is enough so far. 😀
Taman Nasional Kutai, Sangkimah (Kutai National Park)
I have never made it farther to the most popular biggest tree in Sangkimah since I first did the track. Nevertheless, Sangkima entrance, which is located about 20 kilometer Sangatta southward is always on the list on how to spend one sunny Sunday in Sangatta. With total area covers about 1,986 km square, it offers various worth trying trekking tracks.
Mentoko, Prevab, Kabo Jaya
Long time ago, I wrote about my trip to Mentoko, the research institute of orangutan. It is quite challenging to reach this place, but I think it’s nothing compares to the amazement once you see how the big orange hairy orangutan appears right before your eyes naturally, after hours of walking and waiting.
Pardon the low picture’s quality, I wish I got armed with great pixel that time.
That’s all how I usually spent my weekend in Sangatta, my neighborhood. What about you and your area?