Falling in love with… Putussibau!!!

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These were the best 3 days ever spent in an unknown town during a trip!

Don’t trust the few sentences in the lonely Planet book “This lively river town is the last stop for airlines and long-distance buses, as well as the last chance for an ATM, before launching into the wilderness”.

Usually the people will spend just one night because they need to wait until the morning after to catch a bus or a flight to proceed further…

BIG MISTAKE!!! Putussibau could be even better than New York or Rome, but you need to be as lucky as us. Just to know… I’ve done almost 700 shots!!!

It means…

  1. After arriving completely dirty and stinky as you even do not accept from the Cross Borneo trek and dreaming about a shower, good food and a cold soft drink, visiting and talking with the Dayak people of Tanjung Lokang, you should eat as fast as possible a terrible rise with something, remain with the same stinky, dirty and wet things, just to catch the speed boat that would leave in 1 hour…
  2. You have already booked your flight to Pontianak, then Jakarta, then Singapur: they have the same Booking reference, so should be done together… So no way to change your flights with a previous one or to split it, just to visit Pontianak…
  3. You have more than 2 days. We spent 3 nights and 2,5 days in total…

But let’s proceed step by step…

27 April 2017

My friend (Dominus Trium Subigarium, DST) and I arrived in Putussibau around 19:30 after 5:30 hours of navigation on a motorized canoe. I do say that the first impact was not the best ever… Just trying to find the place where we need to get down, the canoe left us in a field, with the water to our ankles, in front of us a dark road and at the end a wooden gate!

Anyhow the hotel was more than perfect and the satè ayam (chopstick of chicken with peanut sauce) more than delicious.

28 April 2017

After doing breakfast at 8:00, we’ve done breakfast with Datu at 9:00, then drove to the airport and then to the Garuda main office in Putussibau, trying to change our flight… No way, even if the lady of Garuda tried even after and Datu tried with the office in Samarinda.

Then we visit the market… And I started to understand that this little city is a special one! People are smiling and stopping us just to have a picture with us or just to ask us where are we from… Everybody! Gorgeous!!!

The market is an explosion of curiosity, mixed with fruit, fish, vegetables and much much more almost never seen. But the best part, even here, is that the people are really happy to explain you everything.

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After a little break inside the hotel, trying not to burn during the hottest hour of the day, we start again our discovery of this great city.

After a walk, we found a wooden bridge that drove us just on the other side of the bridge and we discover a complete new village, where we met Alina and Surya, that showed and told us everything about this part of Putussibau where basically all the people are in some way their relatives.

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Then she invited us to her home the day after! And for sure we accept it!

Last but not least, our massage was the best one ever… even if I was feeling totally destroyed right after it!

29 April 2017

Alina told us that she is leaving in front of the police station and we were walking just where Datu yesterday told us that the police office is… We didn’t find it, but one of the guys of the police of the Governor, after having some picture with us, helped us with his car to find Alina. Putussibau is so amazing!


After a while we found the house, it was in front of the police station…

Alina’s family is really kind and great! we visit the house, really beautiful, in wood.

They offered us everything to eat, really delicious, her mum went also to the market to take it and Alina explained us everything, then we started to share pictures about our house, friends. Facebook and Instagram is really useful in these cases! Then we start to take pictures, almost selfie, in each and every position. Alina’s mum is a tennis champion,her father too. They were just coming back from Pontianak from a match that they won!

I do really cannot explain how incredible was visiting Alina’s family; I was basically feeling to visit some old friends.

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Unfortunately, time was running and just after coming back to the hotel, we decided to visit the church close to the AmanSentosa (our hotel). There were almost 20 people that were painting their face and while we were visiting the church, one of girl those girls told us that was the preparation for the mass of this evening. Then she told us that if we have like to join them, she could bring us with her at 16:00.

Putussibau was gorgeous before, and again and again!

The mass was celebrated inside a gym; the girls, and almost another 100 people wore odd costume and dance to the rhythm the chore, two singers and musicians are playing.

Then spent the last few hours drinking in front of the river.

30 April 2017

yesterday we discovered another great spot of the market in Putussibau and we visited. Again, we spent the most of the time smiling, being part of tons of picture and discovering unknown food.

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Time to leave, but the people of this little but great village will be always in my mind.

A great thanks to Alina, Surya and all their fantastic family!!!



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