November 22, 2008
Kalimantan Barat Expedition: In Search of Lost Kingdoms of Draculas #1
I am organizing an expedition to Kalimantan Barat/West Borneo in collaboration with friend from there. The capital city of Kalimantan Barat is Pontianak that literally means DRACULA. A legend tells of a forest full of pontianak/draculas that terrorized the people in the villages nearby. The forest was pacified by the arrival of a holy man from Hadramaut, now in Yemen, from the family of al-Qadri. My expedition maybe be called In Search of the Lost Kingdoms of Draculas!
The past weeks I have been preparing another expedition to Kalimantan Barat, western Borneo. I can't call this one trekking because four friends and I will be driven in a van, Ford Econovan. We had a meeting last Thurday to work out shorter and safer route from Kuching. The plan is to go to the past in search of old Malay kingdoms in western Borneo such as Sambas, Mempawah, Landak, Pontianak, Montrado, Kubu and may be others.
This expedition to the past will be joined by Professor Abdul Halim Ali from University Malaysia Sarawak; Raslie Sahran, a cultural activist; Aswandi and Awang Abdullah from the Sarawak Museum. Later Antoni and Hasyim from the West Kalimantan Museum will be our local facilitators.
In the meeting we studied several maps from various sources including from Google, Lonely Planet, West Kalimantan Tourist Office and Sarawak Tourism Board. As I lost my Nikon Coolpix camera, the others will bring their compact cameras such as Sony Cybershot and Cannon. Other important tools are our mobile phones; I have a Nokia and Blackberry Curve with GPS capabilities. A laptop too to store videos and pictures from the compact cameras will be essential. And do not forget to bring medicines and vitamins and a torch light with Everyday batteries. Here we go; we will leave at 7.00 am on the 24th, Monday.
This expedition maybe more expensive as we will be staying hotels and lodging houses. The old kingdoms have been replaced by human settlements. What they are like today will be reported in this blog when we come back in a week time. Cheerio...