Travel Gears

December 4, 2008

Kalimantan Barat Expedition: In Search of Lost Kingdoms of Draculas #3

Pontianak:  The City of Dracula

In Pontianak, the capital of Kalimantan Barat/West Borneo, we stayed at the new Orchardz Hotel on the Gajah Mada Road.  On the 25th November we made a courtesy call on the Director of Balai Sejarah dan Kebudayaan, Mrs. Lisyawati, who carries research on history and culture of the province.  The city of dracula today is a big sprawling third world urban landscape consisting of the old town and the new town of 1 million people.

Later in the morning, with an officer from our Indonesian counterpart as our guide, we went to the palace of the former sultan of the Al-Qadri Dynasty across the Kapuas River, the longest river in Borneo.  The dynasty started in early 18th century with Sultan Hamid after he succeeded in defeating draculas in the areas as the name Pontianak attests.  The dynasty ended when the Japanese massacred all West Borneo's royal familes and 21,000 others during the Second World War.

The palace of the sultans was made of hard Borneoan wood called belian is still standing and is a very popular tourist attraction.


sarawakiana said...

I have never been there so your report encourages me to make a visit in the future!!

Sanib Said said...

Thanks for visiting the blog again. Really appreciate the xtlc spirit. Contrary to a common perception, the Indonesians are doing fine and may take longer to become an awaken Asian giant like India and China. No dracula there, so go there.