Samboja, Kutai Kartanegara, Kalimantan Timur. There is an area in East Kalimantan/East Borneo made for conservation of tropical trees endemic to Borneo Island, especially East Kalimantan province. This place is called Bukit Bangkirai or Shorea Hills. Along with its uniqueness, there are also canopy bridges built for observation tower.
Bukit Bangkirai covers the area of 1500 hectares to protect Bangkirai trees (Shorea laevis), Keruing trees (Dipterocarpus Comutus), Jelutung trees (Dyera Constulata), Kempas trees (Koompassia malaccensis), rattan (Calamus sp.), and other tropical trees endemic to Borneo/Kalimantan Island. Make sure you are guided by local tour leader or the ranger because there are so many things you never knew before, such as there’s a species of a tree that has bark smells like garlic.
The canopy bridges in Bukit Bangkirai were made from 64 meters of steel connecting 5 huge Bangkirai/Shorea Laevis trees. This canopy bridges were built at 30 meters above the ground. This is normal since Shorea Laevis could grow more than 30 meters tall.
On the top of the canopy bridge, we can see beautiful scenery of tropical forest. There’s only a few canopy bridges under the sun. Bukit Bangkirai has 5 bridges connecting Shorea Laevis trees.
Balikpapan has the major airport in East Kalimantan. This airport has modern facilities and has so many direct flight to other cities in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. There are so many hotels, restaurants, and other facilities built in this big city. You can also stay in cottages closed to the canopy bridge, but there is less facilities and no phone signal over here.
Check video below:
Bukit Bangkirai is located in Samboja, Kutai Kartanegara, East Kalimantan/East Borneo, Indonesia (-1.008357, 116.874237). Firstly, we have to go to km 38 of the main road of Samarinda-Balikpapan. From this point, we still need to turn aside to the narrower road about 20km more to reach canopy bridge. So, this are the distances from the nearest cities:
Balikpapan – Bukit Bangkirai: ± 60 Km (± 1,5 hour)
Tenggarong/Samarinda – Bukit Bangkirai: ± 150 km. (± 2,5hour)
How to Get There
The best starting point is from Balikpapan, although you can also start from Samarinda or Tenggarong. From Balikpapan, you must rent a car/motorcycle to get here. Or call the local tour in Balikpapan. There is no public transportation to get there. You will understand why there is no public transportation to Bukit Bangkirai whenever you have visited Bukit Bangkirai. It’s a bit secluded and away from crowd