- the busiest and biggest at Entikong (ID) - Tebedu (MY), on Malaysian H21 south of Serian
- the small Lubok Antu (MY) - Nanga Badau (ID), next to the reservoire of Batang Ai
- The little known Aruk (ID) - Biawak (MY), near Lundu
The only border where you can get Indonesian Visa on arrival is the Entikong - Tebedu, for all the other options you should have a visa already on your passport.
Being already in Lundu, willing to avoid busy highways, always aiming for backdoor entrance to off-the-beaten-path destinations and, most important of all, having a wonderful 60 days Social Budaya Visa for Indonesia, we decide to cross the border of Biawak - Aruk, in this remote point:
1°36'43.8" N 109°40'46.9" E
Lundu to Aruk - Biawak (25km)
Saying goodbye to the Rafflesia we leave Lundu to reach the Biawak - Aruk border after just 25km. There's a restaurant before the border on the Malaysian side and we eat here, worried about the nothingness that we may found on the other side. Everybody scared us about this route, saying the road is terrible and that there's nothing on the way, most of this people though have never been here, and just speak from hearsay.
Of course not many foreigners cross the border here, so we have to take pictures with everybody, Malaysian police first and then Indonesians, apart from this pleasant waste of time the crossing is pretty straight forward (even though I get a wrong stamp, but I'll realize this later on, check your stamp before leaving!). As soon as we set foot on Indonesian land we find out that the "very bad road" panic is quite baseless, at least for now. The road is paved here and there are so many different little restaurants. We stop to drink a cup of coffee while waiting for the usual shower to pass by.
20km past the border there is a short climb, of course here the road conditions are the worst seen so far and, as the greatest classics, a tropical storm begins while we're coping with the steepest part, which immediately becomes muddy and slippery. The guys behind us on a motorbike falls on the ground, luckily nobody doesn't get hurt so we start laughing at our misadventures, they're wondering where are we going and where will we sleep. We tell them we don't know and that we will find a campsite somewhere. It's five in the afternoon. One of them is a priest and he tells us that he knows another priest who can accommodate us 10 kilometers away. They go on a motorbike to warn about our arrival.
All night it rained and the road has become a river of mud, in particular there are a few stretch where road works are going on, here trucks with their weight sink into the mud, creating veritable rivers.
We finally arrive in Sambas where we find an inn to 125,000 rupiah, 8 Euros. Huge and very clean room with a great view on the river and, not least, alongside a car wash. very profitable business here, since anyone who comes from the road we have traveled has to wash his/her vheichle.
We bring the bikes covered in mud and they wash them carefully, we ask how much it costs, but they don't want any money.
Have thoughts about it? Comment!
our adventures in Borneo:
pt1: from Kota Kinabalu to Tenom, crossing the Crocker range
pt2: Jungle Train, from Tenom to Beaufort
pt3: crossing Brunei by bicycle
pt4: around Miri, Lambir Hills and Logan Bunut national parks and Tusan Beach
pt5: the caves of Niah National Park
pt6: from Belaga to Kuching by boat
pt7: Kuching and Bako National Park
pt8: Rafflesia in Gunung Gading National Park
pt10: Sambas, a wooden Venice in Borneo
here are some general hints to budget travel in Borneo (by bicycle or not)
Check also our reportages:
Chap Go Mei in Singkawang
pierce your face with swords for the sake of Borneo Gods
Hydroelectric devastation in Borneo
part 1: Interview with SaveRivers
part2: a visit to Sungay Asap