DixPix Photographs

     

INDONESIAN ARCHIPELAGO

 
     
  TERRAIN  

 

Although the culture, fauna and flora of the Indonesian region may be the principal attractions to those visiting from distant and colder climates, the area is also endowed with some rugged and/or attractive terrain.  Many are drawn to the tropical beaches, although the author has not spent much time or photographic energy thereon.  Many of the islands also support volcanoes or other steep mountains, and combined with the high rainfall this can result in spectacular streams and rivers.

Perhaps the best known and most accessible of the higher mountains is Kinabalu, a huge granitic massive rising from the jungles of Sabah Province in Malaysian Borneo.  This view if from the air, looking north. Click to see big picture (640x385 pixels; 61 KB)
Approaching on foot, the mountain soon shows some rugged features.  The name 'Kinabalu' apparently means "revered place of the dead' in the local Dasun language. Click to see big picture (640x413 pixels; 75 KB)
The popular two-day climb usually stays the night at this 'hotel', known as Laban Rata.  "Rata" refers to a flat area, no rats need apply. Click to see big picture (640x428 pixels; 82 KB)
Hikers start for the summit at 3 AM.  Alas I went too fast and wound up with two others shivering on top till sunrise.  By that time the mobs had arrived.  This highest summit is known as Low's Peak, 4095 meters (14,435 ft.). Click to see big picture (640x374 pixels; 76 KB)
Two other summits are almost as high, one being known as St. Johns Peak. Click to see big picture (640x469 pixels; 87 KB)
And this is Victoria Peak at dawn.  In fact the highest summit is the only one which would not be a technical rock climb.  That would certainly cut down on the mobs. Click to see big picture (510x480 pixels; 85 KB)
Some peaks look like interesting climbs on good granite, but a special permit and guide must be arranged to do anything but the standard trek. Click to see big picture (640x462 pixels; 85 KB)
The pinnacles on the left are known as the Donkey Ears.  On the right is Tunku Abdul Rahman Peak, named for the 'Father of Malaysian Independence'.  Click to see big picture (640x346 pixels; 73 KB)
Kinabalu is a granitic dome, but most of the mountains in the Indonesian domain are volcanic.  Here one known as Batur shows off on the island of Bali. Click to see big picture (640x421 pixels; 86 KB)
Honed by tropical weathering, even some of the lower peaks can be damn steep.  This is Gunung Santubong, at just over 800 meters elevation near the coast in western Sarawak. Click to see big picture (487x480 pixels; 63 KB)
High rainfall and rugged terrain equals waterfalls, in this case in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Click to see big picture (333x480 pixels; 50 KB)
Various ingenious methods of bridging rivers were developed by different cultures.  In PNG again, this bridge is held together by lianas and other tropical vines. Click to see big picture (640x443 pixels; 137 KB)
While in coastal Sarawak, this bridge of more substantial appearance is made almost entirely from bamboo.  Click to see big picture (391x480 pixels; 113 KB)
n the highlands of Sumatra, rice farming is carried out in fertile pockets within a central spine of volcanoes and other mountains known as the Barisan Range. Click to see big picture (349x480 pixels; 91 KB)
In Sarawak, the giant Barang Ai (or Air) was flooded without cutting the less valuable trees, resulting in a forest of snags.  Click to see big picture (640x452 pixels; 71 KB)
Danau (Lake) Tamblingan in Bali. Click to see big picture (640x421 pixels; 118 KB)
The large and lovely Danau Tondano in northern Suluwesi.  I am told that these are gold-fish breeding enterprises. Click to see big picture (640x419 pixels; 104 KB)
Jungle rivers are the highways in many areas, and always carry a mystique.  On the left, the Menanggul of Sabah, and on the right the Enkari of Sarawak. Click to see big picture (640x393 pixels; 74 KB)
Hundred man canoe races are a big sporting event in Sumatra.  This one is one the Kuantan River (upper part of the Indragiri R.).  Each carries the ego of a river village. Click to see big picture (640x296 pixels; 97 KB)
Cape Kalampunian, is the northernmost tip of Borneo, where the South China and Sulu Seas meet. Click to see big picture (640x470 pixels; 84 KB)
The site is marked by a bronze globe, with a 'you are here' in English yet. Click to see big picture (605x480 pixels; 86 KB)
Tropical, palm-lined beaches draw vacationers from the colder climates like a magnet.  Few wind up here on the north coast of Papua New Guinea, however. Click to see big picture (483x480 pixels; 77 KB)
Pulau Berhala Island at the entrance to Sandakan Harbour, Sabah, was used as a prisoner camp by the Japanese during the Second World War.  Inmates included the author Agnes Keith and her husband.  It is now being prepared as a tourist site. Click to see big picture (640x366 pixels; 67 KB)
Sawangan Point in southern Sabah from the air.  Looks nice. Click to see big picture (640x423 pixels; 68 KB)
An aerial view of the rather tourist-intensive coast near the city of Kota Kinabalu, Click to see big picture (360x480 pixels; 78 KB)
But just a few kilometers away, the beaches stretch to the horizon without development. Click to see big picture (640x480 pixels; 83 KB)