Birah-birahan, the Far Apart "Twin" Islands

"Twin" Birah-birahan islands which are widely separated, roughly 600 kilometers, situated off the coast of Borneo Island.

IMAGINE you had planned a trip to an island, but ended up in a different place, just because they share the same name.

In Kalimantan (Indonesia's part of Borneo Island) that is something could possibly happen.

There are two small islands in Kalimantan with different kind of sameness. 

Both of them have no electricity.

Both islands have white sand beaches and naturally beautiful scenery, and, surprisingly, have also the same name: Birah-birahan.

The word "Birah-birahan" derives from Kalimantan-Banjarese term "birah", kind of giant taro plant (Lat. Alocasia macrorrhizos).

Having several places or islands with the same name may causes all kinds of confusion.

Ideally, if a name is already owned by a place or an island, authority or the government should come up with a different name.

But this can't be avoided anymore, as it has already happened.

Therefore, just be sure you don't accidentally go to one versus the other. Because, if it happened, you yourself will face difficulties.

The two Birah-birahans are located far apart from each other.

Birah-birahan island of East Kutai, East Kalimantan (top) and Birah-birahan island located in Kotabaru regency, South Kalimantan (bottom).

THE first Birah-birahan is situated at East Kutai regency, in the province of East Kalimantan. Meanwhile, the second Birah-birahan becomes part of South Kalimantan's Kotabaru regency.

Both islands become turtle nesting sites, and their shallow waters are beautiful places for scuba diving and snorkeling.

Google Earth is making it a whole lot easier to find out how far apart the two islands are on map. 

The distance between the islands, according to Google Earth, is approximately 600 kilometers. 

However, the real distance between both islands can be three times farther than that of Google Earth. 

There are about 14 regencies and municipalities between them, and so far, the travel between the two islands can only be done by land transportation. 

Once you arrive in Kalimantan Island (to be specific, the airport) you will have to continue the travel by car, then motorcycle taxi (ojek), and subsequently water transport, before getting into the final destination.

That long journey, for sure, can be truly exhausting as it may take more than 10 hours from each province's main airport.

Travellers should always be extra concerned about their health. You need to keep you and your loved ones safe during your travels.

Don't forget to carry a basic health kit.

Beside good health, just be sure that your ATM or wallet also in a good condition. Because, if you want to visit one of, let alone both the remote islands, there won't be enough with only one or two million rupiahs. 

Now the decision is out of your hands. Which Birah-birahan island do you choose for your travel adventure? 

In my opinion, both will be better.[sahrudin]