I have always wanted to go 2 places just for the sake of being there. The first is to stand on the equator and the second is to be at Greenwich where time is 0GMT. Fortunately or unfortunately, I had a little savings and with the high British Pound exchange rate, I decided to get myself to the equator where that imaginary line divides Earth into Northern and Southern hemispheres instead of Greenwich.
I flew on Malaysia Airlines on their Airbus A330 and arrived at Jakarta’s Soekarno Hatta Airport in a little less than 2 hours. To get myself cheaply to Pontianak’s Supadio airport, I bought the airline tickets from AdamAir. AdamAir is not exactly a budget or low-cost airline but its air tickets are indeed competitive.
It took me a little over an over to fly from Jakarta to Pontianak on AdamAir’s Boeing 737. I have no acquaintances in Pontianak and hence could not ask for reference on a good hotel there. I asked the local taxi driver and he told me that Hotel Santika is a good hotel to be in. I took his advise and proceed to check into the hotel. Registration was a breeze and you immediately get a delicious welcome drink made from Aloe Vera (locals call them Lidah Buaya). The room is extremely pleasant and clean. I would recommend this hotel to business travelers too. Another hotel that I noticed is Garuda Hotel but since I have not stayed there, I really do not know the condition.
As I would have expected, Pontianak is hot and humid (since it is right smack on the equator). I stayed most of the time in the hotel due to the heat and humidity and there weren’t much places to visit (or maybe I’m not too well informed) except for the Equator Monument and the Sultan Palace. Before visiting the Equator Monument, I went over to the Pontianak Sultan Palace to have a look-see but unfortunately by the time I reached (5.30pm), the palace visiting hours was already closed (at 5.00pm).
The next day, I proceeded to the Equator Monument (approximately 20 minutes by car from the hotel) and upon arrival I learned that on every 20th of March and 23rd of September at noon, the top needle point of the monument will point directly at the sun; an event called the equinox.
Overall, I was sadden by the state of the potential money-raking-tourist-attraction; grass uncut, aging building and litter everywhere on the monument ground. At least, I can proclaim that I have stood on the line that divides our planet in two.
[tags]Pontianak, Indonesia, equator, monument, equinox[/tags]