Home -> Travel Blogs -> Tanjung Balai 20 May 06 Pg 1

"Don't worry, the contact will find you because you guys are the youngest (among the sex tourists).", said Pimp.

This was what "Pimp" told us when we were buying our ferry tickets (Rm80/head for a return ticket) in Kukup, Malaysia. The destination is Pulau Karimun's main town: Tanjung Balai. The island is one of the many islands under the Riau Province, Indonesia. Due to its close proximity to Malaysia and Singapore, it has morphed from a typical Indonesian fishing village into a sex haven catering to mid-aged Singaporeans and Malaysian looking for a night of cheap thrills with young Ceweks (Indonesian slang term for young women).

If you sincerely believe that I belonged to that niche group, I hope you will burn in hell. :) My cousins and me had planned this for quite awhile and finally it was more of curiosity rather than seeking the cheap thrill which many promised. We were also hoping to have a good lunch and some cheap beers. Sounds pretty lame but it was the fact.

We met our "contact" when we arrived at Tanjung Balai 90 mins later. He told us it was disappointing to know that we wasn't staying for the night but he will still help us arrange something (for some administrative fee). We kindly declined and moved on into town with a can of Carlsberg (Rp6k) in our hands.

Someone actually shouted in Mandarin when we stepped out from the jetty, "You all so young, come here to look for chickens (prostitutes)?!". This actually kick starts the 6 hours we had along the streets of Tanjung Balai.

   
(From left) Me, Ben and Black. These are my cousins and partners in "crime". We posed in front of a touristy signboard for Kukup, Johor, Malaysia. It was given the status of Taman Negara (National Park). But to the locals, it was nothing more that a piece of smelly swampy land.

The arm relaxes while a large ship strolls past the horizon.
First sight of the "promised" land. Welcome To The Sea Port of Tanjung Balai Karimun.
There's always a time for politics. Ben and Black posing beside the flags of Democratic Party of Struggle of Indonesia (PDI-Perjuangan), led by H. E. Megawati Soekarnoputri.
Some kind of old van-looking alike bus that were used to ferry people around town. Do we used to have these in SIngapore?
Rainy Balai. A chinese temple right smacked in the heart of town. When we were there, the weather got unkind for 20mins and it rained heavily.
Bir Bintang. Best served with friends! The gang with their Bintangs (Rp5.5k ~ S$0.96).
Ben with his claypot pork porridge (Rp10k), his dark coffee (Rp3k) and Bir Bintang (what the hell was it doing here!).
Enjoying my Bir Bintang. Oh yeah!
Another beer in our hands, as Ben and Black posed along the streets of Tanjung Balai. We actually have difficulty finding Bir Bintang as we walked back towards the jetty. Instead, we found more Heineken, Carlsberg and Tiger. This is probably to cater to the tastes of the sex-tourists from Malaysia and Singapore.