Kalimantan and West Papua still remain the last bastions of adventure travel in the archipelago of Indonesia. This doesn’t mean that those people with less adventure in their veins be deterred from visiting. On the contrary, it is easy to have lay-back travel wherever you go in Kalimantan. If you are heading to the island then starting at South Kalimantan is a great introduction to the culture and people of this charismatic island. South Kalimantan is divided into two distinct regions by the Meratus Mountains. The southern region of the province is flatter and has large rivers meandering through lowlands to vast mangrove swamps along the coast. Along the Barito River you will find many villages and settlements built on the river’s edge by the indigenous majority, the Banjar. They are very creative and produce exquisite traditional and commercial handicrafts are all made from local raw materials which include a variety of precious and semi precious stones, gold, silver, brass, iron and wide variety of woods including bamboo and rattan.
The provincial capital, Banjarmasin is located a short distance from the delta of Barito River. Delight in the business conducted on the waterways. It’s fascinating as the local people build traditional floating houses made of wood or bamboo facing the river, called lanting. Floating markets abound selling an enormous variety of goods including fresh fruit such as Kesturi, a rare aromatic species of mango, durian, rambutan, butter fruit, pineapple, watermelon and banana, and much more. Waterways are definitely the preferred form of travel anywhere you go and especially in the interior. The main tourist event is Mappanretasi or Sea offering Ceremony in Pagatan, South Kalimantan. The ceremony is held during April in the middle of the sea by a san ro, chief of the Adat.
Places of Interest
The island is located on the Barito River and it is not far from the floating market. It is inhabited by tame monkeys in an old Chinese temple. According to local people of Chinese origin, if one is surrounded by these monkeys, he will get his luck and fortune.
It takes about an hour and a half by klotok boat or 1 hour by speedboat to get to this island reserve. It is home to a wide variety of birdlife and Bekantan (Long-nosed and reddish-furred monkey).
Cempaka Traditional Diamond Mining:
Cempaka is a small village located 5 km from Martapura and 45 minutes from Banjarmasin. It is the site of an old traditional diamond mine. In 1965 a large raw diamond of 167.7 carats was found. Martapura is the capital of Banjar Regency.
This is an important market town in the mountains about 170 km from Banjarmasin and ideal area for trekking. There are a few small losmens and hotels located here.
Amandit River Rafting:
The river trip, by either bamboo or rubber boat, includes some exciting white water sections. The first trip is from Loksado to Muara Hatip. The second is from Muara Hatip to Batu Laki. The first stretch has rapids ranked grades 1 to 2.5. The second includes a rapid grade 3. Besides rafting along Amandit River you can also visit other objects of interest in the area like the Hatari waterfall.
Jl. Pramuka No.4, Banjarmasin
Phone : (0511) 3264511
Fax : (0511) 3264512
Photo Credit: k53.pbase.com