South Kalimantan /South Borneo Island
South Kalimantan is one of the 4 provinces in
Kalimantan (formerly called Borneo) with
capital city in Banjarmasin. It is know as
the Province of a Thousand Rivers. One is
Barito River, the largest and the longest
river in Indonesia which is more than 6,000 km
long. One of its tributary rivers is the
Martapura River, which in turn has two
tributary rivers of its own, the Riam Kanan
and Riam Kiwa Rivers. Barito connects with the
Negara River which branches out into lesser
The population of the country consists of
Javanese, Maduranese, Banjau, Bugenese,
Chinese and Arabs. The culture and traditions
are a real mix of the indigenous Dayaks,
Malays, and Javanese, together with the
influence of Islam which was introduced by
Arab and Persian traders. This can be seen
from the people's way of life, especially in
arts, such as dance and music, traditional
dress, games and ceremonies.
Handicrafts are made from local raw materials.
Jewelry made of precious and semi-precious
stones are mostly made and sold in Martapura.
Rattan and bamboo weaving are from the Tapin
district, handicrafts made of gold, silver,
brass and iron are from the Hulu Sungai
Selatan region. Sasirangan is a specific
textile design where its dyeing is a specialty
of South Kalimantan. The designs and method
are different from those of other parts of
The high rainfall and adequate sunshine have
made South Kalimantan fertile. Extensive
forests with a large variety of trees make
South Kalimantan one among the largest timber
producers in Indonesia. The region is
well-known for its iron-wood, meranti, pinus
South Kalimantan is
connected with cities all over Indonesia
through Syamsuddin Noor airport which is 25 km
This airport serves DC-9's and smaller
aircraft. Airlines serving Banjarmasin are
Merpati Nusantara and
Dirgantara Air Service.
South Kalimantan can also be reached through
the seaport of Trisakti and Banjarmasin
harbour. Plenty of good roads access towns in
Kalimantan. If waterways are preferable, go by
boat along large rivers which head in almost
PLACES OF INTEREST
Banjarmasin and its surroundings
which is nicknamed "river City", is the
capital, and is the centre of trade and
tourism. It lies at the delta of the Barito
River. A number of rivers various sizes and
lengths wind their way through and around the
city. The major rivers are Martapura and
Nagara. Local people build traditional
floating houses called "lanting", along the
rivers. The lanting face the rivers, and are
made of wood or bamboo. Rivers have been very
important for business and economic
activities. This is one reason why there are
floating markets everywhere.
Making trips along the mighty Barito and
Martapura rivers by "klotok boat" or river bus
will provide you with a unique experience. A
speedboat can be hired for longer trips.
Banjarmasin has developed into an industrial
and tourism city, and provides a number of
internationally rated hotels.
- This island lies in the Barito River, not
far from a floating market. It is a
conservation forest of about 60 hectares,
inhabited by tame monkeys found only in
Kalimantan, one of which is known as "bekantan"
(nasalis larvatus). The island is mostly
visited by Chinese Indonesians, as there is a
small offering temple where the monkeys are
fed. It is believed that feeding the monkeys
will bring good luck an fortune.
Like Kembang island, Kaget island also lies in
the Barito River. From the centre of
Banjarmasin it takes about 1 1/2 hours by
klotok boat or 1 hour by speedboat to get
there. This island is another forest
conservation area and is also inhabited by the
"bekantan" monkeys and the Lutung (prebitis
orisate), as well as a wide variety of birds.
at Cempaka & Martapura
- Cempaka is a small village 10 km from
Banjarbaru, and 45 minutes from Banjarmasin.
It is an old site of traditional diamond
digging using very simple equipment. The
digging is a collective work by a group,
usually consisting of one family and its close
1985 a large raw diamond of 116.7 carats was
found in a 15 metre deep mine shaft.
Martapura is a finishing centre for diamonds
and precious stones, and is also the centre of
diamond marketing. The town is 40 km from
Banjarmasin. The polishing work uses
traditional as well as modern equipment.
The diamonds an other jewellery is marketed at
Martapura Plaza. Stone-craft of various
origins and forms are easily found in the
markets of Martapura. The price of jewellery
ranges from as little as Rp.500, up to
millions of rupiahs.
Takisung Beach lies about 10 km West of
Pleihari. Folk entertainment is available, and
there is a hotel and a play area for
Hulu Sungai Tourist Resort
Hulu Sungai is a vast region in the northern
part of the province. Most areas here are
swamps, but the eastern part is mountainous.
Loksado is at the South Hulu Sungai district
whose capital is Kandangan, and lies about 3
hours by car from Banjarmasin. The road is
good, however, from Kandangan to Loksado, the
road goes as far as Halunuk, a small village.
Then the trip continues by motor cycle which
takes a single passenger over a narrow
The natural surroundings of the hilly region
provide attractive sights for those who enjoy
hiking and mountaineering. On the way, meet
the local people with their original ways and
cross the river on a suspension bridge.
The Amandit River which originates at Meratus
runs through Loksado and meets the mighty
Barito River further down.
Visitors usually use the river to get back
after visiting Loksado. Those who enjoy
rafting may venture the trip through numerous
rocky rapids by traditional rafts made of
bamboo or by rubber rafts. The river trip
starts at Loksado, 45 kilometres from
Kandangan. If a motorcycle ride is preferred,
it takes about 4 hours. Those who enjoy
trekking through the forests of the hill, the
trip takes 8-10 hours.
you want to take a river trip, start from
Loksado to Batu Laki which is 56 km away. The
trip can be made in two stretches. The first
is from Loksado to Muara Hatip. The second is
from Muara Hatip to Batu Laki.
The first stretch is not very challenging
because the rapids are not very strong and
ranks as grade 1 to 2 1/2. On the second one,
the level of difficulty increases, while the
rapids are higher and stronger at grade 3,
such as Hawangan and Kandihin at the mouth of
the river Muara Haring. The panorama along the
river is fascinating.
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