Kalimantan is an island for you to explore. It is the worlds third largest island the area of 747.000 square kilometers and covered one of the worlds largest tropical rain forests which flows giant rivers which are the islands highway. Rivers are the main transportation arteries in this island. The island is rich with the many fascinating and endemic wildlife such as the orangutans, proboscis monkeys, the flying snakes, hundred species of birds.
Kalimantan is also the home of the original inhabitants, Orang Gunung or Mountain people that called collectively as the Dayak tribe. The Dayak people lives in the hinterland along the banks of major rivers and in long houses. The long houses are built on wooden piles which can sometimes be as tall as 3 meters high as protection against wild animals and flooding. It is customary for the people to live with he a whole extended family or with one clan. Each family has their own compartment and the chief of the clan will occupy the central chamber.
The most common starting point to explore Kalimantan is Balikpapan and Samarinda in the east part of the island because of the regular flight services from Jakarta, Surabaya and Denpasar. Traveling along the extensive Mahakam river is a fascinating adventure. Meeting the Dayak people and visit their long houses, trekking, and overnight on the motorized long boat or in the long house of the Dayak people. Kalimantan is indeed worth to explore.
Kalimantan has a number of nature reserves to protect its unique flora and fauna. Kersik Luway is where the very rare Black Orchid (Colongenia Pandurata) grows, located upstreams the Mahakam river, East Kalimantan. Bontang, in the regency of Kutai with an area of about 200,000 ha, has a rare flora and fauna. The Kutai National Park near Bontang is worth visiting to see scenery especially those at Beras Basah. Tanjung Puting National Park in Central Kalimantan is the oldest conservation site of Kalimantans flora and fauna. The park is inhabited by Orang Utans, Owa-owa, Bekantan and other primates. Also found here the Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre which is supported by the Would Wildlife Fund (WWF). In West Kalimantan, Gunung Palung National Park located in the Ketapang regency is home to miscellaneous flora and fauna. The Raya Pasi mountain located in the Singkawang regency is also an interesting place to visit to see the Rafflesia or giant flower. Singkawang is also a nature reserve. The forest of Sanggau is worth a visit where hot springs, lakes and caves can be found. The other nature reserves are the forests of Baning and Kelam Hill in the Sintang regency. While in Kapuas Hulu, there is the Bentuang. In South Kalimantan, there is the Kaget island, home to a wide variety of birds and monkeys, Most notably the humorous longnosed proboscis monkeys.
In East Kalimantan, Berau and Marine Tourism on Derawan island is where we can see the remains of a kingdom called the Keraton Gunung Tambur and the Keraton Sarnbaliung. Derawan island is approximately 3 hours boating from Tanjung Redep (The Capital of Berau regency). It is also a good place for water sports such as scuba diving, fishing, and swimming. Tenggarong, up the Mahakam river from Samarinda, is the capital of the Kutai regency and was once the seat of the Kutai sultanate. The Sultans Palace on the riverside is now a museum where historical objects from the sultanate are kept. Every 24th of September, dance and music performances are given to celebrate the towns anniversary. Tanjung Isuy, located in East Kalimantan hinterland, has a traditional Dayak long-house which has been turned into lodges for visitors. Visitors are usually greeted by a traditional Benuaq Dayak welcome. The place can be reached through the scenic Mahakam river. At Muara Ancalong - Muara Wahau visitors can watch traditional dances of Kenyah Dayak which are performed at a long-house. In Flower Island, South Kalimantan, we can find many species of monkeys and an old Chinese temple where local Chinese bring offerings of fresh fruit and peanuts to a tribe of aggressive macaquef in hopes of being blessed with even greater prosperity. An original Betang (traditional longhouse) can be seen in Saham village, 158 km from Pontianak, West Kalimantan. The measures of this long-house are: 186 m long, 6 m wide, inhabited by 269 people. A heritage to Kaharingan religion, a sect of Hinduism, can be found in Bukit Rawi, small village of Central Kalimantan.
Trekking and water adventure
A trip along the Mahakam river in East Kalimantan offers unique riverside scenery of rare flora and fauna. Floating markets of all sizes can be found everywhere on Barito River, Banjarmasin South Kalimantan, with the one at the junction of the Kuin and Barito rivers is considered one of the best. Market activities usually end at 9 am. The traditional villages around Loksado, in the mountains east of Kandangan, is a wonderful place to be explored by foot. Amandit river is an excellent place for white water rafting. The first stretch, from Loksado to Muara Hatip, has rapids ranked grades I to 21/2. The second, from Muara Hatip to Batu Laki, includes rapids of grade 3. White-water lovers can also find satisfaction in Gohong Rawai, Central Kalimantan, known for its beautiful and challenging rapids. Many cities in Kalimantan are best explored through rivers, such as Pontianak and Banjarmasin.
In Teweh and Batu Apu gold mines, located in Rungan district of Central Kalimantan, gold panning is done traditionally by local people. A number of gold mines can also be found in other parts of Central Kalimantan. Traditional diamond digging, mostly with simple equipment, can be observed in Cempaka, 45 minutes from Banjarmasin South Kalimantan. In Martapura, visitors can see how precious stones are cut and polished. Beaches and resorts Kumai Beach, approximately 22.5 km from Pangkalanbun in Central Kalimantan has exotic views and serves as a transit place before Tanjung Puting National Park. Pasir Panjang, 17 km from Singkawang in the Sambas regency, South Kalimantan has a beach resort, ideal for swimming. Comfortable cottages are available equipped with a tennis court. In the vicinity of Singkawang, the Gunung Poteng hill resort with its fresh air is a good place for nature lovers. In East Kalimantan, Tanah Merah Indah - Lempake recreational park has a waterfall, located about 16 km from downtown Samarinda. Kijing and Temajoh island beach resorts near Pontianak, West Kalimantan, is also a good place for diving, fishing and sailing.
The Principal Towns
Samarinda, the capital of East Kalimantan, is known for its fine sarong cloth. Samarinda has a number of modest but comfortable hotels. Balikpapan has the second busiest airport in Indonesia. The city now serves as the gateway to East Kalimantan with air and sea connections to Jakarta and other major points in Indonesia. It has a number of good hotels, including one of international standard, as well as recreation facilities. Baniarmasin, capital of South Kalimantan is now developing as a tourist city. The nickname river city reflects the unique way of life of its local residents found along the numerous rivers crisscrossing the city. Palangkaraya is the center of government, train and education of Central Kalimantan. Worth visiting is the Regional Museum of Palangkaraya that contains historical and cultural interests from all over Central Kalimantan. Pontianak is the capital of West Kalimantan lies exactly on the equator Some interesting place to visit are Equator Monument, Kadariah Palace in Kampung Dalam, the State Museum, the Kapuas and Landak Bridges. This city is best explored by boat along the many rivers found in it.