South Kalimantan or South Borneo

Riverside house in South Kalimantan

Riverside house in South Kalimantan ©JasonDGreat/Flick

The Meratus Mountains cut the region of South Kalimantan into two parts. The southern part of the province is flatter, large winding rivers cross the plains, until they reach the vast coastal mangrove swamps. Therefor the land of South Kalimantan is particularly fertile.

The villages and small settlements on the Barito riverside were built by the indigenous people of this land, the Banjar. They make high quality craft objects for traditional and commercial purposes using local raw materials: semi-precious stones, precious stones, gold, silver, copper, iron, wood, bamboo and rattan.

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South Kalimantan or South Borneo is one of Indonesia’s largest timber-producing region. In the vast forests you can find iron wood, meranti (Shorea), pine and seringa. These make the region uniquely rich in natural resources. The center of the province is Banjarmasin, lying at the delta of the Barito river.

Floating markets

The trade in South Kalimantan is made on waterways. The traditional floating houses of the locals, called Lanting, were built of wood or bamboo and are overlooking to the river. The floating market offers a huge range of products as fresh tropical fruits inluding kesturi, which is a rare type of mango with a powerful aroma, burian, rambutan, pineapples, melons and bananas.
The Muara Kuin is a floating market on the Barito river in Banjarmasin. It is one of the two famous floating markets on the earth.

Floating market in South Kalimantan

Floating market in South Kalimantan ©JasonDGreat/Flick

Tradititional professions

But there are other attractions in the region as well, such as the Cempaka diamond mines and the diamond cutters’ villages.

The traditional Dayak weapons, such as the Mandau (saber), are being made in Negara.

Islands in South Kalimantan

Kembangan is an island on the Barito river, not far from the floating market. It is inhabited by tame monkeys, who occupied the old Chinese temple.

The Kagera Island is at one and a half hour with klotok and at one hour with speedboat. The island is a nature reserve and gives home to countless bird species and the bekantan (long-nosed monkey).

Traditional dance in South Kalimantan

Traditional dance in South Kalimantan ©JasonDGreat/Flick

Important settlements

Cempaka is a small village in South Borneo at 5 km from Martapura and at 45 minutes from Banjarmasin and is a traditional diamond mining center. The miners work with very simple equipment. In 1965, a large, 167.7-carat rough diamond was found in the region. Martapura is the center of the Banjar regency.

Loksado is an important trading center, at 170 km from Banjarmasin. The surrounding area is specifically good for hiking. You can find some smaller hotels and guest houses is the town.

Natural attractions

The rafting on the Amandit river in South Kalimantan with bamboo and rubber boat also offers an exciting experience. The first tour is from Loksado to Muara Hatip and the second goes until Batu Laki. Besides the rafting an other interesting feature of the Amandita is the Hatari Falls.

Riverside house in South Kalimantan

Riverside house in South Kalimantan ©JasonDGreat/Flick

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