BANJARMASIN: UNVEILING THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BORNEO’S RIVER CITY
Not many people familiar about this unique river city – that makes this destination significant. Nestled along the banks of the Martapura River in South Kalimantan, Banjarmasin stands as a vibrant city known for its unique blend of culture, commerce, and natural wonders. Often referred to as the “River City” or “Venice of the East,” Banjarmasin’s significance lies in its rich history, distinctive floating markets, diverse cultural heritage, and stunning landscapes. Be ready for an adventure, expect the unexpected of being in the middle of nowhere in this case a spread wide open calm river.
Floating Markets – Heartbeat of Tradition
One of the most iconic and significant aspects of Banjarmasin is its lively floating markets. These markets, such as Lok Baintan and Martapura Floating Market, offer a mesmerizing glimpse into local commerce and traditions. Early morning visits to these markets allow travelers to witness a colorful spectacle as boats laden with fruits, vegetables, and local delicacies navigate the waterways. Visitors can engage in bartering, taste authentic Indonesian dishes, and experience the bustling atmosphere unique to these floating bazaars.
Cultural Melting Pot
Banjarmasin serves as a melting pot of cultures, influenced by various ethnic groups, including the Banjar, Dayak, and Chinese communities. This diversity is reflected in the city’s architecture, traditions, and cuisine. The Banjar people, the dominant ethnic group, have preserved their cultural heritage through traditional dances, music, and crafts, providing tourists with an opportunity to immerse themselves in these age-old practices.
Beyond its cultural allure, Banjarmasin boasts breathtaking natural landscapes. The city is surrounded by verdant rainforests, picturesque rivers, and captivating wetlands. Travelers can embark on boat tours along the rivers, exploring the intricate waterways and witnessing the serene beauty of the countryside. The nearby Riam Kanan Lake offers a tranquil retreat for those seeking relaxation amidst stunning natural scenery.
History enthusiasts will find Banjarmasin captivating due to its historical landmarks. The Sultan Suriansyah Mosque, an architectural marvel dating back to the 18th century, showcases stunning craftsmanship and serves as a testament to the city’s Islamic heritage. Additionally, the Kambang Museum exhibits artifacts and historical items, providing insights into the region’s past.
In essence, people travel to Banjarmasin to explore its unique floating markets, immerse themselves in the diverse and rich culture of the Dayak people, cruise along picturesque rivers, savor local cuisine, appreciate traditional arts and crafts, revel in its natural beauty, discover historical landmarks, and experience an authentic and offbeat travel destination in Indonesia.
Kuala Barito – Kembang Island
In this area there are several islands located in the middle of Barito River. One of the islands or deltas are very well known in that area is Kembang Island – it is occupied by hundreds or even thousands of monkeys and several species of birds. Visitors can meet with one species of monkey that became mascot fauna of South Kalimantan , the proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus). This monkey has a shy nature, reddish brown hair and long noses. The island is often associated with mystical events – who come not only to make a tour to see the monkeys but also for prayer.
Situated some 45 km east of Banjarmasin, Martapura is a sparkling little city literally filled with diamonds and all the precious rocks delved from inside Borneo’s earth. The city is well-known as the center of the diamond industry as well as the main diamond cutting and polishing venue in Kalimantan, in addition to being producers of top quality jewellery.
Traveling from Bali to Banjarmasin typically involves a combination of flights and sometimes additional modes of transportation due to the geographical distance between the two places. From Bali by Air is recommended;transit to Jakarta, capital city or Surabaya and catch a connecting flight to Syamsudin Noor International Airport (BDJ) in Banjarmasin. There are several airlines offering flights to Banjarmasin, and the flight duration is around 1.5 to 2 hours. BBTF 2024 will highlight the beauty of Indonesia – Come and join us at BBTF 2024 to find out more about Borneo destinations.