SOUTH KALIMANTAN, FUN ON RIVERS
South Kalimantan lies on the southern end of Kalimantan province. About three quarters of the land is flat and is traversed by numerous rivers, most having their sources from the Meratus Mountains that stretch along the south western part of the province. The main river is Barito and is used as a transportation route to the northern part of the provinces and to Central Kalimantan. The province is rich in forests and coal, as well as small deposits of oil, gold, gemstones, quartz sand, phosphate and granite.
The population of South Kalimantan consists of two main groups: the Banjar who live along the coasts and make up the majority, and the Dayaks who inhabit the upstream regions of the rivers. A warm friendly people they make visitors feel very welcome.
The provincial capital is Banjarmasin.
Geography: South Kalimantan is bordered my the Makassar Strait in the east, Central Kalimantan in the west and north, the Java Sea in the south and a small part of East Kalimantan in the north.
Climate: A tropical climate with maximum air temperature of 32°C to 36.8°C and minimum temperature of 17.2°C to 23°C. There are two seasons, a dry and a rainy. The rainy season lasts from October to April and dry season from May to September. The annual rainfall intensity is high, ranging between 2,000 mm and 3,700 mm.
PLACES TO GO, THINGS TO DO
The market on the Barito River starts at 5am and finishes at 9am daily. Seller and buyers from various places in the province gather as early as midnight to start preparing the wares for sale. The buying and selling are made in traditional local boats. The journey to the market takes about 20 minutes from Banjarmasin and then a 30-minute ride on a klotok boat (local boat used as water taxi).
The Flower Island is in the Barito River, not far from the floating market. This 60ha conservation forest is inhabited by tame monkeys found only in Kalimantan.
Kaget Island, another forest conservation area, is in the Barito River. From downtown it takes one-and-a-half hours by klotok boat or one hour by speedboat to get there. It is inhabited by the bekantan monkeys and birds of various species.
White Water Rafting
The Amandit River, which originates at the Meratus Mountains, is a great site for white water rafting. Shooting the rocky rapids on traditional bamboo or by rubber boats is definitely not a sport for the faint-hearted. The panorama along the river is breathtaking.