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Indonesia » Indonesian Islands » Kalimantan Island
Kalimantan Island
by: Editorial Team

Traveling through the Province of East Kalimantan along the mighty Mahakam River is a fascinating and unforgettable adventure. The river carves its way through the jungles and flatlands constantly reshaping and nourishing the land.

Wild orchids drip off trees, bekantans (Proboscis monkeys), orangutans, crocodiles, clouded leopards, crab-eating macaques, giant butterflies and the legendary hornbill all live here and some can be found nowhere else. A 5,000 acre orchid reservation close to the village of Kersik Luwal in the heart of the province cultivates 27 different species of orchid including the very rare black orchid.

As a major producer of oil and timber, the province of East Kalimantan is at present the most industrially advanced region of the island and the second largest province in Indonesia. It is also the home of the original inhabitants of Kalimantan, the Orang Gunung or “mountain people”. The tribes are collectively called Dayak, although this name is not embraced by many tribes-people themselves, who prefer to be known by the separate tribal names such as Iban, Punan and Banuaq.

Local tribes traditionally live in communal longhouses called lamin or umaq daru. They are built on wooden piles, sometimes as high as 3 meters, as protection against wild animals and flooding. It is in these communal areas that village meetings are held and ceremonies performed, thereby reinforcing the strong tribal bonds that have kept the Dayaks together.

The most common starting points for many journeys and adventures inland Mahakam River, the Meratus Mountains stride straight through the centre of South Kalimantan province, effectively dividing it into two distinct regions. The eastern part being mountainous and lush with dense tropical rain forests, while the south is much flatter, characterized by large, powerful rivers.

Many villages and settlements have been built along these rivers, particularly the Barito River, by the indigenous majority, the Banjar. The provincial capital of Banjarmasin lies a short distance from the mouth of the Barito River where it meets the Martapura River. The rivers are literally the life-blood of the city and everything revolves around them.

A lot of business is done on the waterways. Apart from stilt houses lining the banks, flourishing floating markets sell an enormous variety of goods including a mouth-watering selection of tropical fruits. The area is vibrant with colorful and distinctive traditional arts and cultures which can be seen in the people’s way of life, art, dance, music, ancestral dress, games and ceremonies.

The province’s exquisite traditional and commercial handicrafts are all made from local raw materials which include precious and semi-precious stones, gold, silver, brass, iron and a wide variety of woods as South Kalimantan Is one of the largest wood producers in Indonesia.

West Kalimantan covers an area of over 145,000 sq km, which is rich in a variety of minerals and precious stones and remains largely unexplored. The coastal areas are mainly swamp lands with more than 100 rivers sculpting the flat plaints


About The Author

Editorial Team, Editor

This article is written by Streetdirectory Editorial team. Robert J Steiner manages Streetdirectory.co.id & FlowerAdvisor.co.id, well known for for online Flowers & Gifts in Indonesia.

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