Central Kalimantan

The biggest province on the island, covering 253,800 square kilometers, most are covered in jungles. The northern area is mountainous and difficult to reach. The central is dense tropical forest. The southern area is swampy and it has many rivers. The climate is hot and humid. The tree Dayak sub-tribes who inhabit this province are the Ngaju, Ot Danum and Ma.

Entry
By Garuda Indonesia Airlines domestic flights direct to Palangkaraya, caiptal of Central Kalimantan, three times every day.

People & Culture
Malay people and Dayak dominate this area, as well Bugis. Some Dayak tree people still live in isolation among the forest.

Cuisine
Traditional Indonesian food can be found in most places, but you might want to try the specialty–rattan. And no you are not required to have teeth of steel to chew material mostly used to create furniture! Very young, tender rattans are harvested, the thorns and outer layer are removed. Then the inside of the young rattan is processed and cooked with other vegetables. The taste is rather rubbery and bitter, and best eaten with fish, or so the locals believe.


West Kalimantan

Lying directly on the equator, many canals crisscross the city and one of Indonesia’s longest rivers, the Kapuas (1,143 km long) divides the town in two, providing an essential and historical communications link.  West Kalimantan covers an area of over 146,607 sq km, rich in a variety of minerals and precious stones, and remains largely unexplored.

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Mount Palung National Park: Habitat of the Orangutan – located on the border between Ketapang and North Kayon is one of the largest national parks in Indonesia.  Officially open to the public in 1990, Mount Palung National Park covers a total area of approximately 90,000 hectares containing many animal species including birds, mammals, as well as many rare floras. The main attraction of the national park is the undisputed ruler of the Borneo rainforests:  the orangutan (Pongo satyrus). These rare and unique primates find their playground safely protected behind the thick trees in the jungles of Mount Palung.

Entry
Supadio International airport, 18 km from Pontianak city is easily accessible from Jakarta or Singapore by air.


East Kalimantan

A major producer of oil and timber, and at this moment is the most industrially advanced province in Indonesia. Oil, mining and logging bring prosperity to this province.

Entry
Balikpapan is the gateway to East Kalimantan; Garuda Indonesia Airlines fly from Kuala Lumpur to Balikpapan via Jakarta. Balikpapan can be reached by flight directly from Jakarta, Manado and Surabaya as well as from Tarakan.

People & Culture
The original inhabitants of Kalimantan are 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 separate tribal names such as Iban, Funan and Banuaq. Local tribes traditionally live in the communal longhouses called Lamin or Limaq Daru.

Cuisine
Sea food is a must here. Most of the places offer halal food due to Islam influence. Various dishes in Chinese style can be enjoyed at reasonable prices.


South Kalimantan

Divided by the Meratus Mountains into two distinct regions.  The southern section of the province is much flatter with large rivers meandering through lowlands to vast mangrove swamps along the coast, which is why South Kalimantan is an exceptionally fertile land. Many villages and settlements are built along the Barito River, by the indegenous majority, the Banjar. Exquisite traditional and commercial handicrafts are all made from local raw materials which include a variety of precious and semi precious stones, gold, silver, brass, iron and wide variety of woods including bamboo and rattan.

Entry
South Kalimantan is well connected with cities all over the Indonesian Archipelago through Syamsudin Noor Airport, which is about 25 km from Banjarmasin.

People & Culture
The majority is called Banjar, pious Muslim folks. Malay people also dominate this place.

Cuisine
Soto Banjar is a specialty here, best served hot and eaten with steamed rice. It is actually chicken soup, Banjar style. Several spices like clove, nutmeg and cinnamon are added.  The variety of kue or cakes available here are plenty and very tasty. Deep fried breads with yummy fillings, sticky banana rice cakes, are a must for those with a sweet tooth.