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South Kalimantan
Type of Location
About Location

Banjarmasin is the capital of South Kalimantan, Indonesia.It is located on a delta island near the junction of the Barito and Martapura rivers.As a result, Banjarmasin is sometimes called the "River City".Banjarmasin is served by the Syamsudin Noor Airport, located about 25 km outside the town. The town is also served by a port, named Trisakti Harbour.A fairly important deepwater port, Pelabuhan Trisakti Banjarmasin is the trade center of the Barito basin; exports include rubber, pepper, timber, petroleum, coal, gold, and diamonds.Passenger ships and ferries to and from Java also carry their operation here.Main economic sectors in order of their contribution to Banjarmasin’s GDP (2005): transportation and communication (26.1%), processing industries (24.9%) and trade and commerce (16.5%).Main processing industries are: plywood, rattan and rubber manufacturing.

The city is laced with flood-prone waterways, and many houses are built on rafts or stilts over the water.Many of such waterways are also used for travel, using relatively small rowboats (only major rivers are accessible by larger speedboats, tugboats, longboats, and barges).The large majority of the population is Muslim (96%).Other religions include Protestants, Catholics, Hindus and Buddhists.The city is the home of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Banjarmasin.

Nan Serunai was an ancient kingdom in South Kalimantan, but soon it was replaced by Buddhist kingdom of Tanjungpuri. In the fourteenth century, Banjarmasin was part of the Hindu kingdom of Negara Dipa and Negara Daha respectfully, a vassal of Majapahit.But Pangeran Samudera converted to become a Muslim in the fifteenth century.Following this Banjarmasin was founded at the junction of the Barito and Martapura Rivers on September 24, 1526.The Dutch opened trade there in 1606.The British controlled the city for several brief periods, and in 1787 it became a Dutch protectorate. Banjarmasin remained the region's capital until the onset of the Banjarmasin War in 1859, when the Dutch headquarters were moved to Martapura.

The Hikayat Banjar is the chronicle of Banjarmasin.This text, also called the History of Lambung Mangkurat, contains the history of the kings of Banjar and of Kota Waringin in South-east and South Borneo respectively.At the beginning of the 20th century Banjarmasin was the largest city in Borneo. In 1930 its population was 66,000 and grew rapidly reaching 444,000 in 1990.Banjarmasin was the capital of Dutch Borneo.It was therefore an objective for the Japanese during World War II. Banjarmasin was occupied on 10th February 1942.Under the Koppen climate classification, Banjarmasin features a tropical rainforest climate.Temperatures are relatively constant throughout the year, averaging about 27 degrees Celsius, and the city has no real dry season. However Banjarmasin has noticeably wetter and drier times of the year.November through May forms the wettest part of the year while the remainder of the year is the drier part of the year. Banjarmasin on average sees just under 2600 mm of rain per year.

How to Reach

By Air

Syamsudin Noor Airport (IATA: BDJ, ICAO: WAOO) is an airport serving Banjarmasin in South Kalimantan, Indonesia.It is located 10km south-west of Banjarbaru and 25km south-east of Banjarmasin, the largest city in Kalimantan.The airport has two distinctive apron.One in front of the terminal capable of hosting 4 medium sized planes and one on the terminal's left capable of serving 4 Boeing 767s.Recently, upon completion of expansion in 2004, the airport has dealt with mark up allegations.The larger tarmac was discontinued until Angkasa Pura has paid the airports' debt to the government.Historically, Boeing 767 was the first wide body aircraft to land in this airport in 2004.

By Car

The roads of Trans-Kalimantan are in bad condition, but if you’re patient and adventurous you can try to reach Banjarmasin from the neighbouring provinces of Central Kalimantan and East Kalimantan by car.

By Ferries

Another alternative to get to Banjarmasin is by ship from various places in Indonesia to Banjarmasin’s main harbour, Trisakti.Be forewarned that the condition of passenger ship transportation in Indonesia is poor, albeit cheap, and you might want to consider that before spending the night (at least 1 night if you come from Java).You best bet is Express Ferry where it’s available, only 8 hours from Java, and 2 days + 2 nights of seatrip from Jakarta Tanjung Priuk Harbor Passenger Terminal. Plus, there are ferries from Semerang and Surabaya, both on Java.There's a ferry every 2 days between Surabaya and Banjarmasin.The ferry between Surabaya and Banjarmasin is 21 hours.If you have a problem with cigarette smoke, this is not a good method of travel.Smoking is permitted in the sleeping area.There are no cabins. Solo females should be aware that they will receive a considerable amount of male attention, most of it unwanted.The food is not good.

By Taxi

Your best bet would be the metered taxi, insist the driver to use the meter if you have to.Alternatively, you can use “angkot” or “bamikro” or public shuttle microbuses, which interesting enough are also called “taxi” too by the locals. Also available is by "ojek" (motorcity taxi) and "becak" (Tricycle Rickshaw), that cost around USD 2.00 - 2.50 or Rp. 15,000 - 20,000 for inner city trips.

Key places to visit
Sabilal Muhtadin Mosque, Kampung Kraton, Museum Waja Sampai Ka Putting, Floating Market, Pasar Ahad


Places to Visit

Sabilal Muhtadin Mosque

Is the largest mosque in Banjarmasin, Indonesia in terms of capacity to accommodate people.The name chosen for this Banjarmasin Sultan Mosque, is a tribute and appreciation of the late Grand Scholars, Sheikh Muhammad al-Banjary Arsyad (1710 - 1812 AD), who had developed the Islamic religion in the kingdom of Banjar or South Kalimantan region now.

Kampung Kraton

Is a palace used before the time of the colonial Dutch.After their arrival, the palace was completely destroyed the palace.Today, the ruins of the palace are still there but that's about it.It is located near the oldest mosque in the South Kalimantan known as the Masjid Sultan Suriansyah Mosque.

Museum Waja Sampai Ka Putting

The building that houses the Museum Waja Sampai Ka Putting was once an old house using traditional Bajarese architecture.This style was known as the Bubunga Tinggi.This is one of twelve styles and this structure is the best example.Today, the structure has been transformed into a museum known as Museum Waja Sampai Ka Putting.The museum houses several artifacts and relics that depict the history of the area.

Floating Market

The Floating Market opens at the crack of dawn, and if you want to get nice bargains, you have to be there early. Several colorful boats are tied together along the river banks which offer a wide array of food products from around the area. Fruits, vegetables and other produce are sold fresh and at a very reasonable price. There are also several cafes lined by the water's edge where you can sip coffee. The boats will then come to you to offer you something for breakfast.The journey to the Floating Market takes about 20min by boat travelling downriver.

Pasar Ahad

Pasar Ahad literally means Sunday market.Based on the name itself, the market only opens during Sundays which makes it even more interesting.Every Sunday morning, you will see locals jogging, cycling, walking or even running to the market since it offers a nice variety of local goods and treats. One such breakfast treat that is popular in Pasar Ahad is the Ketupat Kandangan which is a dish made from fish known as Haruan. Another popular breakfast item is the Apam.

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