The Floating Market of Banjarmasin is a traditional market at the estuary of the Kuin river, a tributary of the Barito. The existense of settlements along both side of Kuin River which was begins since many centuries ago is one of fascinating view of Banjarmasin city.
Barito is one of a big river on the island of Borneo, its split Banjarmasin into two part, one part where the site of Banjarmasin downtown as an administratif of South Kalimantan Province, the other site is the jungle with its shaw mills logging along the river banks.
The Barito River is the longest river in South Kalimantan with its length of 600 kilometers, and it's three kilometers wide give an impression to see. The water of Barito River is muddy as it carries silt and rubbish from the hinterland.
During high tide, the sea water floods the area, and the Barito river water becomes salty. In the dry season, when the river water decrease, the wells and ponds are filled with sea water, and also become salty
Floating Market or Pasar Terapung is a traditioil market on the river of Barito, this is a trading activities of peoples who live along the Muara Kuin (Queen Estuary) where buyers and sellers use a small canoe or JUKUNG towards Barito river and undergo their transact
The transaction is open from very early morning at about 05.00 AM and lasting at about 08.00 AM during which time the tourist would see so many peoples with their small canoe or Jukung selling various kinds of commodities and daily necessities, something like fruits and vegetables, spices
Muara Kuin on the Barito River, Banjarmasin is one of two floating markets in this planet. To experience Banjarmasin you must take to the river, either by “klotok“ (river bus), or a speedboat for longer trips. At this market we can buy many variuos fruits and vegetable. One of the fabulous character of this river tourism market is “jukung” or “klotok”. Jukung is the name of tradisional boat in Banjarmasin.
During five hundred years, the Kuin floating market being the favorite place in Banjarmasin. In 1526, Sultan Suryansah build the capital city of his kingdom at the side of the river. It was an old Kuin. However, Kuin have a strong historical relationship to the birth of Banjarmasin city. At this place, the live of Banjarmasin trading began.
T o have any exotic floating market experiences, we can also sail the river into Lok Bintan, another floating market in South Kalimantan. The market float at the Martapura River, Kabupeten Banjar. But, the Kuin market is most famous than Lok Bintan because of it more far location from Banjarmasin.
Martapura is another busy city in South Kalimantan. The city is known as “Gem city” due to their famous stone mining. You can actually visit the stone mining in Cempaka, a small town that can be reached by detour of Banjarmasin-Martapura main road, before Banjarbaru. If you use public transportation, just tell the driver that you want to visit Cempaka. Unfortunately, it was too late for us to visit Cempaka.
To reach Martapura from Banjarmasin, I took mini van from Terminal Km 6 in Jl Ahmad Yani, Banjarmasin. Martapura is a hub that connect Banjarmasin to Kandangan. It takes 45 min – 1 hour to reach Martapura from Banjarmasin.
Martapura, another city who claimed as “Makkah Verandah” and proudly to claim as Islamic shariah city is a small and neat town. The stone market is located in the city center with the blue painted building. The market opens from 9 am – 3 pm. As souvenirs and jewellery that you plan to wear them yourselves, the array of stones are interesting. Don’t go into “diamond” or other precious stones offer by anyone who tries to approach you, as it usually a scam. Just go straight and do happy bargain and shopping.
Mandau is traditional weapon of the Dayak people, native tribe in Kalimantan. That day, en route from Haratai to Loksado, I stopped by at one of villagers house who is generous sharing his family Mandau collection and the story behind them. The family inheritage Mandau is different from those which are sold in the market for souvenir.
I learned that it takes around 2 weeks for Mandau to be made, but three months to do wood carving. Mandau as weapon that is used for war is rarely used now, although in ethnic conflict in late 1990, Mandau was used again. Unlike other machetes, there is technique to use Mandau by swing it from down to the up. Interesting!
What I find interesting from the Haratai waterfall is the way to reach there. I have to pay Rp 50,000 for motorcycle rent and have an interesting off the beaten path motorcycle road through slippery rocks and wonder whether I could manage to see the waterfall or having fall off the motorcycle. You will pass the forest and breathtaking streams. The waterfall itself is nice and tall, although I was sad to see trashes left by the visitors that spoiled the place.
What I find interesting from the Malaris waterfall is the way to reach there. I have to pay Rp 50,000 for motorcycle rent and have an interesting off the beaten path motorcycle road through slippery rocks and wonder whether I could manage to see the waterfall or having fall off the motorcycle. You will pass the forest and breathtaking streams. The waterfall itself is nice and tall, although I was sad to see trashes left by the visitors that spoiled the place.
Another thing I found interesting is the cinnamon. It's nice to see the cinnamon dried process and people rolling the cinnamon in front of their houses or watching them loaded into their motorcycle to sell them to the city.
The village is very close to Loksado. You can hire motorcycle or walk to reach the village. The village is quiet in the morning and noon, as villagers going to work in the field. I love the sight of wooden houses in the village, pigs and chicken roaming around and women weaving basket or arranging cinnamon. Cinnamon is one of agro forestry livelihood in this place. Walk around the village and you can reach to the waterfall at the back of the village. You can also buy hand-made souvenir here that is sold in the people’s houses.
This is must do activity in Loksado. The crystal clear water from the river flows in Loksado will seduce you to have a dip. Bamboo rafting is most popular activity. To rent bamboo raft, the cost is Rp 200,000 for 2-3 hours raft from Loksado to Tanuhi. Just ask the hotel or lodge where you stay or ask the villagers near the entrance of Loksado village. The raft is mild and pleasant. You will pass forest, open farm field by the Dayak and villages. You can also request to stop in places if you are tempted to swim.
There are several floating markets around Banjarmasin, although the famous are Pasar (market) Lhok Baintan and Pasar Kuin. I was suggested by the boatman to visit Lhok Baintan instead of Pasar Kuin.
I got Pak Madi’s name from an acquaintance who lives in Banjarmasin (www.kalimantanku.blogspot.com). If you are interested in hiring Klotok (boat), the number is in the picture at transportation tips. To reach Lhok Baintan, Pak Madi picked us up in front of Mesjid Raya at 5 am. (he is punctual, by 4.30 he already called to check where was I). From Mesjid Raya to reach Lhok Baintan, we cruised for around one hour. People who live along the river bank was already busy in the dusk time.
According to Pak Madi, the market was established as people who live along the river bank trade their crop and harvest. As land transportation is considered more expensive, people prefer to load their harvest/crop to the boat and meet in one point. (I was told, this has happened long time ago).
At 6 am, we arrived in the spot, there were only few sellers gather. Eventually, from different directions, people start coming. They are mostly women. I love the sight when they are approaching and I could have clear glimpse on what they loaded into their tiny boat; banana, coconut, vegetables, chicken and meat. Others brought snack and breakfast to sell. I love two things from them, (1) they ignored us, nodding head and smile then carry on with their activities (perhaps they have seen so many tourists before) leaving me contented as total observer. (2) women sellers look beautiful in their colorful dress, wide hat and powdered lipstick face. The bargain between the sellers was quick and quiet. They are trading while balancing themselves on the tiny boat and keep the boat steady. Around 7 am, the spots eventually quiet again. The sellers left the place, some with empty boat and others with loaded boat than before. It was the exotic, quickest and efficient trade that I ever witness. I could spend days at the spot just to watch their activities and be a happy observer.
Don’t forget to stop by at Rumah Makan Soto Banjar Bang Amat on the way back from the market. It is one of the famous places for its’ Soto (clear or coconut milk soup with chicken and rice cake)
If you're renting a boat to see the floating market you can extend the trip and go to see the monkey island. There is also a temple on the island and a sort of tropical forest area too.
You can buy nuts at the entrance, but unless you concentrate the monkeys will probably very quickly steal the whole bag off you.
You can see a real functioning floating market (not the tourist trap in Bangkok). Hire a boat from by the Belhotel and go early (ie 6-7am). Look out for the boat selling refreshments (see picture) - this seems to be the one making the most money. You're unlikely to see many, if any, other tourists around.
We also can see the local people who live around the Barito River, in the morning they will take a bath in the river...:) so if you feel so hot, you just can jump to the river and swimming...:) or need toilet???
banjarmasin, mainly tradings among locals happened on the rivers. so does the transportation, one to another connected by bridges and canals. then how about houses? also by the rivers. so exploring through the canals will be nice and feel how lively the rivers' life there!