Must see attractions in Kalimantan

  • Sights in Tanjung Puting National Park

    Orang-utan Feedings

    Orang-utan feedings at Tanjung Puting National Park are part of an ongoing rehabilitation process, but also allow visitors a near-guaranteed opportunity to see the great apes in semi-wild surroundings. Feedings take place at three camps: Tanjung Harapan (3pm), Pondok Tangui (9am) and Camp Leakey (2pm). Times are generally fixed and scheduled to allow boat-bound tourists to visit all three on a two-night boat trip. Reaching camp feeding stations requires a short walk through jungle from the dock.

  • Sights in Banjarmasin

    Pasar Terapung Lok Baintan

    The more authentic of Banjarmasin's floating markets is about one hour by boat northeast of the centre on the Martapura River.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Balikpapan

    Samboja Lestari

    A Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation project, Samboja Lestari houses more than 150 orang-utans on a series of islands, along with a separate sun bear sanctuary. Half-day morning and afternoon tours include lunch or dinner (reserve ahead) and show off the centre's residents and accomplishments. For a more immersive experience, stay overnight at the stunning eco lodge.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Samarinda

    Islamic Center

    The western skyline of Samarinda is dominated by this must-see complex containing an ornate and colourful mosque with adjacent observation tower. The latter is the highest point in the city, offering panoramic views up and down a great bend in the Mahakam. The muezzin's sunset call is a captivating moment.

  • Sights in Sukadana

    Sedahan

    Known for its high-quality rice, this verdant farming village at the foot of Gunung Palung, 10km northeast of Sukadana, has a unique attitude and aesthetic due to the Balinese migrants, whose culture blends with the local flavour. A nascent ecotourism initiative, including community homestays (175,000Rp per person with meals), has opened new opportunities and made Sedahan the natural base for visiting Gunung Palung National Park. Local guides can arrange trips from here to Lubuk Baji in the park.

  • Sights in Putussibau

    Betang Banua Tengah

    Built in 1864, this betang is home to Tamambaloh Apalin Dayak. Debate over whether it's the oldest longhouse in the region (if not Kalimantan) abruptly ended in 2014, when neighbouring contender Betang Uluk Palin tragically burned to the ground.The floor looms 4.5m above the earth, supported by the original weathered ironwood columns. Take the Badau bus or a taxi 50km northwest of Putussibau, then it's 4km southwest on a gravel road.

  • Sights in Balikpapan

    KWPLH Sun Bear Conservation Center

    This informative sun bear conservation centre is surprisingly straight to the point about the heartbreaking plight of all of Kalimantan's animals. Seven resident bears reside in the 1.3-hectare walled enclosure; walk the outer boardwalk or wait until feeding time when you can observe them near the clinic. Take angkot 8 to the large gate at Km23 (7000Rp), then walk or hitch 1.7km south. A taxi from Balikpapan should cost around 200,000Rp, including waiting time.

  • Sights in Merabu

    Goa Beloyot

    Indiana Jones would feel right at home ascending to this alcove in a limestone cliff above the forest, 5km from Merabu village, where travellers left their mark some 10,000 years ago. These hand stencils and animal depictions are a small sample of the thousands found throughout the karst of East Kalimantan, most of which are inaccessible to all but the most committed explorer. Arrange a guide in Merabu.

  • Sights in Banjarmasin

    Cempaka Diamond Fields

    Wooden sluices filter muck from pits where men stand chest deep blasting away at the sediment with water cannons. Mining at Kalimantan's largest diamond mine at its most basic, cheap, picturesque, and – for the bold – participatory. At the Banjarbaru roundabout take a green passenger truck southbound to Desa Pumpung (6000Rp, 15 minutes, 7km), then walk 700m south from the main road.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Pontianak

    St Joseph's Cathedral

    Pontianak's dramatic domed cathedral was opened in 2015, replacing the earlier 1908 church deemed not large enough to accommodate the city's Catholic congregation. While obviously European in design, with its St Peter's–inspired dome, Corinthian columns and fine stained-glass windows, the architecture also incorporates Dayak influences, totems and motifs.

  • Sights in Putussibau

    Ariung Mandalam

    One of the most authentic and welcoming longhouses close to Putussibau, Ariung is home to 38 families in a jungle setting on the banks of the Sungai Mandalam. It's abut 8km east of Putussibau: follow Jl Mupa north of town, cross the bridge, turn left at Nanga Sambus and look out for the sign. It's across the river via a swing bridge.

  • Sights in Merabu

    Danau Nyadeng

    This vivid turquoise spring full of fish at the base of the limestone mountains begs you to dive in. Best enjoyed after the short but gruelling hike to Puncak Ketepu. The lake can be reached by longboat or on a half-day jungle hike with local guides from Merabu.

  • Sights in Mancong

    Mancong Longhouse

    This exquisitely restored 1930s longhouse is flanked by intricately carved totems. Those with chickens represent a healing ceremony. The souvenir shop across the car park can rustle up blankets and mosquito nets if you absolutely must sleep in the otherwise vacant building (75,000Rp).

  • Sights in Balikpapan

    Ruko Bandar

    This waterfront development is unique in Kalimantan and offers everything you need for a night out, including above-par restaurants, live music, lounge bars and a dozen fun but easy-to-miss waterfront cafes (at the rear, facing the sea). Make this your first evening stop.

  • Sights in Sintang

    Jasa Menenun Mandiri

    This organisation actively works to preserve and reinvigorate the practice of traditional weaving. The excellent gallery, in a replica longhouse known locally as Rumah Betang Kobus, has the most extensive collection of reasonably priced ikat you'll find in Kalimantan.

  • Sights in Banjarmasin

    Pasar Terapung Kuin

    The closest floating market to central Banjarmasin is lively but touristy.

  • Sights in Tenggarong

    Mulawarman Museum

    The former sultan's palace, built by the Dutch in 1937, is now a decent museum chronicling the culture, natural history and industry of Indonesia's oldest kingdom – as evidenced by 5th-century Sanskrit engravings (the originals are in Jakarta). The ornate Yuan and Ming Dynasty ceramics are compelling, while the wedding headwear from around Indonesia is entertaining. The architecturally incongruous building is itself an attraction, with strong parallel lines reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright's work.

  • Sights in Putussibau

    Betang Sadap

    Not the oldest, nor the most picturesque, but perhaps the most welcoming longhouse community, this betang is 93km northwest of Putussibau. An ecotourism effort promotes joining in with activities such as fishing or splashing up the cascading rainforest creeks of the community forest. Why pay millions of rupiah for a boat trip to Betung Kerihun when you can have it all here? Homestay accommodation (50,000Rp) and meals (30,000Rp) can be arranged with a week's notice.

  • Sights in Pontianak

    Istana Kadriah

    For an outing that will show you a bit of town, visit the wooden palace of Pontianak's first sultan on the east bank of the Kapuas; in a refurbishment project in 2017 it was painted lemon yellow but the interior retains its original charm. Explore the surrounding village on stilts for a glimpse into the city's past. Get there by canoe taxi (regular/charter 2000/10,000Rp) from the foot of Jl Mahakam.

  • Sights in Tanjung Isuy

    Lamin Batu Bura

    Few lamin (the local word for longhouse) around here are occupied outside of community ceremonies, but this Benuaq Dayak house is an exception – you may find resident women sitting on the split bamboo floor weaving naturally died fibres of the doyo leaf into beautiful decorative cloth called ulap doyo. Walk or take an ojek 1.5km south of Tanjung Isuy dock, staying left at the fork.