Indonesia Travel Guide

Banjarmasin - South Kalimantan

Indonesia

Highlights * Martapura River * Floating markets * Canals * Long nose monkeys

Hotels and reviews * Getting to Banjarmasin

 

 

 

Places of Interest in Kalimantan

Other Indonesian locations

Banjarmasin, the capital city of South Kalimantan province, is just 22 kilometers from the Java sea, and since portions of the city are below sea level, the city rises and falls with the tides. Referred to as the Venice of the East because of the many canal networks that snake through the city.

Originally, Banjarmasin was completely river-oriented, and much of this is still evident today. Houses on stilts line the waterways which crisscross the capital. The Martapura River travels though the city like a busy main road carrying a variety of boats.

 

Banjarmasin has one of the best mosques in Kalimantan, the Grand Mosque, Sabilal Muhtadin is set on a 10-hectare area in the centre of the city looking over the Martapura River.

Grand Mosque at Banjarmasin

Just across the river from the Grand Mosque is a Chinese Taoist temple.

Chinese Taoist Temple Banjarmasin

Chinese Taoist Temple

decoarations at Chinese Taoist Temple Banjarmasin

Off from the Martapura River there are hundreds of canals with bustling life up and down them. The houses are built on stilts, suspended over the canals and water level.

River in Banjarmasin

Banjarmasin river

River tour

The water level of these canals are controlled by a series of locks that keep the water in during low tide of the river.

Canals in Banjarmasin

Another trip via slow boat is to Kembang Island (Pulau Kembang) to see the long nose monkeys (Dutch Monkeys). Kembang Island is located withing the Barito River. It's takes around 40 minutes to travel by longboat from the centre of Banjarmasin, along the Martupura River and along to the Barito River.

Dutch monkeys Probiscus monkeys Banjarmasin

A day trip from Banjarmasin can be organised along the Martapura River to see diamond polishing and also to Cempaka Villa-Geto to see the digging for diamonds.

Overnight trips can also be arranged to Loksado to stay in a Dayak village long house and go jungle trekking.

Traffic in Banjarmasin

Traffic in Banjarmasin

Alcohol in Banjarmasin

There are no pubs in Banjarmasin. It is mainly a muslim population who do not consume alcohol. You can find beer and spirits in some restaurants and large international hotels though it is extremely expensive, up to 50,000Rp for a large bottle of Bintang.

Tourist Office

The tourist office (Pariwasata) is located on Jl. Lambung Mangkurat facing the Martapura River, just down from Hotel Victoria.

Foreign Money Exchange

There are not a lot of money changers in Banjarmasin and those that are there are closed on Sundays. There are plenty of ATM machines and you can exchange money at the large international hotels.

Pt. Arta Money Changer Jl. Haryono MT. No 16-20 Banjarmasin Ph: (0511) 335 6055

Getting to and from Banjarmasin

The Syamsudin Noor airport in Banjarmasin is only for domestic flights in Indonesia. The following airlines fly to and from Banjarmasin to other Indonesian destinations:

Lion Air have direct flights from Banjarmasin to Jakarta and Surabaya with connecting flights to 34 other Indonesian destinations. www.lionair.co.id

Garuda Indonesia have direct flights to Banjarmasin from some of the major cities of Indoensia including Jakarta.

A taxi from the Airport into the centre of Banjarmasin is a fixed price of 75,000Rp and takes around 30 minutes.

Ferry to Banjarmasin

You can catch a Pelni ferry to and from Banjarmasin and Surabaya (18 hour trip). This service operates 1 or 2 times per week.

Pelni also operate a ferry service to Semarang which takes 24 hours. This service departs 1 or 2 times per week depending on demand.

Bus to and from Banjarmasin

All buses to other cities and towns in Kalimantan leave from the bus terminal - Terminal Induk Banjarmasin.

Bus transport from Banjarmasin

A bus to Palangkaraya (capital of Central Kalimantan) will take around 4 hours and costs 45,000Rp. Parts of this road is very bumpy with lots of pot holes.

A bus can also be caught to Balikpapan or Samarinda in East Kalimantan.

To get to Tunjung Puting National Park in Central Kalimantan is a 16 hour bus trip from Banjarmasin. The trip can be broken up by stopping in Palangkaraya and/or Sambit along the way to Pangkalanbun.

Last updated 13th December 2015

Martapura River Banjarmasin

Martapura River

Floating markets at Banjarmasin

The floating market (Pasar Terapung) is a colourful bustle of boats and people. The floating market is situated on the Barito River. (Sungai Barito). It is an important way for the local farmers to sell their produce of fruit and vegetables including chilies, bananas, ginger, rambutan, oranges and jack fruit. The markets opens everyday at around 5am and is finished by 9am. From the centre of Banjarmasin it takes about 40 minutes down river to get to the market spot.

Pasar Terapung floating markets Banjarmasin

Pasar Terapung Banjarmasin

Boat tour in Banjarmasin rivers

Houses along the river at Banjarmasin

Everynight there are night markets (Pesar Malam) on Jl. Brig. Jend. Katamso, just in front of Hotel Perdana, selling clothing, jewelry and a variety of food.

Night markets in Banjarmasin

 

 

Hotels in Banjarmasin

Losman Permata is very basic backpacker style dorm accommodation in the centre of Banjarmasin. Prices are 30,000Rp for 1 person, 35,000Rp for 2 people and 50,000 for 4 people. Located on Jl Kolonel Sugiono a few minutes walk from the Martapura River.

Hotel Perdana (1 review) is a budget hotel in the centre of Banjarmasin with prices starting from 70,000Rp, probably the lowest price for decent accommodation in Banjarmasin. Great service with breakfast and afternoon snack included in price. For pictures, prices and contact details click here.

Hotel Sabrina is a budget hotel in the centre of Banjarmasin with prices starting from 75,000Rp. For picture, prices and contact details click here.

Hotel Asia Baru is a relatively new budget hotel in the centre of the city a few minutes walk from the river. Prices from 135,000RP per night. For picture, prices and contact details click here.

Hotel Rajawali Samaindah is a budget hotel a few minutes walk from the Martupura River. Prices start from 145,000Rp. For picture, prices and contact details click here.

Mira Hotel is a brand new budget hotel, a street away from the Martupura River and down from the Grand Mosque. Prices start from 150,000Rp. For pictures, prices and contact details click here.

Hotel Cahaya is a budget hotel on the other side of the Martapura from the Grand Mosque. Prices start from 150,000Rp. For picture, prices and contact details click here.

Hotel Kartika. Air-conditioned hotel with prices from 155,000Rp per night. For picture, prices and contact details click here.

Hotel Kartika Antasari is a budget hotel just across from the Martapura River and down from the Grand Mosque. Prices start from 209,500Rp. For pictures, prices and contact details click here.

Hotel Roditha is a modern hotel just a block away from the Martupura River with Internet WiFi Hotspot. Rooms start from 250,000Rp. For picture, prices and contact details click here.

Hotel Aquarius is a modern hotel which backs onto the Martapura River. With air-conditioned rooms prices start from 278,905Rp. For pictures, prices and contact details click here.

Hotel Victoria (2 reviews) is a modern hotel which backs onto the Martapura River. With air-conditioned rooms prices start from 289,000Rp. For pictures, prices and contact details click here.

Hotel Grand Mentari is located in the centre of Banjarmasin. Rooms starting from 330,000Rp (US$33) www.grand-mentari.com

Jelita Hotel (1 review) is a modern hotel in central Banjarmasin offering WiFi wireless Hotspot internet access. Prices start from 420,000Rp per night. For picture, prices and contact details click here.

Swiss-Belhotel Borneo is located in the heart of Banjarmasin. Prices from US$66 per night. www.swiss-belhotel.com

Free WiFi wireless Internet access

There are not too many internet cafes around Banjarmasin though a fair few cafes and shops offer free WiFi wireless internet access and a number of hotels offer the same.

StarBread Bakery and Cafe offer free wireless internet access with a purchase. No userid or password is required.

Transport on Martapura River Banjarmasin

Transport boat on Martapura River

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