Kalimantan Indonesia - Formerly known as Borneo, Kalimantan is the world's second largest island. The North and northwestern part of the island are the East Malaysian state of Serawak and Sabah, with the newly independent state of Brunei Darusalam between them. The rest of the island is part of Indonesia, divided into four provinces - East Kalimantan, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan and South Kalimantan.
Kalimantan is one of the most bio-diverse places on the earth.
It has one of the world's largest tropical rainforests and is home to
rare flora and fauna.
History of Kalimantan
According to the Sanskrit inscriptions dating back to 400 A.D.,
Kalimantan came under the early influence of Indian settlers. But by
15th century, Islamic had great impact on Kalimantan and was rapidly
embraced by the different kingdoms in the island.
In the early 1600s, the Dutch began to establish trading agreements in
Kalimantan and gained monopoly of the spice trade in Banjarmasin and
diamond trade in Sambas. They also made contract with Pontianak in 1778.
Gradually, they took control of all of what is now Kalimantan.
Kalimantan was occupied by the Japanese forces during the 2nd World
War. After the war, the Dutch failed to regain control of the area.
Later on Indonesia achieved its independence and Kalimantan became a
province and was later divided into four provinces.
Climate of Kalimantan
Kalimantan has tropical climate and very high rainfall throughout the
year. Average rainfall is around 3000 mm per annum. The temperature
varies between 29º C and 34º C and the humidity is in the
range of 95-98%.
Best Time to Visit Kalimantan
The best time to visit this fascinating island is during the months of
September and March, when temperatures are much cooler-in the vicinity
of 27°C with pleasant sea breezes.
Tourist Attractions in Kalimantan
Island: It is a favorite place for marine tourism. There are many
rare animals such as the green turtle, the scarlet turtle, star fruit
turtle and sea cow. The place is also home to many rare species of
marine plants and coral reef. It s also a good place for scuba diving,
pearl diving, fishing, swimming and other water sports.
Bontang: Located in the regency of Kutai with 200.000 ha,
Bontang has rare flora and fauna. The Kutai National Park near Bontang
is worth visiting to see sceneries, especially those at Bears Bash.
Pontianak: It is the capital of West Kalimantan. Some of the
favorite tourist spots include Equator Monument, Caldaria palace in
Kampong Dalai, the State Museum, the Kapoks and the Landau Bridges and
Gunning Palung National Park and Nature Reserve: The Gunung
[Mount) Palung national park located in the Ketapang regency is home to
rare flora and fauna. The Raya Pasi mountain located in the Singkawang
regency is also interesting to visit to see the Rafflesia or the Giant
Flower. Singkawang is also a nature reserve. The forest of Sanggau is
worth a visit where hot springs, lakes and caves can be found.
Palangkaraya: Palangkaraya is the provincial capital of Central
Kalimantan and situated in the upstream region of the Kahayan river.
Nowadays, the town has become the center of government, trade and
education of the province. The Regional Museum of Palangkaraya contains
a collection of historical and cultural interest from all over Central
Kalimantan. The Nature Reserve of Tangkiling lies 34 km north of
Sampit: Sampit town, on the Sampit river and the capital of
Sampit regency, is known as the biggest timber port in Kalimantan as
well as in Indonesia. One can find many interesting tourism attractions
in Sampit. Pandaran Beach is a park on the seaside at the mouth of the
Sampit river. It is quite unique. On the north one can see the river
emptying into the sea, while to the south is the wide expanse of the
Java Sea. The Orchid Park of Pembuangan Hulu is a natural forest in
which a number of rare and beautiful orchid varieties grow. Hunters can
engage in their favorite pastime at the Serayan river, which borders on
the hunting park of Kotawaringin Barat.
Shopping in Kalimantan
Some of the favorite shopping items in Kalimantan are ceramic household
ornaments, hand-woven silks and cottons, rattan furniture and other
handicraft items made of bamboo.
How to Reach Kalimantan
There are regular international and domestic flights to Sepinggan
Airport in Balikpapan. The airport is well connected to nearby countries
such as Malaysia and Singapore and to other domestic destinations such
as Jakarta, Denpasar (Bali), Semarang and Makasar.