Posts Tagged With: Banjarmasin

South Kalimantan and Why I’m Such a Lazy Traveler

Because I enjoy going to a lot of places, but I want to have as minimum hassle as possible.

For example, even when when I tick that “travel purpose” box on almost all visa applications, I rarely ever travel for the sake of traveling. I always have another purpose, be it the core agenda or an additional one. Most of the time, for work, or accompanying someone.

The pluses:

You can worry less about accommodation, tickets, and all other travel preparations. Someone else is already taking care of it.

The minuses:

You have limited time to explore the place you’re visiting, because you have something else to do. Often when you’re accompanying people, you don’t have enough freedom to do what you want. But I don’t demand much, and am easy to please. So I’m happy to be in certain places and go home with a couple of moderate-quality site-specific pictures taken by a camera phone.

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Earlier last year, I went for a work trip in South Kalimantan. I spent one week in Tanah Laut, and one week in Barito Kuala. Here’s ten things I acquired from the trip.

1. The fish cuisines in south Kalimantan are really, REALLY GOOD. Nine out of ten dishes I had were excellent. Grilled, steamed, fried, anything! Saluang is very famous there but my favorite fish are Lais and Patin (I think it’s Basa fresh water). If you’re not into fish just go for Soto Banjar.

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2. If you are an accessories lover, go to Martapura shopping spot and buy your stuff there. The price can be up to 5 times cheaper than that in Jakarta. People in Kalimantan Shop are friendly and the price they give is good enough.

3. The beaches are okay but not that great. I went to Pantai Srawangan in Tanah Laut and I basically saw……….sand. And seawater. I mean, well, it actually has the potential to be a tourism spot, if cleaner and managed better.

4. There’s no flower in Flower Island (Pulau Kembang), but there are monkeysIf you go to Pasar Terapung and Pulau Kembang, you can confidently say that you’ve been to South Kalimantan. Kalimantan is famous for its numerous rivers. I’m excited to just get in the boat and be able to take pictures with these overly attached monkeys.

The monkey is in the picture on your left hand side. The one on the right is my working partner @ariefnugs. Okay?

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5. There’s only one mall in Banjarmasin. And be accustomed to those times when the power goes off. I mean this doesn’t happen infrequently. But it normally only takes 10-30 seconds. So I can still accept that.

6. There’s almost zero traffic jam. Banjarmasin is not a remote area but doesn’t have as much city atmosphere as Jakarta does. So you might miss an untouched natural sceneries but you won’t have too many problems with mobilization. They have decent roads and land transport is not so hard to find.

7. I find the weather hotter than here in Jakarta. Maybe because it’s closer to the equator. The good thing is there’s (of course) less pollution.

8. People are nice and friendly. Well, basically Indonesians are like that.

9. Next time you go to Banjarmasin, maybe a one-week trip would be useful. I only had around 3 non-consecutive free days so I didn’t get the chance to visit other interesting sites people had been telling me earlier. Like the waterfall, the mining site of Martapura, and several places in different part of Kalimantan like orangutan conservation and Derawan Beach.

10. Look, there’s “Terapi Gangguan Jin”! Meaning if you are possessed by an evil spirit/bad genie, you know where to go :p


That’s it for today. Thanks @ariefnugs for the sunrise picture. Next post is about a trip to Prague in late 2012.


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