Tourism of Pontianak West Kalimantan
The province of West Kalimantan covers an area of over 146,607 square kilometers and sits exactly on the equator. Its landscape is criss-crossed by its many rivers and tributaries. One of Indonesia’s longest rivers, the Kapuas (1,143 kilometers long), divides the provincial capital town of Pontianak in two, providing essential economic and communications link. Archeological stone carvings and ceramic remains can be traced as far back as the 5th century, but it is the influence of Islam that has had the most impact on this region. West Kalimantan is rich in a variety of mineral resources and precious stones, and its vast and rugged landmass remains largely unexplored.
Coastal areas are mainly swamplands with more than 100 rivers sculpting through its flat plains. In the mountainous eastern parts of the province, away from the city and plains, are numerous villages of the indigenous Dayak people. A large population of Chinese, Malays and other Indonesian ethnic groups account for the rest of province’s population. West Kalimantan has a tropical climate with an average daily minimum temperature of 22.9° C and maximum of 31.5° C. The area’s light rainy season is from March to May and the heavy rains fall from November to January.
Pontianak, the capital of West Kalimantan Province, covers an area of 146,607 square kilometers. Objects of interest closest to Pontianak are the Kadariah Palace in Kampung Dalam, the State Museum and the Kapuas and Landak Rivers. The beach resorts at Kijing and Temajoh Islands have good accommodation and spots for diving, fishing and sailing.
The Equator Monument
The Equator Monument is located five kilometers north of Pontianak, marking the precise spot at which the equator bisects the earth into the northern and southern hemispheres
A replica of a Rumah Betang, or Dayak longhouse, can be seen at Jl. Letjen Sutoyo, Pontianak. The ‘Gawai Dayak’ ceremony is held here each year on April 20-23.
Baning Nature Reserve
This nature reserve offers stunning vistas right in the heart of Sintang City. Baning National Park is easily accessible. With its unique ecosystem, virgin tropical rainforest and breathtaking panorama it is a relaxing city oasis. Many varieties of orchids and nepenthes create the setting for a beautiful nature walk. For the more daring, trekking to the beautiful Nokan Nayan Waterfall should be a memorable experience. The unit office at Sintang can provide more detailed information on the many types of activities offered by the park.
Kendawangan Nature Reserve
This huge nature reserve is consists of lowland swamp forest, fresh water swamp forest and mangrove forest. it is located in the south-west coast and have many lowland habitats and sandbars Where bird feeding areas, protected species such as Orang utan, Proboscis Monkey and crocodile can be observed. A few population is found in this area so poor agricultural and forestry value. Three main rivers occur in this area: the Kendawangan, Air Hitam Kecil and Air Hitam Besar. During the flooding season, the Air Hitam Rivers which are Blackwater Rivers see their width varying constantly and have Rasau (Pandanus helicopus) vegetation. During dry season, the size of the river reach a very tight state and bushes such as the alang alang will be just found in the reserve. At the small river banks, some thick parts of thick forest exist but because of the dry season and the burning period a large part of it has disappeared. The Gelam (Melaluca) resists in spite of all the natural disasters (fires, flooding....). Other species of trees are also found such as Jeluntung (Dyera Costulata) and Ramin. By the Air Hitam Besar River some peat soils occur so the upper river and the transmigration scheme are heavily disturbed. Several habitats such as mudflats, mangrove, sandy beaches and others are found. The west coast of Kendawagan shows reliefs and extensive mudflats and the coastal waters of the south are influenced by the Air Hitam Rivers.
Bukit Raya-Bukit Baka National Park
Bukit Raya-Bukit Baka National Park comprises rainforests, rugged landscapes, mountains and meandering rivers. An abundance of inland waterways offer endless opportunities for bathing, boating, water-skiing, bird watching and fishing. The combination of delightful climate and fascinating wildlife adds to the park’s charm. The park is easily accessible from Nanga Pinoh by 4WD vehicle or from Nanga Popai by longboat. Bordering Sarawak, Malaysia, and Central Kalimantan and covering an area of 181,090 square kilometers, this national park is home to the world’s largest species of flower, the Rafflesia sp.
Palung National Park
The 90,000 square kilometer Gunung Palung National Park, located in the Ketapang Regency, is home to an incredible array of flora and fauna. Hot springs, lakes and caves are among the exceptional features found here. The park can be reached by plane or express boat from Pontianak to Ketapang or to Telak Melano, followed by a 2-hour minibus ride or 6 hours by kandong (traditional boat).
Pasir Panjang, 17 kilometers from Singkawang in the Sambas Regency, is a beach resort with excellent swimming and tennis facilities. Comfortable cottages are available here. In the vicinity of Singkawang, the Gunung Poteng Hill Resort is a favorite spot for nature lovers.
A spectacular marine nature reserve 100 kilometers east of Ketapang and covering an area of 77,000 square kilometers, the island is home to many species of turtles and dugongs. The regional Rahadi Usman Airport and sea port are important links to the rest of vast Kalimantan. A wide range of accommodations are available here, ranging from moderate to fine hotels, including restaurants.
Sintang is a river town on the confluence of the Kapuas and Melawi Rivers, strategically making it the interior of Borneo. A huge rock outcrop forms a spectacular natural backdrop for the town of Sintang, covering an area of 520 square kilometers and rising some 900 meters (3,000 ft) from the plains below. Kelam (‘gloomy’) Rock begins to don its characteristic shroud of clouds by mid afternoon, becoming dark and mysterious. It is only 15 kilometers from Sintang by public transportation. Steel stairs are built into the rock’s side to allow visitors to climb to the top. Rest pavilions and coffee shops are available nearby for the weary traveler.
Selimpah Beach is a beach camping area. Between the months of February and May, many sea turtles lay their eggs there. It is 305 kilometers from Pontianak city or 80 kilometers from Sambas.
Kapuas Hulu Regency
Kapuas Hulu Regency, also known locally as Uncak Kapuas, offers a unique and wide range of activities. Visitors can experience the vibrant local culture by attending the annual Gawai Dayak ceremony held at the end of the rice harvest season, or get immersed in the daily life of local Dayak communit, their enchanting music and arts. Betung Kerihun National Park offers challenging ecotourism. This 800,000 hectare park has an amazing wealth of flora and fauna and is considered to be the heart of the Kalimantan rainforest. Witness cultural performances by seven Dayak sub-ethnics living around the national park, including the Punan Hovongan, Punan Bukat, Taman Kantuk, Kayan, Tamambaloh and the Iban.
Lake Sentarum National Park
Lake Sentarum National Park in West Kalimantan covers an area of 132,000 hectares in Kapuas Hulu regency. The surrounding fresh water swamp is home to a selection of more than 220 species of freshwater fish. The most prized is the socalled Super Red Arrowana (Scleropages formosus), locally referred to as ‘Ikan Silok’. This fish is valued for its beautiful coloration and much sought after by collectors and enthusiasts alike, as it is believed to bring wealth and fortune to the owner. At night, visitors can spend the night in traditional floating houses. Other activities here include fishing, swimming, bush walking, mountain climbing and traditional speed boating.
Mananggar or Banangar
Mananggar Falls is a unique waterfall situated between Landak and Bengkayang, accessible by 4WD vehicles. The falls cascade down in seven stages over a vast area, surrounded by pristine rainforest and caves. The falls are renowned for having an aura of mystery.
Nokan Nayan and Nokan Jengonoi
Nokan Nayan and Nokan Jengonoi, are a hidden paradise in the heart of Borneo. These are two amazing waterfalls, both more than 200 meters high and more than 50 meters wide. The falls are surrounded by pristine tropical canyons and lush jungle and offer a magnificent view of the Schwaner Mountains.