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There are two kinds of travelers, one who likes to visit the places which are frequented by others and the others are those who want to detach themselves from crowds and other people. These people like a retreat, a place where they can breathe deeply and where days are spent amidst nature. If you are such a traveler, then the rainforests of Kalimantan are the best choice for your next vacation. The adventures and yet, the peace that the jungle gives is confounding. Trek through the best place to see orangutan, our closest cousins. Indulge yourself in the traditions and cultures of Dayak, the indigenous people of Kalimantan. The forests are vanishing fast and their preservation is underway. Even then, it holds such wonders that can not be found anywhere else in the world.
Location: Indonesia (for Malaysian Borneo)
Nearest Airport: Iskandar Airport at Pangkalan Bun
How to reach: Most of Indonesian Borneo access is within 1-5 hours drive from Pangkalan Bun
Famous for: Orangutans,
Exotic birds and Wildlife
Best time to visit: March to October
Birds: Great-billed Heron, Black Magpie, Whitehead's, Diard's, Red-headed & Scarlet-rumped Trogon, Jambu Fruit Dove, Blue-banded, Blue-headed, Giant & Black-crowned Pitta, Dusky Broadbill, Great Argus, Bornean Bristlehead, Black-throated Wren-Babbler, Storm's Stork, Rhinoceros, Helmeted and White-crowned Hornbill
Mammals: Orangutan, Bornean Gibbon, Bearded Pig, & Lesser Mouse Deer
Where to See Orangutans:
Visiting Kalimantan without a glimpse of orangutans is simply incomplete. Visit the Tanjung Puting National Park. The forests of Tanjung Puting are crowded withIndonesia orangutans. One can spot them while cruising through the Sekonyer River Okotoks, the traditional houseboats.
One can also find theIndonesia orangutansin Gunung Palung National Park and Kutai National Park. A good guide is highly recommended for an excursion through the national park. Though orangutans are very smart animals, they still are wild animals and one should not get too close to them or offer them any kind of food. These national parks are in different parts of Kalimantan and can be explored in a day or two by the guests.
The Dayak Tribe is the forefront of the rainforest of Kalimantan. These people have lived amidst nature and one with it. The guests will find their traditions unique and note-worthy. The Dayak people live in longhouses, that is, a large house in which the whole community lives together. The bond among the people and the forest is refreshing. Visiting these people is a wonderful experience.
Dive into nature and get lost for days in the hikes that are available in Kalimantan. If you are athletic and fit enough, challenge the famous Borneo trek. The trek is long and winding. One has to deal with high temperature and humidity but at every step, one will be met with majestic views of the forest and spot the animals. Other treks include hikes through Meratus Mountains and Merbau.
Always get a guide before taking on any of the treks. Also, be prepared for wild conditions and tropical climate.
The Derawan Islands
Get into the crystal clear waters that surround the islands of Kalimantan. The Derawan islands offer you great beaches as well as diving options for the adventurous ones. Swim with the manta rays and explore the unseen world underwater. Spend a quiet evening watching the sunset by the beach. The experience is rewarding as it provides the mind a serenity that is hard to find elsewhere.
Do your bit while at Kalimantan
Kalimantan's rainforests are fast disappearing and with them, the ecosystem that is based on those forests. The place has lost thousands of orangutans and other animals as the forest is being cut down for palm oil. The guests can contribute to saving the forest by employing the local tour agencies so that the people of Kalimantan can have other sources of income. Also, refrain from interacting with or going near the animals as you may leave a foreign infection that can be fatal for them. The place is a wonder of the world in itself. We can do our small part to save it for the coming generations.