West Kalimantan is easily accessible from Jakarta or Singapore by air. One of its main attractions is the culture of its Dayak ethnic groups.
Most Dayaks live in long houses along rivers which crisscross the land. This province covers an area of 146,807 square km. Its low plains are swampy with more than 100 rivers playing a vital role in communications and the economy.
Scattered across the swamps are several lakes and villages, often linked by bridges. The provincial capital, Pontianak lies exactly on the Equator. It is a fast growing city divided into three parts by the Kapuas and Landak rivers. Pontianak is the main gate to enter this province through Supadio Airport, 18 km from the city.
The Kapuas river, about 1,143 km, is one of the longest river in Indonesia, connecting Pontianak with the Sanggau, Sintang and Kapuas Hulu Regencies. Among the branches of the Kapuas river are the Landak, Kubu, Punggur, Melawi and Sekayam rivers.
The population of West Kalimantan consist of the Dayaks, Malays, Chinese and some other Indonesian ethnic groups.
Dayak dances express respect, heroism, welcome and cure. It is recommended to take a river trip and make overnight stops at villages where dance performances are organized on advance notice.
As the capital of West Kalimantan, there are some interesting places to visit, among others theEquator Monument, Kadariah palace in Kampung Dalam, the State Museum, the Kapuas and Landak Bridges with a river view and floating market. You can also simply relax in the recreational park Tirta Ria. The beach resort of Kijing and Temajoh Island are good places for diving, fishing and sailing.
Betang (Long House)
On the outskirts of Pontianak is a Dayak traditional long house at Saham village, 158 km from Pontianak. The measures of this long house are: 186 m long, 6 m wide, in habited by 269 people. There is no accommodation here.
It lies 17 km from Singkawang in the Sambas regency. There is a beach resort, ideal for swimming. Comfortable cottages are available equipped with a tennis court. In the vicinity of Singkawang, the Gunung Poteng hill resort with its fresh air is a good place for nature lovers.
National Park and Nature Reserve
The Gunung (Mount) Palung National Park located in the Ketapang regency is home to miscellaneous 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. The other nature reserves are the forests of Baning and Kelam Hill in the Sintang Regency. While in Kapuas Hulu, there is the Bentuang
West Kalimantan has recently been developed for tourist traffic, however, Pontianak has two three-star hotels, each with modern amenities and also facilities for conventions.
Two and one-star hotels have air-conditioned rooms with attached bathrooms, telephones, TV and restaurants. Several moderate accommodation, such as lodges and inns are common in every regency.
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