Banjarmasin, not only Thousand Rivers but also Thousand Stories
BANJARMASIN, Indonesia, Dec. 7 -- Banjarmasin is a capital city of South Borneo. It is known as a city of thousand rivers because geographically the city is surrounded by many rivers. Until now, we still can find many houses built on the river. Therefore, don’t be surprised if there are still many people who use river water to support all its activities. It’s ranging from bathing, brushing teeth, washing clothes until livelihoods.
One of the unique livelihood in Banjarmasin is selling on the floating boat. This is known as Pasar Terapung or the floating market, which is used as one of the tourism sector in Banjarmasin. Like a traditional market in general, goods which are bought and sold here are vegetables, fruits, and various other household needs. The difference between usual traditional market and Pasar Terapung is the buyer can feel the new sensation of shopping while sitting on the floating boat.
If you want to visit this place, you must be willing to wake up earlier, because this market doesn’t last all day. This market starts at 06.00 until 09.00 am only. Above 09.00 am, traders had scattered along the small rivers to sell his wares to people who live in the riverside. According to the history, this livelihood has been going on more than 400 years and still exist until now.
Besides Pasar Terapung, Banjarmasin also have Pulau Kembang. If Pasar Terapung is kind of traditional market, Pulau Kembang or Monkey Island is pure tourism. In this place, we could find a rare species of monkey, that called bekantan. Pulau Kembang is located in the middle of Barito River. To reach this place, visitors should cross the river using a machine boat, that called kelotok.
From the history, it was said that Pulau Kembang derived from Chinese ship that was lost until it snaps into the Barito River in war time. And the name Pulau Kembang was taken from the owner of the ship, Law Kem Bang. Because of that story, Chinese people built a shrine on the island to honor and pray for the ancestors. They believed that their ancestors represented by the existence of intangible monkey guards. Until now, Chinese visitors still coming here to pray and honor their ancestors.