Negara

Negara

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Northwest of Kandangan, the riverside town of Negara is the gateway to a vast wetland ranch where water buffalo swim from their elevated corrals at sunrise in search of grazing areas and are herded back at dusk by cowboys in canoes – an interesting sight if you’re there in late afternoon. The town is a memorable sight too, with its huge mosque and brilliant dome rising across the bridge as you enter. Surprisingly, there is no hotel. Rent a boat across the street to see the swimming cattle (200,000Rp).

To get here from Kandagan take a public minibus (7000Rp, one hour), shared Japanese sedan with four people (15,000Rp per person, charter 60,000Rp), or ojek (40,000Rp).

Loksado

Loksado

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Loksado is an absolutely charming hamlet of gingerbread cottages flanking a rushing stream, Sungai Amandit, with a pedestrian suspension bridge. Set amidst beautiful mountain scenery, it stands apart from the rest of Kalimantan’s tropical jungle, a feeling reinforced by the wonderful drive in, which curves through green hills until you reach the end of the road, 40km from Kandangan (great by motorcycle!). You’ll find the best backpacker pad in Kalimantan here, as well as a vibrant Wednesday market, and numerous hiking trails for exploring Pegunungan Meratus, a 2500-sq-km mountain range spotted with Dayak villages. If you’re looking for a place to hang out indefinitely, you can’t beat this combination.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/indonesia/south-kalimantan/loksado

Banjarmasin

Banjarmasin

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Banjarmasin has been called the Venice of the East, a jaw-dropping exaggeration. Sadly, this enormous city, which lies at the confluence of several rivers, sprawls in all directions but offers very little for its size. It is best known for the boat trip to its floating markets, an experience both interesting and discomfiting, as it passes through great poverty. You may benefit from moving outside your comfort zone, but don’t come expecting St Mark’s Square.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/indonesia/kalimantan/banjarmasin