Monday, July 31, 2006

Floating Market

The Meratus Mountains divided South Kalimantan into two distinct regions. The eastern part of the province is filled with the mountains covered with dense tropical rain forests, home to the "Orang Gunnung" or Mountain Peoples.

Collectively called the Dayak, they form the minority of the region's population. The Southern section of the province is much flatter with large rivers, meandering through lowlands to vast mangrove swamps along the coast, helping to make South Kalimantan an exceptional fertile land. Many villages and settlements have been built along these rivers, particularly the Barito River, by the indigenous majority, the Banjar.

South Kalimantan is full colorful and distinctive traditional arts and cultures which can be seen in its people's ways of life, art, dance, music, ancestral dress, games and ceremonies. Exquisite traditional and commercial hand-crafts are all made from local raw materials which include a variety of precious and semi-precious stones, gold, silver, brass, iron and a wide variety of trees such as ironwood, meranti, pinups and rubber have helped to make the province a unique and rich natural resource.

The provincial capital, Banjarmasin, lies a short distance from the mouth of the Barito River at its confluence with the Martapura River. The rivers are literally the lifeblood of the city and everything revolves around them. They are lined with tightly packed stilt houses. A lot of business is done on the water ways; floating markets flourish selling an enormous variety of goods including a tropical selection of fresh fruit such as Kesturi, a rare aromatic species of mango, durian, rambutan, butter fruit, pineapple, watermelon and banana.

South Kalimantan is well connected with cities all over the Indonesian Archipelago through Syamsuddin North airport, which is about 25 km from Banjarmasin. This busy airport handles DC-9's, allowing Merpati Nusantara, Bouraq and Sempati dan Dirgantara Air to service the prov-ince. South Kalimantan can also be reached by sea at Trisakti arid Banjarmasin. For interior travel there are roads, but the waterways are the pre-ferred form of travel.
The floating market is about 20 minutes trip by public transport, the klotok taxi, or about 30 minutes by river transport known as Klotok taxi. The klotok start from the front of the governor office. The market is in Barito river.
The buying and selling are made in the traditional local boat. Such market has started since 400 years ago while people coming from the hinterland took their locol products to sell in the form of barter.
At present no more barter trading system; now money is used. The usual thing about the market that it takes place entirely in the river and it start as 05.00 in the morning and finishes at 09.00 in the morning. Seller and buyers come from different places crowding the market starting from midnight and finally end up at 09.00 the morning

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