Traveljunkieindonesia.com – Found the meaning of life yet? One for the travel junkies, this 2700 – oddkilometre route takes in the Orangutans of magical Tanjung Puting National Park and the Dayaks of Kalimantan’s interior, before skipping over to Sulawesi for Toraja funeral ceremonies, river rapids, mountain treks and marine life.
Six to eight weeks. Unassuming Pangkalan Bun is the entry point to this excursion – it’s the launching pad for trips into glorious Tanjung Puting National Park, one of Indonesia’s best orangutan haunts. Scan the canopy for their amber bodies from the top of a Klotok/houseboat as it ambles down the beautiful Sungai Kumai, then fly back to reality in colourful Banjarmasin. Dabble in the best of Kalimantan’s urban culture – brave a 5am call for the animated floating markets, then cruise the canals and meet the locals at dusk.
From Banjarmasin travel overland to Samarinda and make an expedition along Sungai Mahakam. Several days upstream will land you in the river’s western reaches, which are peppered with semitraditional Dayak villages and preserved forests.
From Samarinda catch the weekly Pelni ferry to Makassar to marvel at colonial Dutch architecture and gorge on some of Indonesia’s best seafood. Chart a course due north for vast and mesmerising Tana Toraja, home to Sulawesi’s most fascinating indigenous culture. Take part in the elaborate funeral ceremonies, hop through remote villages, raft the Sungai Sa’dan’s rapids, and scale spectacular summits.
Continue north and settle in Central Sulawesi for hiking around Indonesia’s third largest lake, Danau Poso. From here escape the ‘mainland’ and plant yourself on the blissful Togean Islands, which are laden in marine life and culture. After snorkelling and diving the vivid reefs head into Northern Sulawesi and the laid-back port of Gorontalo, where you can get busy with the camera on some of the finest Dutch architecture in the country.
Happy Green Travels!