Banjarmasin Floating Market, Borneo

Banjarmasin is the capital of South Kalimantan province on the island of Kalimantan (or Borneo) and measures about 72 kilometers square. The Martapura River divides the city and provides for water transportation, trade and tourism. Banjarmasin is nicknamed Kota Air or Water City since it lies a few centimeters below sea level. Similar to the more famous floating market in Bangkok, Thailand, the existence of pasar terapung is very much part of the city’s history. In 1526 Sultan Suriansyah built a kingdom on the edge of the Kuin and Barito rivers that later became Banjarmasin city. A traditional trade center gradually developed along these rivers and Banjarmasin then became home to two: the pasar terapung in Muara Kuin and the other in Lok Baintan on the Martapura River — the latter being less popular due its far location from the city.

Pasar terapung Muara Kuin is a typical traditional market in the outfall of Barito River. It offers a fascinating panorama for many local and foreign visitors where one can witness both sellers and buyers in intense negotiations on jukung or traditional boats. If you want to be part of the market, you must be there before sunrise. Since most of the sellers are Muslim, they will begin their trading activities after they perform morning prayers and by 7 am they will be done. It is a beautiful scene to catch the sunrise between the jukung while sellers offer fresh vegetables from the surrounding agricultural areas along the Barito River and its watercourses. Many visitors enjoy seeing other commodities on display here such as various fresh fruit, fish and household items.

The atmosphere at pasar terapung is unique and visitors can see big and small jukungs jostle each other looking for buyers while the waves come and go. Pasar terapung has no organization like traditional markets on land, so there is no record of the number of sellers or buyers. Barter is also an old tradition that continues here, a form of acceptable trade between sellers or locals that is termed bapanduk. The next time a visit to Banjarmasin is in the cards, a side trip to pasar terapung is not to be missed.

Muara Kuin Floating Market

Monday – Sunday
Opens From: 05:00 – 09:00
How to get there: From the hotel, you will require to take a taxi, becak

Lok Baintan Floating Market
Monday – Sunday
Opens From: 05:00 – 09:00
How to get there: From the hotel, you will require to take a taxi,  becak

Martapura River Floating Market
Sunday Only
Opens From: 05:00-09:00
How to get there: From the hotel, you have an option to walk or to take a becak, ojek, taxi. From the hotel take a left and straight down the road Jln Ahmad Yani Road. At the end of the road, near the bridge, take a right and head straight.

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