That isolated piece of South Kalimantan’s paradise is known as Loksado, where the well preserved indigenous Dayak culture meets the stunning natural landscape.
Loksado might seem unfamiliar even to avid travelers, a single dot on the map of Kalimantan. This relatively small municipality consists of a number of villages, scattered among the deep forests of Mount Meratus in South Kalimantan, Borneo where the well preserved indigenous culture meets the stunning natural landscape.
Due to its remote location, the trip there might be quite a challenge. Driving Into the Heart of the Meratus Mountain Range, few hours from Banjarmasin, capital of South Kalimantan Province, one will be welcomed by a lush landscape decorated with wonderful waterfalls, rushing rivers, and the enchanting culture of its indigenous people, the Dayak Meratus.
With the Dayak’s history of headhunting and animism, few places on earth are as wrapped in such rugged mysticism. The Dayak in Loksado live in the traditional stilted houses called Balai. Today, there are at least 43 of these Balai that can be found in 9 villages across Loksado. A Balai is a traditional wooden long house with tens of rooms measuring 3 by 4 meters and are occupied by tens of families. Here, Dayak usually holds religious rituals and ceremonies to honor the harvest season. The ceremonies are usually held one a month.
The Dayak Meratus follow an ancient religion called Kaharinganwhich simply translated means “life”. This faith includes the concept of a Supreme Deity and emphasizes the harmony between mankind, between man and nature, and the harmony between man and God.
Equally fascinating as the exotic Dayak culture are the Meratus Mountains themselves that are filled with natural splendors. The lush landscape is decorated with fascinating waterfalls and tropical forest where the exotic Nepenthes plants and endemic orchids grow. There is also the Tanuhi Hot Spring where you can enjoy refreshing healing waters.
The most exceptional feature of Loksado’s natural treasures is the Amandit River that runs through some of the most fascinating sceneries of the area. The winding river of fresh clear water decorated with rocks and creeks and unique traditional bridges that look to the lush green hills of Meratus are surely a sight rarely found elsewhere. To top it all, you should enjoy the magnificent scenery and exceptional sensation from a bamboo raft on the river.
One of the main attractions that you definitely must try is bamboo rafting. Different from cruising the river on rubber boats or kayaks,the thrill of riding the currents over creeks while standing on a bamboo raft is something truly out of the ordinary. The bamboo raft is handmade and is usually tailored to specifically hold the weight of a specific amount of passengers. Normally, it is safe to hold four passengers, including the rower/guide.
The usual end-point of the bamboo rafting ride is the village of Muara Tanuhi, about two hours downstream from Loksado. The ride is slow and long enough to give you a taste of the rapids and a burst of adrenaline while passing through the atmospheric karst country and wild forest.