Dayak Culture of
East Kalimantan, Indonesia
Interest & Things to do :
Culture Safari Tours and Jungle Trek Expeditions
Trek can be done in the whole Apokayan area, recommended visit
time is 4 or 5 days
Kayan, and Dayak Kenyah Culture are still intact, Rainforest and
traditional farming can be found around almost each village the area of
Trek Expedition Tours can be done between villages
Kayan, Dayak Kenyah,
& Fauna : Rainforest & excotic
Public Bus from Balikpapan to
Samarinda airport, continue by flight ( booking has to be done one
month in advance, for reservation or schedules please contact us, or
see the "Get There" site ) to Long Apung.
Tarakan to Malinau, continue by flight ( booking has to be done one
month in advance )to Long Apung.
Reach Apokayan Overland, from Samarinda, cruise up Mahakam River by
public ferry or chartered houseboat till Long Bagun, from here
chartered long boats have to be used to get to the Boh River, and
cruise up as far as possible, another 3 to 4 days trekking through
and mountains to Sungai Barang, from where you can navigate by
chartered motor canoes or hikking to villages in the Apokayan area,
estimated travel time to reach Apokayan overland is 8 to 10 days from
entry point Balikpapan.
Tarakan or Balikpapan, also possible to
Trek via Long Nawang to the area of Kayan River and Long Bawan,
trekking time is between 1 and 2 weeks upon weather conditions and
to enry point
1200 Km to from Balikpapan
km from Tarakan Airport
Kayan river with its tributaries stretches from the border area
between Indonesia and Malaysia along the Muller mountain range to its
estuary on the south coast of east Kalimantan. Tanjung Selor, at the
estuary of the Kayan river, is the capital of the Bulungan regency.
This river has a tributary called the Bahau river.
upstream region of the Kayan river, especially the plateau
(400-1,700 meters above sea level), is called Apo Kayan, inhabited by
Kenyah Dayaks, who live in the villages of Long Sungai Baran, Lindung
Payau, Long Uro, and Long Apung. The plateau is covered with forest and
dry fields. The Dayak settlements are found in areas 400 to 800 meters
above sea level.
Kenyah along the Border
the Kenyah live in umaks, or longhouses of sub-tribes. The
Kenyah are divided into several sub-tribes or umaks. The Tukung occupy
the furthest upstream village on the Kayan river, Long Sungai Barang.
The Tao live in Lindung Payau and Lonh Uro, and Jalan in Long Apung
umak, or longhouse, has many compartments. Each is called
a lamin, used by one family. The length of a lamin is five meters. The
length of longhouse is between 100 and 300 meters. In the past, there
were longhouses 400 meters long. There are flights from the Long Apung
airstrip to Samarinda, a 75 minutes flying distance away. Nawang Baru
and the umak dado longhouse are not far from Long Nawang, about three
kilometres away. The original arts and culture of the Kenyah, and
rattan handicraft items, can still be found here. Besides beautiful
jungle and mountain scenery, the Apo Kayan region has a refreshingly
cool climate and spring.
Bawang and Long Berini, in the upstream regions of the Bahau
river, a tributary of the Kayan river, can also by reached by plane
from Tarakan, or by motorboat from Tanjung Selor.
river journey up the Kayan river from Tanjung Selor is a rather
lengthy one, as it must go through the villages of Tanjung Palas, Long
Penjalin, Muara Hilir, Antutan, Mara, Long Beluah, Long Pesok and Long
Bia. Giram Raya is a big rapid near Long Pasok, with a length of 275
meters and a width of 55 meters, and gorge with whirlpools and granite
rocks. Boats must be carried over land, to avoid the rapid.
is a row of old graves in the shape of houses with statues
serving as pillars in Long Panjungan. The roofs are decorated with
wooden figure dragons. Sometimes dances are performed around the
village. The people wear masks during the rice planting.
Through Visit 5 to 6 Days by Flight and 14-18 days trekking
's Apokayan area is unique for trekking and expedition through
connected trails that lead you to mostly virgin forest. You can stay
overnight in the local houses of the villages. Apokayan area can be
reached by plane, or trekking via Mahakam River either Kayan River. In
the Apokayan area, the villages can only be reached by foot or
chartered motorized canoes. The Jungle Trails range from 2 hours to
days in length,
depending on the route you choose, camping in the forest may be
required, but inform before. The often used Rain Forest Trails are not
dangerous if you are careful, but mud and leaches make a trek difficult
when it rains. Leaches however are really no problem, your guide will
you how to use tobacco or salt to avoid getting bit. Tobacco and
mosquito repellent is a winning combination for the leaches so do bring
Dayak people in the villages at Kalimantan 's Apokayan region are
trustworthy, and have a good sense of humor. Almost Each Dayak Tribe is
self sufficient, and producing all their own food and supplementing
their diet through hunting. Hunting is with either home-made rifles,
blowpipes or packs of dogs and spears. In the Apokayan of Kalimantan
money is difficult to come by as they are isolated from
markets. You will be warmly welcomed.
No one in the area speaks any English, so if you hire another guide at
least some knowledge of Indonesian will be required.
While it is often Raining at Kalimantan, The more
dry period of July-September is the best. The forest is at its loudest,
leaches are few, trails dry up and butterflies are plentiful. Although
you will have to contend with hot afternoons and lots of honey bees. In
recent years the climate has been more difficult to predict than usual.
Second-best time is November-December when fruit and wild boar are in
abundance. November also tends to be dry and is honey harvesting
season.Actually all the months are OK for travel at Kalimantan, while
January and February are the months with the most rainfall, but is
still a mixture of sun and rain.
you go of the beaten trail rubber shoes
used are highly recommended for traction and comfort, If you're route
doesn't involve camping, it is still recommend to bring a sleeping
mattress for overstay at local houses. In a homestay, meals and
sleeping arrangements, including mosquito nets and blankets usually be
provided. If you're camping, buy all food supplies in cities before you
go into the hinterland of Kalimantan. In the mountains nights are
coldest (down into the low teens), so if you're camping a summer
sleeping bag is a good idea. Bring mosquito repellent and anti malaria
pills and at least two pairs of knee-high socks for leaches.
Kalimantan is a bit more expensive instead of other
Indonesian regions, cause of it's bad infrastructure, Guide is needed
as almost No one speaks English here.
Access is via one of the
- Flights and Ferry Boats From Java, Bali, and Sulawesi Islands are
heading up to big coastal cities at Kalimantan as Balikpapan,
Samarinda, Tarakan, Banjarmasin,Palangkaraya,Pangkalanbun,and
Pontianak. For the latest updates you can e-mail us, we will sent you
an updated flight schedule from the point you wish.
- Crossing the Border, There are two legal entry points to cross the
border, one at the North part of East Kalimantan, from Tawau to
Nunukan/Tarakan, and one at West Borneo, from Kucing to Pontianak, both
can be done by flight or either overland / sea. Visa's for both of
these entry points have to be request at the Indonesian Consulate at
Kucing either Tawau before you can enter Indonesia.
For more information see our "Get There" page which you can find at the
left navigation table under the "Kalimantan Globaly" chapter.
Degigant Tours is in unanimous
agreement for the area's forests to be
protected and for more tourists to arrive.