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The islands of Kalimantan's north east side are diving jewels yet to be discovered.
|Inserted/Added by: ||lars, © Author: Lars Hemel|
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Kalimantan, the Indonesian Borneo also referred to the River of Diamonds is together with the Malaysian Borneo one of the biggest islands in the world. Without doubts its highlight are orangutans, its green and thick rainforest and its different but colorful tribal culture. It has pristine and secluded beaches, excellent hikes, swamps, challenging rivers such as the Mahakam River, exotic flora and fauna, and a rich mixture of tribes, indigenous people (originally Dayaks) that nowadays provide for many different groups with all their own habits, religions and culture. Highlights for tourists include the Banjarmasin Zoo where you can find all animals that live in Kalimantan or taking a safari to Tanjung Puting National Park, even more wildlife but without the bars and cages. The country is slowly becoming richer as tourism, oil, gold mining, silver digging in Martapura and timber incomes are on the rise. Some of the more travelled towns are Samarinda, Balikpapan, Baniarmasin and Palangkaraya, all gateways within the province with some nightlife, entertainment, travel agencies and museums.
The rainy season lasts from November to March while land and water temperatures are between 25 and 30 degrees year around. The islands are slightly less humid and the further you go offshore the better visibilities tend to be, but always above ten meters.
Most diving is done at the northeast side of Kalimantan where several secluded islands can be found. In the Makassar Strait you can find dive destinations such as Derawan, Samama, Maratua, Kakaban and Sangalaki. You can reach Sangalaki, the main island of the five, from Balikpapan, Indonesia or by a two hour boatride down the scenic Berau River. All islands are diving gems with many species of fish, huge coral formations and the brightest colors. There are sharks, manta rays, all kinds of coral reef fish and turtles.
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