Wednesday, April 22, 2009

South Kalimantan: Muara Kuin Floating Market

A. Brief Information

Muara Kuin Floating Market is one kind of trading interaction patterns of people who live above the water. The sellers and buyers conduct the trade on boats called Jukung (Banjar Language). The trade activities start after morning prayer and usually end when the sun has moved up about 9 a.m. (Middle Indonesia Time). Late that that, the market is deserted by the traders who go along the river, selling their stuff to the inhabitants living along the river.

This floating market has existed since more than 400 years ago and this is the proof about the trading activities of people who live above the water. Like markets in the land, on this floating market, trading commodities, such as vegetables, fruits, fishes, and other household needs are also sold. The first buyer is called dukuh while the second buyer who buys from the first hand to be sold again is called panyambangan. In this market, visitors can watch the trading transaction which is done traditionally by bartering amongst boating traders. In Banjar Language, it is called bapanduk.

Unfortunately, the attractive condition of trading activities on boat gradually loses its fame, not only because of the decreasing amount of the local traders, but also because of traders‘ attitude which is not friendly anymore and the lack of support from the government of Banjarmasin City. The government policy to build market in the land nearby Muara Kuin floating market and hundreds of low bridges which block the river traffic access directly or indirectly, is one the causes make the trading activities disappear in this floating market.

B. Distinctive Features

Visiting Muara Kuin floating market will give unforgettable memories about how the people who live above the water complete their daily needs. Besides, visitors will also know the trading transaction pattern which have existed since more than 400 years. Because this market has become a witness of economic activity journey of South Kalimantan society, a familiar saying appears that “if you have not yet visited Muara Kuin floating market, you have not gone to Banjarmasin”.

The jostling situation between big boats in this floating market is pretty unique and special. The jukung drivers with his skill of chasing the buyers or the sellers who hang around and oaring their boat which often shakes because of Barito River wave. Tourists who come from big cities will feel different sensation when seeing woman traders with their wide hat riding in a boat to sell garden products or food made by themselves.

Floating market does not have organization as market in land, so it is not recorded how many traders and visitors, the traders division based on commodity, and places to sell which always move.

Visitors who only want to relax can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and food/cookies from Banjar, while enjoying the shaking wave which spring upon the klotok (motorboat) that is ridden. Visitors can also see floating houses (Lanting House) which are located along the river side.

C. Location

Muara Kuin floating market is located in the current of Barito River, exactly in the estuary of Kuin River, North Banjarmasin Sub-district, Banjarmasin City, South Kalimantan Province.

D. Access

If leaving from the center of Banjarmasin by using motorboat or usually called klotok, it needs about 45 minutes to reach the market which is located in the current of Barito River.

If you want to reach it earlier, visitors can use land transportation by taking Banjarmasin City – Alalak Village route. From Alalak Village to the location of floating market which is not really far, visitors can charter klotok which costs 70.000,00 IDR (based on charters‘ ability to bargain). By renting klotok, visitors are not only able watch the activity in the floating market, but also invited to picnic to Kembang Island.

E. Ticket Price

There is no entrance cost.

F. Accommodation and Other Facilities

This place provides renting place for klotok boat, restaurants, stall which sell food and soft drinks. Besides, in this market, visitors can spend the night in Lanting House which stands in a line in the river side.


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Welcome! This blog provides information and guidance for traveller who want to visit some of interested places on Kalimantan Island - Indonesia. Many traveller from all over the world are interested in visiting this island since they can enjoy beautiful places, beaches, lakes,foods, cultures and etc. Hope this blog could be your free guidance for visiting Kalimantan Island. Please enjoy....

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