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Palangka Raya is the capital and largest city of Central Kalimantan. This mostly forested city is Indonesia’s largest city by land area, four times larger than Jakarta. As the province’s capital, Palangka Raya is a center of economic, governance, and education.
A vast sacred site is the meaning behind Palangka Raya’s name. The charming city sits on rainforest-encircled Pahandut, the site of a small Dayak village. Its tropical rainforest climate with heavy year-round rainfall has given rise to a rich and diverse ecosystem, allowing a wide variety of species to thrive. Palangka Raya—as with the rest of the Borneo region—is home to hundreds of flora and fauna, many of which are endemic; which means, they cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
Palangka Raya rewards us with many natural and authentic tropical wonders to behold. It hosts the magnificent Sebangau National Park, one of Borneo’s last remaining peat swamp forests, where you can enjoy gorgeous pristine hills and shimmering crystal-clear freshwater lakes. You can also visit Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Reintroduction Center, the largest orangutan conservation facility in the world.
Palangka Raya is situated between the Kahayan and Sebangau rivers. It belongs to the Central Indonesia Time (WITA) (GMT +8).
Is it for me?
If what you seek is a mix of nature and culture, then Palangka Raya is a perfect match for you.
While it’s not a busy, sleepless metropolitan city with dozens of contemporary activities to avail of, Palangka Raya is a paradise for nature lovers and culture vultures.
Aside from learning about the environment and natural wonders, you can also visit historic sites and places, such as the Balanga Museum, where you can find many Dayak artifacts.
What is the food like?
Although it is home to native Dayak and Banjar people, Palangka Raya has welcomed many migrants into its borders. They then settle down in the city, bringing along their cultures of origin. Hence, you can expect the local cuisine to be very unique, often mixing Dayak delights with foreign flavor. Some menus worth trying are Soto Banjar and Lontong Banjar.
Can I fly directly to Palangka Raya?
Yes! Tjilik Riwut Airport carries flights to and from the city, which serves daily flights to and from Jakarta and Surabaya.
What show should I not miss?
Consider the Isen Mulang Culture Festival! This festival is held annually in Palangka Raya to commemorate the anniversary of Central Kalimantan Province in May. There, you can witness so many exciting events, such as cultural competitions and exhibitions. The Kalteng Expo is held in conjunction with the Isen Mulang Festival, it showcases cultural products and traditions from all across Indonesia.
When is the best time to visit?
To avoid peak season, consider going in around May-June or September-October.