Apo Kayan Travel Guide

The area known as Apo Kayan is a very remote highland in the eastern part of Kalimantan near the border with Malaysia. This plateau is densely covered in forest at a high elevation, with the Kayan River flowing through it.

The Apo Kayan is mainly inhabited by Kenyah Dayaks. Life in this far-flung part of Borneo is still run by hereditary chiefs, so any traveler intrepid enough to venture here is guaranteed an adventure.

But that’s the whole point of a visit to the Apo Kayan. Not only is the scenery truly sublime, but the indigenous Dayak culture seems strikingly authentic compared to in other areas in Kalimantan. Visitors can expect to sleep on the floor of a longhouse if invited to stay in the village.

For most travelers, the Apo Kayan is about interacting with a very remote Dayak village. Long Nawang is currently home to the ruling chieftain. Other Dayak villages open to visitors include Long Ampung, Long Sungai Barang and Lidung Payau. Naturally, you’ll want to hire a good guide for these excursions, but it’s a journey you’re not likely to soon forget.

Getting There & Away

You can fly from Samarinda, the largest city in East Kalimantan, to the Dayak village of Long Ampung twice a week with Asahi or Pelita airlines. However, these tiny flights often change so it’s better to plan to fly into Samarinda and make your way by land to your destination in Apo Kayan. There are taxis and buses in Samarinda that can get you there.