Negara Travel Guide

Negara is a small settlement in central/west South Kalimantan and is not to be confused with Bali’s Negara or that of Taman Negara in peninsular Malaysia.

It lies north of the South Kalimantan capital Banharmasin between Buasbuas and Kasarangan. Negara is a bit of a low-profile place in South Kalimantan that is little visited by tourists. Those who do come here can get up close with the Dayak tribespeople who are into making traditional weapons like the machete (mandau).

Handicrafts using local raw materials are churned out and trekkers can stay in their longhouses. There are a couple of rivers near to Negara which are tributaries of the Martapura. Boating and rafting along these to get to the Dayak villages is par for the course. The high amount of rainfall in South Kalimantan makes for a lush rainforest and many types of fruit trees.

Travel to Negara - getting there

Negara is around 150 to 200kms from Banharmasin and fairly major highways run not far past Negara on the way to Kelua. Buses make the journey in around 4 or 5 hours. Taking a boat to Barito from Banharmasin and bussing it from there is another option. Banharmasin Syamsuddin Noor Airport receives flights from Jakarta (2 hours).

Negara attractions

Dayaks: these indigenous people of the Kalimantan have many villages in and around Negara that can be reached by trekking. They retain their ancient customs, which include tattooing and machete making.

Side trips from Negara

Negara River rafting: there are several rivers in the region where tourists can go bamboo rafting or boating.

In brief

What to do: trekking, visiting traditional Dayak villages.

Best time to go: May through to October to avoid the wet season.

How long? A day at most in Negara.

Trivia: Negara lies on a tributary of a tributary of the Martapura River.