Banjarmasin is the gateway to South Kalimantan and is rather unique in several aspects. For one thing, it lies 0.16 meters below sea level. During high tide, the sea water floods the surrounding marshes, and the river water becomes salty. In the dry season, when the river water decrease, the wells and ponds are filled with sea water, and also become salty.
The river environment, however, gives this old town an appeal that is all its own. Rivers surround it and bring life to the town. The busiest trading centers are found in the center of the town, such as at Pasar Baru, Kuripan Market and some modern markets such as the Antasari Shopping Center. The Ramadhan Cake Fair is an event in which cakes are sold during the month Ramadhan. Various cakes, including some for offerings, are sold in the market on Jl. Martadinata.
The Floating Market of Banjarmasin is a traditional market at the estuary of the Kuin river, a tributary of the Barito. From daybreak boats come from villages around the rivers Tabuk, Jelapat, Anjir and Selapat, bringing vegetables, fruits and other daily needs and household utensils. Buyers and sellers come to the market in small boats and close their transactions on the water. All daily needs can be obtained at this market. As the day proceeds, the atmosphere becomes more cheerful. The number of buyers increase, and more boats gather. At a little past noon, the market quietens down. The now empty boats leave. The number of buyers dwindles, and finally everything is quiet again on the river. The best time to see market in action is in the early morning.
Mantuil is an attractive floating village on the outskirts of Banjarmasin.
The Palau Hijau recreation park is suitable for family recreation. There is a fishing pond, a mini zoo, a playground and other entertainment facilities. The park is located 24 kilometers from the center of the town, near Syamsuddin Noor airport.
The Sabital Muhtadin Grand Mosque in the center of Banjarmasin town is the biggest mosque in South Kalimantan, and is the pride of its citizens. The mosque occupies an area of about ten hectares, with the Martapura river in front it is a beautiful tourism attraction, near the main facilities for religious education and a library.
In Banjarbaru the only museum of South Kalimantan can be found, The Lambung Mangkurat Museum has various historical relics from the Banjar kingdom, such as jars, plates, traditional costumes, and other antiquities. A copy of the holy Qur'an, written by a prominent Islamic leader named Syekh Muhammad Arsyad Al-Banjari (1710 - 1812), is also preserved here.
The Grave of Sultan Suriansyah who spread the Islamic religion to South Kalimantan lies at Kuin village, and can be reached within 15 minutes from the center of town.
Kembang Island at the delta of the Barito River which can be reached in 10 minutes from the Floating Market, by motorboat, occupies an area of about 60 hectares, and is inhabited by thousands of tame monkeys and birds. There is also a Chinese sacred place to pray. The best time to watch the wildlife and monkeys is in the early morning or in the late afternoon.
Bakut Island is a wildlife reserve at the Barito River and can be easy reached by motorboat. It is inhabited by the Proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus), a species found only in Kalimantan. The monkey has reddish brown fur, a prominent nose, and slanted eyes. Bekantans like to play in the mangrove forest in the morning or afternoon. Recommend visit time is in the morning or late afternoon.Banjarmasin is the capital of South Kalimantan province. The town lies at the estuary of Barito and Martapura rivers, and is inhabited by about half a million people. It occupies an area of about 72 square kilometers embracing four districts as East Banjar, West Banjar, North Banjar and South Banjar. The town has a total of 50 villages.