Escape To Central Borneo: 11 Best Things To Do In Palangkaraya

things to do in palangkaraya indonesia
| 3 min read

Although Palangkaraya is less popular than other Bornean cities, such as Kuching and Pontianak, its charm always catches your attention. The capital of Central Borneo surprisingly offers a lot of hidden attractions you need to explore — the pristine lake, the admirable waterfall, and rivers are like sunken treasures. Surrounded by tropical Bornean wilderness, the city is where natural beauty meets the warmth of the Dayak culture and heritage.

To help you enjoy your fun Bornean discovery, here is a list of 10 things to do in Palangkaraya:

1. Find serenity at Lake Tahai

099 - Tahai
Source: Photo by Flickr user Pablo Rodríguez used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Relax and get in the vacation mood by cooling off at Lake Tahai, located in the hub of the city. Revive your mood while the fresh breeze is cooling you off. The highlights of Lake Tahai are the tropical trees thriving in the peatland, a flock of birds chirping beautifully, and the reddish brown water coming out of the roots of the trees. The floating houses of the locals adds to the lake’s exquisiteness.

Lake Tahai

Address: Desa Tahai, Kelurahan Tumbang Tahai, Kecamatan Bukit Batu, Kotamadya Palangkaraya

Visited this place?

2. Have some fun at Taman Wisata Kum Kum

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Taman Wisata Kum-Kum on Sunday, July 22, 2018

Taman Wisata Kum Kum is a great alternative to refresh your body and soul. Situated 5 minutes away from the iconic Kahayan Bridge, the park is where you can say hello to several wild animals such as monkeys, Indonesian bears, crocodiles, and endemic birds. The traditional huts lining the path are good for relaxing (you will be charged 10,000 to 20,000 IDR per hour or 0.75 to 1.5 USD).

Taman Wisata Kum Kum

Address: Pahandut Seberang, Pahandut, Palangka Raya City

Visited this place?

3. Meet the orangutans

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Julielangford used under CC BY 3.0

Exploring Borneo doesn’t sound great without greeting the Bornean orangutans in Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation. Spend a couple of hours with the cute furry animals. They are indeed friendly creatures welcoming to everybody. You can show your support to the endangered species by releasing the orangutans into the wild.

Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) Nyaru Menteng

Address: Komplek Arboretum Nyaru Menteng, Jl. Tjilik Riwut Km 28,, Tumbang Tahai, Bukit Batu, Palangka Raya City

Website: BOSF

Visited this place?

4. Go find the secluded Ujung Pandaran Beach

Taking a relaxing break in Ujung Pandaran Beach is an absolutely great idea. The soothing waves along with the crystal clear Javanese sea is perfectly paired with the stretch of golden sand. Additionally, don’t miss the annual festival called “Simah Laut.” The locals clean the beach and float some offerings out to sea. The exotic sunset is another highlight at dusk.

Ujung Pandaran Beach

Address: Ujung Pandaran village, Teluk Sampit sub-district, Kotawaringin Timur district

Visited this place?

5. Experience the Dayak culture at a Betang house

If you want to experience the authenticity of the Dayak culture, be sure to drop by a Betang house. The traditional dwelling has an elongated shape with a staircase (that’s why it’s also called the long house) and unique architectural design on the wooden walls. The house is inhabited by some families (100 to 150 people).

Betang House

Address: Tanjung Puting National Park, Pangkalan Bun

Visited this place?

6. Discover Tosah Waterfall

Posted by Yudi Fabregas on Friday, 12 May 2017

If you are a nature enthusiast, don’t miss Tosah Waterfall for your incredible Bornean adventure. There are three streams dropping from the cliff. The natural pool surrounded by lush vegetation is available for swimming. Situated 45 minutes away from Puruk Cahu, the waterfall is good for doing some activities, such as bathing and playing in the water.

Tosah Waterfall

Address: Muara Ja'an Village, Murung District, Murung Raya Regency

Visited this place?

7. Visit the Balanga Museum

Museum hopping is another activity you can do in Palangkaraya. Be amazed at plentiful historical collections ranging from Indonesian artifacts to Bornean cultural objects in the Balanga Museum. When entering the museum, you will enjoy the ethnic Dayak song. Other items for Ngaju ceremonies and Dayak weddings are well-maintained and on exhibit.

Balanga Museum

Address: Jl. Cilik Riwut Km 2 Palangka Jekan Raya Palangka Raya

Facebook: Balanga Museum

Visited this place?

8. Take a river cruise

Palangkaraya is synonymous with rivers and the jungle. Taking a river cruise is another fun thing you can do while exploring the elegance of the Bornean river called Kahayan. A monkey island, a mystical graveyard, a fishermen’s village, and tropical birds are the fascinating sights you can delight in from your wooden barge. Some endemic creatures, like uwa-uwa, bekantan (Dutch monkey), and lizards, can be spotted.

Wisata Susur Sungai Kayahan

Address: Jln. S. Parman, Palangkaraya 73111

Visited this place?

9. Get lost in Borneo's wilderness

things to do in palangkaraya indonesia | get lost in borneo's wilderness
Source: instagram

Take a little adventure into Borneo’s wilderness and feel the sensation of getting lost in it. Sebangau National Park is where your crazy journey is about to begin. To reach the site, you need to ride a kelotok, a local boat. Just enjoy the amazing scenery from your boat. The tropical landscape is filled with thick greenery and the hanging orangutans you’ll see are the best part.

Sebangau National Park

Address: Jl. Mahir Mahar KM.1,2 Kotak Pos 65 Palangka Raya

Website: Sebangau National Park

Visited this place?

10. Enjoy the local cuisine

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Guang Wei on Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Palangkaraya is also famed for its unusual yet good foods you need try. The authentic Dayak specialty named umbut rotan shouldn’t be missed. Enjoy the blend of spiciness, sourness, and bitterness in the dish made of young rattan stems. Juhu umbut sawit is another special dish, only served on big occasions. The colorful boiled vegetables along with the yellow broth is so appetizing.

Guang Wei

Address: Jl. Yos Sudarso, Palangka, Palangkaraya, Kota Palangka Raya

Visited this place?

Take your little Borneo journey in Palangkaraya

Escaping to Palangkaraya will absolutely give you another perspective about Borneo, home to the endangered orangutan. Borneo’s fascinating nature, from the exotic hidden waterfalls and meandering rivers to the deep jungle, is worth it to discover. The warmth of the Dayak culture and delicious cuisine are well-presented. Visit Palangkaraya soon!

Visited this place?
Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our Privacy Policy for more information on how we use your data

Rofiq, hailing from East Java, Indonesia, is a passionate explorer who thrives on discovering new places, encountering diverse people, and immersing himself in various languages and cultures. His...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Palangkaraya
Good things are meant to be shared!