Wonderful | Borneo

The Dayaks tribes came to Kalimantan as a migration from other parts in Asia about 3000 years ago.

Dayak are defined in more then 200 different tribes, the main tribes are the Bakumpai and Dayak Bukit of South Kalimantan; the Ngajus and Baritos of Central Kalimantan; the Benuaqs, Kayan, Kenyah, and the nomadic Punan of East Kalimantan, and the Ibans of West Kalimantan and Malaysian Borneo.

Traditionally, Dayak agriculture was based on swidden hill rice cultivation called "ladang" and "hutan. Dayaks organize their labor in terms of holding groups which determined who owned rights to land and how it was to be used. Nowadays, the Dayaks work in the mining industry, wood industry, and on the plantations of Kalimantan. borneo, dayak, longhouse, tour, kalimantan, culture, tribe, headhunters, hunting, forest, jungle,

The Dayak indigenous religion is a form of animism called "Kaharingan", and seems to be close with Hinduism. The practice of Kaharingan religion differs from tribe to tribe. The spirit is believed to partake in the celebration, a mark of honor and respect to past ancestries and blessings for a prosperous future.
Since 1970 missionaris came in to Kalimantan and most Dayaks converted to Christianity which was introduced by European and American missionaries. The relations between all religious groups are generally good. Despite the destruction of pagan religions in Europe by Christians, most of the people who try to conserve the Dayak's religion are missionaries.
In the Coastal cities the populations are largely Muslim, influanced by the relatively high cultural Javanese Majapahit Kingdoms and the Islamic Malay Sultanates that appeared periodically throughout Southeast Asian history.

The Dayaks live in longhouses, which is a structure of hardwood posts that can be hundreds of meters long, mostly located along a river bank. At one side there is a long communal platform, the other side (back side) has the individual households apartments for each family.
Headhunting kept the practice of old headhunts alive and was an important part of Dayak culture. The Dayak wars In the past Reports captured enemy heads, there have been massive coordinated raids in the interior, and throughout coastal Kalimantan.

Mandau (machetes) is a a narrow strip of a harder iron wedged into a slot in the cutting edge for sharpness. Headhunting necessitated being able to draw the machete quickly. The mandau is short, and nowadays used for trail cutting in the forest. It is holstered with the cutting edge facing upwards and at that side there is an upward protrusion on the handle, so it can be drawn very quickly with the side of the hand without having to reach over and grasp the handle first. The hand can then grasp the handle while it is being drawn. The combination of these three factors (short, cutting edge up and protrusion) makes for an extremely fast drawing action. The ceremonial mandaus used for dances are as beautifully adorned with feathers as the dresses are.



Kalimantan > Dayak Event

The  Dayak Culture of Kalimantan  at Indonesia Borneo Island, is the intriguing history of Sultan Kingdoms and traditional Dayak Tribes, with a wealth of ecological and cultural treasures that survive deep within the rainforest jungle of Indonesia ’s largest island. Influanced by Chinese, Malay, Hindu, Muslim, and Dutch, virtual mosaic of traditions flourishing in the bustling seaports and riverside cities of Borneo. Kalimantan ’s dense jungle and wide terrain of wetlands have traditionally kept the region isolated from all but the adventurous travelers, and along the upper reaches of the rivers, you can discover the rich Dayak Culture. The indigenous Dayak settlements along the Rivers of Kalimantan is an ideal way to experience the incredible culture, where village elders practice traditional medicine and mark their status with intricate body tattoos and remarkably heavy ear adornments, we will be warmly welcomed guests in their traditional longhouses. At Borneo you can enjoy a sightful experience of traditional culture and grand diversity of exotic flora and wildlife from black orchids to fresh water dolphins and orangutans, and venture ashore for captivating jungle explorations and unforgettable encounters in our village visits. Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime exploration of the Kalimantan Island!

Extremely fast drawing action. The ceremonial mandaus used for dances are as beautifully adorned with feathers as the dresses are. 

The Dayak Events mostly made upon celebrating harvest or medical treatment for those who are influanced by magic. Cause of the ad-hoc schedule we can only present common events in our web page. For upcomming events, please feel free to contact us.

Our Adventure Tours are a collection of exploratories and Indonesia dream destination journeys that reflect the particular passions and favorite places. We created the Borneo adventure tours for those who search a indigenous Dayak Culture in the deep dense jungle with it's exotic flora and fauna. Borneo travelers will have an unforgettable experience trip in Indonesia, however, it is designed for those who are adventurous in body and spirit. 

Dayak Festival Events Schedule 2017 :
  • Long Pahangai ( Mahakam River ) Cultural Event 10 - 20 May 2017
  • Erau Tenggarong ( Mahakam River ) 23 - 29 July 2017
  • Long Pahangai ( Mahakam River ) Hudoq Event 17 - 18 October 2017

Best Spot in Kalimantan (Berau)

The steering wheel spins frantically, the engine graunches and the tiny speedboat slews side-on to the swell, centimetres from a mess of floating timber. Luckily our captain, a Bajo “sea gypsy” from the fishing people who first settled Borneo’s Derawan archipelago, is a master of the marine handbrake turn. He grins and guns the engine; the white sands, tall palms and stilt houses of Derawan island come into focus.

My teenage son and I have travelled through the coal mine-scarred landscape beyond Berau, a riverside town in Kalimantan on mainland Indonesian Borneo (and reached via two flights from Singapore), to take a boat out to spend a week exploring a few of the archipelago’s scores of islands. Only two are officially inhabited, though 30-odd others have names and some are home to scientists and sea-dwelling boat people. By the end of this year the islands will be better connected to the mainland, with the completion of a small airport on Maratua island, which will handle short-haul flights.

We’ll be spending the next couple of days at Derawan Dive Lodge, a cluster of elegant wooden cabanas reached by jetty over limpid waters, where green turtles graze on sea grass and algae. At least 15,000 female turtles return to the archipelago every year, often swimming many thousands of kilometres to lay their eggs on the beaches where they had hatched. Now, so many turtles graze off Derawan island, many of them non-local breeders, that their food sources are becoming scarce.

The highest tides, around the full moon and the new moon, are the best time to watch the females drag their heavy bodies up the sand and wheeze and grunt through the ovulation process. “One laid her eggs under the restaurant a couple of weeks ago,” says the lodge’s Indonesian manager. We’ve missed their hatching, sadly.

Tranquil, tiny Derawan island has got busier since we first visited four years ago. A handful of souvenir stalls, some cafes and a sign reading “tourist village” enliven the brushed-sand village streets. Two bungalow resorts clog what once was virgin beach – the last new accommodation on the island, if policy holds. But the spirit remains the same. It takes 40 minutes to walk around the island: fishermen greet us, schoolgirls line us up for photos, the odd turtle pops a scaly head up from the wate, and children play volleyball.

Derawan Dive Lodge is a cluster of cabanas reached by jetty over limpid waters, where green turtles graze on sea grass
The next day, a refreshingly sturdy dive boat takes us to Kakaban, an uninhabited island 90 minutes away: dolphins shimmy and flying fish leap as we go. Once we’re there, rickety wooden steps lead through creeper-tangled trees to one of the world’s few jellyfish lakes, a Darwinian laboratory where animals have evolved in bizarre, and unique, ways. The jellyfish have no sting, so we take to the warm green waters with our snorkels. Clusters of golden brown jellies pulse in the sunlight, their bells firm and rubbery to touch; tiny, neon-filamented medusae rest in the palm of a hand; miniature goby fish hunt their prey in shoals.

The diving, too, is spectacular, although the strong currents that make the Derawans a scuba mecca are not for the faint-hearted. “You’ve never used a reef hook?” inquires one Indonesia veteran, referring to the glorified tent peg on a rope that divers use to secure themselves in currents which would otherwise wash them away. “You’ll need one.”

And 30 metres below the smooth, fast-flowing waters, divers flap in the gale-force current like washing on a line, while sharks cruise effortlessly by and towers of barracuda hover, streamlined in the blue.

Our next destination is Maratua, a ribbon of an island that curves for 30km or so to form a horseshoe bay. Nunukan and Nabucco, two tiny, dazzling flyspecks off the coast, are home to a pair of beautiful but affordable private island resorts, named for the islands they occupy. Nunukan expands on boardwalks over a jagged coral landscape, as architectural as a Chinese rock garden, down to a golden beach. Monitor lizards bask in rock pools; flying foxes screech and flap in the tall palms. Over waters where blue starfish walk and turtles cruise, a wooden bridge leads to the neighbouring island, Bakungan, now home to a new spa resort.

Here we drift on gentle currents along the resort’s 5km expanse of pristine, private reef, an underwater wonderland of giant sea fans, brilliant corals, sponges, turtles and an aquarium’s worth of fish. At night, the stars are as bright as a deep desert sky, while the five-course dinners are outstanding for such a remote spot, with seafood from langoustine to grouper and – amazingly for Borneo – a welter of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Two nights here are not enough, but soon we’re off, powering the 10km through a super-saturated sunrise to Nabucco, an island so stupidly pretty it looks as though it’s been Photoshopped. Framed by canary yellow sandbars studded with implausible trees, the sea laps around the stilts of palm-thatched bungalows straight out of Swiss Family Robinson.

It’s just five minutes from here to the archipelago’s most famous dive spot, an adrenaline-fuelled, reef-hook dive in the powerful currents sharks and rays adore, culminating in an exhilarating ride on the fast tide.

Kalimantan > Point of Interest