We had picture perfect weather for the decorated boats, Jukung Hias, competition on 20 May. Its an integral and dramatic part of the annual Isen Mulang Festival in Palangkaraya. Festival dates never change and are from 18-23 May, though the boats may sail on any of the days. Isen Mulang is ‘never give up! and it celebrates the independence of the province of Central Kalimantan as a Dayak homeland from South Kalimantan in 1957.
Ritual decorated boats or bamboo barges are used in tiwah or secondary burial ceremonies in some areas, symbolising the boat of the dead carrying the departed spirits to Lewu Tatau, the Prosperous Village. Rivers are the highways here in both the living and spiritual worlds!
These competition boats are sponsored by different local Government Departments, Provincial and Regional, or organisations. Rivalry is intense, giving decorations that riotous colour, dominating green, red and yellow, favourite colours in the Dayak pantheon. The smaller canoes, klotoks, carry judges, who follow the boats and rate them for the final prize giving, based on the appearance, themes, and quality of the dancers and musicians.
Why not join us next year! Drop us a line at wowborneo.com.
EXCITING TRIP TO WOW BORNEO
Last week WOW Borneo (KTD) arranged our trip and accompanied by our wonderful Dayak guide Dodi (and ’trainee’ guide Jonathan) we travelled upto see the long house (*betang*) at a little village called Tumbang Gagu, right up in the headwaters of the Sampit (or Mentaya) River.
KATHY AND JACQUES, SWITZERLAND
We had a wonderful 3 days and 2 nights on the beautiful Rahai’i Pangun. The whole crew looked after us every minute with great food, cool drinks and all the comforts to make our trip memorable. Thanks to Lorna, Sayful, Suryadi, Patirwin, Anto, Ujeng and Ready!
NAKASHIMA FAMILY, JAPAN
This Jungle River Cruise gave us a great present! The river and time pass slowly on the boat. Not only orangutans and jungle but also the people, especially the children of the village moved us so much. I was impressed!
To all on the Rahai’i Pangun, thank you for introducing me to the wonders of Central Kalimantan over a fantastic few days. Loved the boat, loved the concept, loved the food – and the company was pretty great too!
It was the trip of a lifetime!
MARDIAH GLEESON, USA
It was so moving to visit the two villages. Kanarakhan and Gaung Baru were memorable in their exchange of culture with us.
METTLIJS BORTE, HOLLAND
Thank you very much for an unforgettable jungle experience. The long boat journey through the flooded jungle was great. The food was excellent as well.
SUE & WERNER EBERT (AUSTRALIA)
The river cruise was beyond awesome. We had a great crowd on the boat. We had fantastic food and nothing was seen as too hard to do for us from all the crew.
RENEE DUGAN (AMERICA)
Thank you again for taking such great care of all of us during our recent visit to Kalimantan. You and the crew were so professional, kind, generous and fun. Our group really enjoyed getting to know you, eating the delicious food presented to us each day, and relaxing on your boat.
SUE HEWETT (21-24 DECEMBER 2012)
This cruise was everything we’d dreamed and more. The boat is very comfortable, the crew efficient and courteous and the food delicious! The guide couldn’t have been better – fun, passionate, thoughtful, knowledgeable and great company!
J.J WALLIA – SAN FRANSISCO, CALFIORNIA
This tour was one of the best vacation and wildlife experiences I have had (and I have seen pretty much everything in Africa). Despite all it has to offer, Kalimantan is a tough place to vacation in so I was not expecting much. However, I was blown away by this trip.