POST D: Trade on Water

Considered as one of the greatest archipelagoes, the Indonesian landscape of forest and sea drew archipelago communities into the orbits of land-based civilisations. Special land and sea products (resins, fragrant barks from trees, pearls, etc.) make the archipelago important to foreigners, attracted them to its water lanes and jungle paths, and brought in new knowledge. Living more on sea than on land, archipelago sailors put products into ‘water-borne chains of exchange’ (Taylor 2003). Some of these products ended up in distant societies with different sets of cultural requirements and different inheritances of knowledge. When objects circulating in trade networks reflected the growing manufacturing capacity of Asian civilisations, they triggered a corresponding development in some archipelago communities on the coasts of Kalimantan, Sumatra, and Java. These communities grew into ports which specialised in collecting products from their immediate hinterland, from their neighbours, and from places that could be reached across the water.

Floating Market in South Borneo, Indonesia

In South Kalimantan, there are hundreds of rivers became an important transportation route to the present. The capital of South Kalimantan, Banjarmasin, is located near the junction of the Barito and Martapura rivers. Known as ‘River City’, Banjarmasin is a few inches feet below sea level and laced with flood-prone waterways, and many houses are built on rafts or stilts over the water. The city split by the river Martapura provides its own characteristics on the lives of its people, especially the use of rivers for water transportation, trade and tourism. Floating Market Kuin Estuary is a traditional floating market on the river at the mouth of the river Barito Kuin, Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan. The market is not only the reflection of the culture that has taken place long ago, but it also shows respects for the unique traditional trading wisdom of Banjarmasin Banjar.

Floating market is one of the cultural heritages in selling goods among community along rivers ecosystems which are recently grown as tourism attraction. (Normaleni 2015) Linking floating market and tourism offers opportunities for local economic development. The local style of floating market opens early in the morning and only lasts for 3 hours. The specialty of this market increases the tourism as well as remains the traditional barter transactions between local merchants. Women traders of boating sell their own production, while the second-hand purchase from the hamlet called panyambangan for resale.The Floating Market is inseparable from the formation of Banjarmasin and its surroundings as ‘Leading Tourism Icons’. (Rahmini, Pudjihardjo, Hoetoro & Manzilati 2015)



Floating Market, Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan



Maududdin, F. Lok Baintan Floating Market in South Borneo, Indonesia, viewed 07 Dec 2017,

Normaleni, E. 2015, Tourist profiles and perception as a basic planning for sustainable tourism development Lok Baitan Floating Market, South Kalimantan, Journal of Environmental Science, Toxicology and Food Technology, pp. 11-16, viewed 07 Dec 2017,

Rahmini, N., Pudjihardjo, M., Hoetoro, A. & Manzilati, A. 2015, The Role of Bonding, Bridging and Linking at Traditional Markets in Indonesia: A Study at Lok Baintan Floating Market Banjar Regency South Kalimantan, Journal of Applied Economics and Business, viewed 07 Dec 2017,

Taylor, J.G., 2003,  Indonesia : Peoples and Histories, Yale University Press, ProQuest Ebook Central, viewed 07 Dec 2017,

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