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Access to Kersik Luwai National Park

Kersik Luwai National Park can be reached overland by Bus from Samarinda to Melak, or by air from Balikpapan / Samarinda to Melak village. More attractive is the boat cruise upstream Mahakam River. From Melak Village it is about 1 hour by chartered car to Kersik Luwai Reserve.
Muara Pahu a small village a bit downstream from Melak has a Fresh Water Dolpin Information Center (RASI).


Some Guesthouses and Hotels can be found in Melak village.

Kersik Luwai National Park 

Kersik Luway National Park is nature reserve between Melak and Barong Tongkok, 18 kilometers to the south. The "Black Orchid" (Coelogyne pandurata) which blossoms usualy between April and December, grow's on shrubs in this 5,000 hectare reserve. More then hundred of wild and rare orchid species grow in this forest. Several Rare Pitcher Plants can also be found at Kersik Luwai National Park. The reserve is located north of  Samarinda and can be reached in 20 hours by boat upstream Mahakam River. Other tourist attractions in this region are Jentur Gemuruh waterfall and Eheng Longhouse, where 35 familes of the Dayak Tunjung Tribe live in their traditional way. Visitors usually stay at Sekolag Darat village. Pepas Eheng village belongs to the Barong Tongkok district.
Plait work, rattan furniture and Tunjung Dayak statues are made here. The village can be reached from Melak in one hour by car. Muara Oahu is a district town at the meeting point of the Kedang Pahu and Lawa river, in the Mahakam hinterland. Twenty-eight villages, with a total population a bout 11,000 are found in this area. The cultural heritage of the Dayak people is very much evident at Tolan village. There are two traditional houses and a graveyard which are worth seeing. The people here live from panning for gold, looking for bird's nests and tilling the dry fields.

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Mahakam River Cruise Trips into the Heart of Kalimantan

Kalimantan Rapids Kapuas River West Kalimantan Tours, National Park Danau Sentarum trip expedition, guideThe Fascinating Mahakam River at Indonesia Borneo Island is a 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. It's the highway into Kalimantan ’s dense jungle where you can discover the rich Dayak Culture and their Longhouses. The grand diversity of exotic flora and wildlife from black orchids to fresh water dolphins and orangutans give you an unforgettable trip at East Kalimantans.
The Mahakam River is the most important traffic route in East-Kalimantan. Between the spring in the mountains and the delta along the coast, the river measures somewhere 1.000 kilometers. In between several big rivers mouth in the Mahakam River. Big ships use the big river system until the highlands, where rapids eventually make any progress impossible; from there “longboats” ( big canoos with motors) are used.
The Mahakam springs in the 1500 to 2000 meter high Müller Range, not too far from the border with Sarawak. Before streaming down about 100 kilometers to the first Dayak village, Long Apari, three side-rivers - Apari, Hubung and Kasau - join the Mahakam. After several dozen small mountain villages, the river falls down about 150 meters through several dangerous rapids. Besides several noisy longboat there is no other traffic here. The Dayak along the Upper-Mahakam mainly live from agriculture ( ladang cultures ). Incidental income are gained from birds nests, ratten and washed gold. Because of the hard and dangerous transport through the rapids, basic goods are extensively expensife. Every once in a while a canoo turns upside down: the valuable goods are lost and sometimes also their even more expensife motors. People also get drowned regularly.
The village of Long Bagun, on threehundred kilometers from the spring of the Mahakam, is the final destination of traffic on the river, besides several longbot. The river reaches the small city of Long Iram through several more than 150 km long valleys, this is the final destination of the organised, heavy traffic. A big part of the year, smaller ships will continue the trip to Long Bagun, but a period of drought in the hinterlands can cause the waterlevel to drop very fast and make traffic impossible.
After Long Iram, the river widens. The brown water turns through the endless lowlands to the sea. Slowly the small villages are replaced by small cities. Through the sky, the distance between Long Iram and Samarinda is about 175 kilometers but over water it's about twice that distance. Near Muara Pahu, where a big side-river flows in the Mahakam, the hungry traveller is welcomed by a long row of food stalls. Several hours downstream, the river lingers between four big lakes. After that is streams towards the north to meet it's most important side rivers near Muara Kaman, the Kedang Kepala and Belayan. Most boats will stop for a dinner on Senoni, about 30 km downstream from Muara Kaman. Sometimes there is cold beer or river lobster; after a visit to the inlands, Senoni is the place to be for a culinair trip. Near Tenggarong, the governmental center of the Mahakam beaken, the river becomes a crowded traffic route for ships in all kinds and sizes. This lively crowd is kept until Samarinda, where the seaworthy ships make themselves ready for departure to Makassar Strait, 60 km to the east.
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