Lok Baintan floating market, Martapura River, Banjarmasin

Lok Baintan Floating Market

An absolute ‘must see’ when in Banjarmasin is the Lok Baintan floating market on the Martapura River. Held daily for over 500 years, this vibrant, colourful market is widely regarded as the most authentic of its kind in SE Asia and few who have seen it would argue.

Lok Baintan floating market, Banjarmasin, Kalimantan

At sunrise all year round, the mostly female traders gather in their canoes (junking) to barter and trade an astonishing variety of home grown produce such as bananas, guavas, oranges, rambutan, water spinach and other vegetables. There’s fish, coconuts, palm leaves, baskets and woven mats; an almost endless list that changes with the season.

There's an endless variety of fresh produce for sale at the marketBefore the morning heat sweeps across the river the traders begin to drift away, either returning home or heading into the labyrinth of waterways hawking their goods from door to door, so by 9am it’s over for another day. For tourists, there’s still the 45min journey back down the river to enjoy and if you’ve already done a canal tour, this is great opportunity to see another side of Banjarmasin river life.

Banjarmasin floating marketThe Lok Baintan market is a 45min boat ride from downtown Banjarmasin and to get the most out of the experience you should aim to be there for sunrise around 5am. Don’t let the early start put you off as travelling along the river at dawn is sublime. And don’t worry about having breakfast before you go – tea, coffee, donuts, pisang goreng and other treats are being hawked from canoes on the river too so you won’t go hungry and it’s a fun way to participate in the market.

Lok Baintan floating market, Banjarmasin, KalimantanYou’ll need to organise your boat charter the day before due to the early start and if you’re staying at a riverside hotel, ask the boatman to collect you from there. Expect to pay around Rp. 150.000-200.000. Note that Banjarmasin also has the Muara Kuin Floating Market so when you’re arranging a boat, be specific about which floating market you want to see. If you’re only going to visit one, Lok Baintan gets our pick.

South Kalimantan
3 hours
Get there
Private car, taxi
Need to know
Ask at your accommodation if they can arrange the tour

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