A friend of mine invited me to visit their village, Tumbang Manggu, which is about a three hour drive from Palangkaraya. Taking a road trip Kalimantan is way different than a road trip back home. For one, there are no rules to driving here, that in itself can be pretty terrifying. The route we had to take to Tumbang Manggu is constantly winding back and forth, up and down mountains, and I don't think there was one patch of level asphalt. My back took a pretty bad beating from being bounced around the car the whole time. At one point we had to leave the road because it had been flooded over and had to take a ferry across the river, drive through another village, and take a ferry back to the main road.
Villages are small and don't have paved roads. After getting off of the first ferry we had to drive through a muddy road to get through the village.
And then we had to get on another ferry to get back to the main road. The ferries are small, as you can see. They can hold about four cars and a bunch of motor bikes. Just to show you how tight they get, this is our car. Our back bumper was actually hanging over the edge.
And these ferries are basically three boats with a platform on top holding them together. This is the front of it.
We took a total of three ferries in the span of 30 minutes to get to Tumbang Manggu. It's a little village on the river with no paved roads. It's a nice little community. There's not much there except for a logging factory. I was able to walk around and take pictures. This is the main road.
While walking around I stumbled upon a wedding celebration. I was immediately grabbed and brought in to meet the bride and groom. They wanted me to take pictures of everyone and everything. It was pretty hilarious. I only stayed a few minutes and continued exploring the village. Not far from the wedding I found some kids playing in the river with a fishing net so I stopped to take some photos.
There were quite a few of them just playing in the river. They were playing right next to a ferry so I hopped on and took a ride. I noticed when I did this that I had acquired an entourage. These kids stayed with me for the rest of my walking tour.
We left the ferry and walked around the village. The kids found a Rambutan tree and decided to stop for a snack. Rambutan is also known as "hairy fruit" and is probably one of the most alien looking things I've ever seen in my life. It's also quite enak - that's delicious in Bahasa Indonesia.
The kids climbed the tree and ate some hairy fruit for a bit and then we went our separate ways.
I walked onto the logging factory property and looked around. I found this old crane.
The factory was closed while I was there so I wasn't able to see much but I did find these gigantic trees that they log there. They were as wide as I am tall.
My friend showed me their school while we were on our way to the market.
And this is the market.
It's nice to get away from everything you know once in a while. You prove to yourself that you can live without the everyday luxuries that most people take for granted.
I only spent about two days in Tumbang Manggu. It was a great experience seeing what village life is like in central Kalimantan. If given the chance to go back, I would definitely go.
Check out the gallery below for more photos I shot in Tumbang Manggu.