22 Feb Floating Marketing In Indonesia
Going for groceries can be a traveler’s adventure in Asia where a special floating market in Indonesia sells products, fresh produce and more – from charming wooden boats.
A Colorful River Adventure: Lok Baintan Floating Market
The Lok Baintan floating market in Indonesia is a one of a kind market in Asia. Here, the colors, smells and sounds of a bustling market are centered around floating wooden boats. The drivers are the sellers themselves, rowing with wooden oars as they trade and sell their wares to those manning other boats.
While there are similar floating markets in Asia, the Lok Baintan floating market in Indonesia is special because traders typically don’t use motorized boats. At other markets, items are displayed at the river banks. In Lok Baintain, the goods are stacked inside the boats, sold on the spot as merchants navigate with their oars. This floating market in Indonesia is also unique because of the remarkable landscapes surrounding it.
The floating markets of Asia came about when water transport played a very important role in daily life. You can find them in Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Where is the Famous Floating Market in Indonesia?
The Lok Baintain floating market is located in the city of Banjarmasin in a region called South Kalimantan. Banjarmasin is also known as the “city of water” because it is below sea level. Throughout history, locals utilized the river and the place grew as a region of commerce, transport and tourism. It is said to be the first floating market. Sadly, it may be one of the last as more and more floating markets are being replaced by the typical street market.
There are several ways to reach the Lok Baintain floating market. One way is by renting a klotok which is a motorized wooden boat. You can also get to a certain point by car or motorcycle. However, the klotok gets you up close to these local farmers and merchants. From Banjarmasin’s city center you can book a cab to reach the port. At the port, you can choose a rental boat that is manned by a local. It is a one hour trip to the market from the port. On the way, you’ll be busy taking pictures of the quaint houses along the bank of the river where families will be doing their morning chores.
The market “floats” on the Martapura River which has been the scene for the Lok Baintain floating market for 500 years. The tradition virtually remains the same, each local seller rides her jukung (wooden boat) onto the river every morning. Yes, the traders are typically women! Each boat is filled with varieties of products including vegetables, fruits and household goods. They begin selling at around 5 a.m. and leave the market at about 8:30 a.m.
How to Visit the Market by Boat
Be sure to get to the market early. A plus to leaving around 5:30 a.m. is the chance to catch the stunning sunrise. Should you want to buy something, tell your boat driver to simply stop near the trader’s boat. Transactions take place right on the water.What you’ll find will be fresh fruits and vegetables. There will also be boats packed with chicken, beef, fish and seafood. For something to eat right way you can choose from a variety of cakes. Some of the local fruits worth trying include buah mentega (persimmons) and rambutans which are intensely sweet lychees. There’s also the malacca grape, Chinese grapefruit, mangoes, bananas and coconut. Sample the local pancake called kue bingka too. This special floating market is less crowded on weekdays.
Be sure to stay around at the end of the market too. At around 8:30 a.m. market visitors, shoppers and traders may paddle home themselves or “catch a ride” by tying their boat to a long chain of boats. The operators of bigger motorized boats allow up to 20 boats to attach to their boats so they can be pulled down the river.Once your market adventure is done, there’s more to see while you’ve got your boat. Visitors love to head to Monkey Island, an island – you guessed it – full of monkeys.
Other Fantastic Floating Markets in Asia
Other notable markets that are known for their atmosphere include Thailand’s Damnoen Saduak Floating Market which is 60 miles southwest of Bangkok. At this colorful market sellers paddle down a canal in their canoes selling fresh fruit and vegetables. The Market in Can Thao City, Vietnam is the largest floating market in the Mekong Delta. India’s Srinagar Floating Market in Kashmir takes place on Dal Lake where vendors go to buy, sell and trade vegetables. Another one to put on your bucket list is Aberdeen Floating Village in Hong Kong. There are 600 houseboats in this unique harbor where the Tanka people, who arrived in Hong Kong around the seventh century. Visit the fish markets and restaurants here.
A visit to a floating market is a guaranteed cultural experience. Not only do you take in the beautiful scenery, you have the chance to buy fresh goods or wonderful souvenirs. Lastly, you can be a part of community traditions that have lasted for centuries.
Have you ever been to a special market during your travels? Would you like to go to the floating market in Indonesia?