BANJARMASIN, A CITY OF THOUSAND RIVERS
I visited Banjarmasin, South of Kalimantan, 10-12 November 2018 to meet the Head of Tourism Development Unit of the Municipality, Mokhamad Khuzaimi or called Pak Jimmy. He is am enthusiast government officer who has a vision to develop Banjarmasin as a popular destination by developing its cultural and natural resources. I was be able to do this thank to invitation from my dear friend, Vera, a PhD candidate with research about landscape history of Banjarmasin.
Rivers are obvious natural resources of Banjarmasin with ladies on boats selling local fruits and traditional delicacies. At the city center, tourists can enjoy meals and snacks all day long at weekends. Pak Jimmy has only one headache, how to raise awareness of the locals to throw waste into bins. What a pity. The beautiful and wide river with pedestrian area were polluted by rubbish everywhere. Sometimes I don't understand why the locals (and in many other cities, too) think so difficult to throw their rubbish into a bin. What is difficult about it? It hurts me to see rubbish everywhere especially plastics and styrofoam. We all know what concequences of them.
Nevertheless, my adventure in Banjarmasin was very valuable. I was received by the Mayor, Ibnu Sina and got books about Banjarmasin as presents from him. Pak Jimmy took me to have a local culinary tour and showed me interesting places with heritage values. This city was amazing, it has traditional and colonial elements, attractive home industries (ships, handcrafts, textiles) and delicious food. He was right, this city has potential to be an unique destination but there are a lot of homeworks to do.
I delivered a presentation as well for various stakeholders that involve in the tourism industry of Banjarmasin. They were preparing a new regulation. I shared my vision about what tourism role in a city's economic, social and cultural development. My intention was to share an insight.