Bukit Raya

Facts

Elevation: 2,300 m (7,546 ft) Prominence: 2,017 m
Ribu category: Google MarkerTinggi Sedang Province: Kalimantan Tengah (Central Kalimantan)
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Bagging It!

This mountain is the highest peak in the Schwaner range and indeed the highest peak in Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). It lies on the border of West and Central Kalimantan and, although it can be climbed from either province, by far the commonest approach is via Rantau Malam on the West Kalimantan side. Just getting to Rantau Malam is an adventure in itself and most Jakarta-based groups that climb Bukit Raya set aside 9 or 10 days in total including getting back home again (usually via Pontianak).

It is one of the most expensive mountains to hike in Indonesia outside of Papua, mainly because of the cost of transportation by boat to the starting point. The high cost is not helped for foreigners who have to pay a daily rate to the National Park many times more than the local rate for Indonesians, even if you live, work, and pay taxes locally. The mountain is located in the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park. You need a permit from the Park Office from either Sintang (Jl. Dr. Wahidin No. 75) or Nanga Pinoh.

The most efficient itinerary looks something like the following:

Day 1: Get to Nanga Pinoh (preferable) or Sintang. This is fairly straightforward if you fly to Pontianak and then onward to Sintang. The tiny airport at Nanga Pinoh is not large enough for anything other than very small aircraft and these occasional flights can be cancelled quite easily due to bad weather. Therefore Sintang is the closest reliable airport with several daily flights.

Day 2: After getting your permit from the Park Office, you need to hire a boat from Nanga Pinoh along the Melawi River to Serawai. Serawai is the last reliable place for supplies (i.e. food).

Day 3: From Serawai to Rantau Malam (124m). This is once again a lengthy boat journey, but with the option of using ojeks overland for the final section (via Tontang). Note that it is possible to reach Rantau Malam from Naga Pinoh in one very long day, but you would have to get your permits the day before, set out very, very early and have all your supplies ready so you don’t need to buy anything in Serawai. A traditional ceremony (upacara adat) is held at Rantau Malam prior to setting out on the actual trek the following morning.

Day 4: Ojeks are possible in dry weather from Rantau Malam to Koronghape / Korong HP (500m) which is the forest entrance or ‘pintu rimba’ and has HP (Hand Phone) in the name because you can indeed get a signal here (unlike in Rantau Malam itself). Ojeks cost Rp75,000 in 2018 and take just 20 minutes as opposed to 2 hours on foot along logging roads. From Koronghape, the proper trekking begins via Pos Sungai Menyanoi (706m) and Pos Sungai Mangan (650m). If you can make it to the small camping area at Pos Rabang (780m) then you have made a good start.

Day 5: From Pos Rabang, the trail continues via Jelundung (1,300m) and Pos Linang (1,400m). Aim to reach Soa Badak (1,580m) and camp there. 

Day 6: A very early start today, with the aim being to reach the summit by mid or late morning. The summit is known locally as Puncak Kakam and most sources state that it is 2,278 metres high. At present, we think it actually may be a little higher than that and will be hopefully confirming in September 2018. There are no views at the peak unless you climb up a tree! After photos at the summit signs, it is best to try to descend to Pos Linang (1,400m).

Day 7: Descend back to Rantau Malam.

Day 8: An early start – and all the way back to Nanga Pinoh via Serawai. Some may opt to then travel back to Pontianak overnight which is at least 8 hours by road.

Day 8: Back to Pontianak (either by road or flying from Pontianak) and onward home.

Practicalities

Getting there From Pontianak to Sintang you can take a 9hr bus (Rp150,000) or shared car or a flight (around Rp500,000). From Sintang to Serawai is an 8 hour journey by speed boat and costs Rp350,000 per person. Alternatively, a boat from Nanga Pinoh to Serawai is about Rp250,000 to Rp300,000 per person. Note that Serawai is the last place for supplies i.e. food. From Serawai to Tontang is a 45 minute speed boat ride which costs Rp70,000 per person (depending on number of persons) or Longboat hire Rp2.5 or Rp3,000,000 from Serawai all the way to Rantau Malam. Tontang to Rantau Malam is a 2-hour ojek (motorbike taxi) ride costing roughly Rp300,000 per person.
Accommodation Plenty of hotels in Pontianak. A small number of options in Sintang and Nanga Pinoh. Serawai – basic penginapan at Rp150,000 a night.
Permits In 2018, porters cost Rp1,050,000 for the entire trek – very reasonable. It is customary to have a traditional ritual prior to starting the hike called Ngukuih Hajat which costs approx Rp200,000 for chicken, rice and various salad leaves. This is for good luck on the hike. You need to arrange a hiking permit, preferably done in advance by emailing Ivonne at bukitbakabukitraya@gmail.com You will be then asked to complete and send a short form with info about yourself, including ‘purpose’ and ‘method’ (this area is more typically visited by scientific researchers rather than ordinary hikers) and a photocopy of your passport photo page.You then collect this permission letter (‘surat ijin / SIMAKSI) from the Sintang or Nanga Pinoh park office. Unfortunately, the price of admission to all National Parks throughout Indonesia were increased by several hundred percent in 2013 and as a daily rate. Foreigners currently have to pay Rp150,000 per day per person for being within the park (and Rp225,000 if your dates fall on a public holiday). There is also a trekking fee of Rp5,000.
Water sources Available at (or nearby) most of the Pos on the Rantau Malam route, but difficult to find at the peak.
Local Average Monthly Rainfall (mm): kumai

Location

Origins and Meaning

Literally ‘big’, ‘large’ or ‘great’ hill in Indonesian.

Links and References

Wikipedia Indonesia

6 thoughts on “Bukit Raya

  1. Am finally getting round to this hike. Going next month, 9-15th August (start/end Nanga Pinoh). No others coming yet, probably due to the higher cost than usual, but should anyone read this in the next couple of days and wish to join please do leave a message.

  2. I had been hoping to hike this in October 2014 until I heard the bad news about the huge increase in the cost of entrance permits for foreigners at all National Parks within Indonesia. Altogether, if you want to complete this hike as a foreigner (without a KITAS) you are looking at paying well over Rp1 million just for being there, before the cost of guides, porters, food and transport and so on.

  3. Thanks, Nick, for the following information….

    Taman Nasional Bukit Baka Bukit Raya
    Reaching puncak Bukit Raya

    Pontianak to Sintang – by road, 8 hours; by plane (Indonesia Air, Kalstar) 35 minutes
    TN Bukit Baka Bukit office is located at Sintang; park permits
    Jl Dr Wahidin Sudirohusodo 75
    tel: 0565-23521; http://www.bukitbakabukitraya.dephut.go.id
    Email: bukitbakabukitraya@gmail.com
    To Serawai – by speedboat, 7-8 hours, Rp 300,000 per person – last stop for purchasing supplies
    To Desa Rantau Malam – by klotok (slow boat), 7-8 hours, Rp 1,500,000 (rent boat), guides/porters here
    To puncak Bukit Raya – 3 days
    (Source: verbal communication with staff of Taman Nasional Bukit Baka Bukit Raya, Jakarta Convention Centre, 26 May 2013)

  4. I just back from the Bukit Raya 2 weeks ago. It was a wonderful trip, and I can summarized so much thing unexplored yet around this region. I’ll share some more details in due soon.We went via Desa Rantau Malam route (via Pontianak ). Cheers

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