Unveiling the Mighty Majesty: The Enchanting 1,143-Kilometer Journey Along West Kalimantan's Kapuas River

Sanggau, nestled in West Kalimantan, boasts a plethora of extraordinary ecotourism marvels that remain unmatched elsewhere. This distinctiveness owes itself to the grandeur of the Kapuas River, one of Kalimantan and Indonesia's lengthiest rivers, its sprawling course lending an even more enchanting touch to the natural allure.

The length and width of the Kapuas River in West Kalimantan reach 1,143 kilometers and 70-150 meters wide, respectively.

Perched amidst undulating hills, the Kapuas Peak beckons as a sanctuary for weary travelers – a haven where sustenance and rejuvenation await those who've embarked on lengthy journeys and now stand atop this hill's crest.

The majority of those seeking solace here are voyagers en route from Pontianak to Sekadau, Sintang, Kapuas Hulu, or their reverse trajectory. Deliberately pausing, these individuals unwind at Kapuas Peak Cafe – a strategic intermission to dissolve their fatigue, all the while feasting their senses on the mesmerizing panorama of the Kapuas River. 

The expanding activities of mining and plantations, especially in the upstream regions, are posing a significant threat to the Kapuas River. This phenomenon has resulted in considerable adverse effects on the river's ecosystem and the surrounding environment. Consequently, ecotourism plays a crucial role in addressing this situation.

The journey from Sanggau city to Kapuas Peak Cafe spans a mere 21 kilometers – an easy 33-minute drive along a well-placed thoroughfare.

Map to Reach the Peak of Kapuas. Google

Rumah Makan (RM) Puncak (Kapuas Kapuas Peak Restaurant) stands within close quarters of Ecovillage Batu Posok, an ecotourism gem approximately 1.6 kilometers away – a mere 3-minute jaunt by car from Sanggau.

The natural scenery along the banks of the Kapuas River is truly unique and captivating. It becomes even more breathtaking when viewed from a height, such as when we are at Kapuas Peak, a rest area that offers coffee, local delicacies, as well as various foods and beverages like the authentic orange juice from Tebas, Sambas Regency, West Kalimantan.

The Kapuas River is facing a serious threat due to the expanding activities of mining and plantations, particularly in the upstream regions. This phenomenon has led to significant adverse impacts on the river's ecosystem and the surrounding environment. 

A study conducted by a Non-Governmental Organization based in Pontianak revealed concerning facts, indicating that the Kapuas River has been contaminated by hazardous substances like mercury.

Mercury, a dangerous heavy metal, has been found to accumulate in the river water and sediments along the entire course of the Kapuas. The repercussions of this mercury pollution can be highly detrimental to aquatic life and organisms within the river ecosystem, potentially posing health risks to human populations reliant on the river as a source of water and livelihood.

This issue serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of safeguarding Kalimantan, often referred to as the lungs of the world, given its crucial role in maintaining global ecological balance. With much of its territory still retaining its natural integrity, Kalimantan holds substantial potential to continue serving as a significant oxygen supplier for our planet.

Hence, the need for concrete steps to preserve Kalimantan's integrity becomes increasingly urgent. One approach that can be undertaken is the promotion of eco-tourism or sustainable tourism. Leveraging the natural beauty and biodiversity of Kalimantan, eco-tourism can serve as a sustainable economic revenue source for local communities while also fostering awareness about the importance of environmental conservation.

Through the development of eco-tourism, we can encourage both local and international travelers to responsibly enjoy the splendor of the Kapuas River and its unique ecosystem. 

The heightened awareness of the significance of environmental preservation through this approach can serve as a meaningful initial stride in the endeavor to safeguard Borneo and, on a broader scale, our planet, for the well-being of future generations.

Consequently, the imperative of cross-sector collaboration and full-fledged support from both the government and society in implementing sustainable practices becomes pivotal in the effort to preserve the beauty and sanctity of the Kapuas River. This endeavor seeks to materialize the vision of upholding Kalimantan as a precious asset for global ecology and humanity's future. *)

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