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Blog > The Little Mail Carriers in Borneo/Kalimantan!


Hi everyone! Some time ago, the Little Mail Carriers visited the third-largest island in the world: Borneo (also known as Kalimantan in Indonesian language)! It is divided among three countries (Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei) and sits right on the Equator, so the weather is always warm there. They were really curious to start exploring, so they joined Norita (aka noritaa) for some adventures!

On an early Sunday morning, our host woke us up to go to Siring’s recreational park, located at the heart of the capital of South Kalimantan, Banjarmasin city. This park was built on the shores of the river Siring, thus the name. There used to be a floating market at the river, but when we visited it was temporarily closed due to the pandemic. We took some photos with the river view and also in front of one floating food stall we found at the bank river. The stall was closed as it was still early.

The Little Mail Carriers sit on the dock, while a floating food stall (a colorful boat with a sign announcing the dishes served) is seen on the background

We bought tickets to ride a “Klotok (a motorized boat) along the river. The round trip on the boat lasted about 30 minutes.

The Little Mail Carriers sit in a wooden boat, catching the morning sun The Little Mail Carriers sit in a wooden boat. Houses built on the water can be seen in the background.

Right in front of the dock where we got off, stood the city’s landmarks, a 6.5 meters high (21 ft) statue of a bekantan (Proboscis monkey) which is a native primate of this island. Bekantan are a highly arboreal species and they live in groups consisting of one male and several females and their babies. Since there were quite many people who took pictures in front of the statue, we had to wait for a while.

The Little Mail Carriers stand in front a huge statue of a monkey scratching its head

We also stopped by the miniature of Banjar traditional house called “Bubungan Tinggi”. In the old kingdom time, this house was the core building in a complex of a palace where the king and his family lived. The name “Bubungan Tinggi” refers to its sharp and high roof (45 degrees steep).

The Little Mail Carriers sit on the steps of a traditional wooden house, with a steep tiled roof and decorative roof trimmings

We were hungry and our host took us to try a dish from the local cuisine, a rice noodle chicken soup called “Soto Banjar". Soto is a popular Indonesian chicken soup that can be easily found anywhere in the country, from a street stall to an upscale restaurant. There are many different soto in Indonesia, some of them are named based on the region where they are originated, including “Soto Banjar” as Banjar is not only the name of our ethnic group but also the short form of “Banjarmasin” (the name of our city).

The Little Mail Carriers sit next to a plate of Sojo Banjar. Among the many different topics, one chicken foot stands out

Soto Banjar is made from a combination of spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and lemongrass. There was a chicken foot in our soup given for free, in some places you have to pay extra for them. It is served with compressed rice cake called “Lontong" and chicken satay.

The Little Mail Carriers sit on top of a paper dish, where several meat skewers are resting

After we finished eating we strolled at the river bank again and surprisingly found an antique stall, where old coins, banknotes and stamps were sold. We looked at some of them, and took a picture of us with a set of stamps from 1965. The stamps featured the founding father of Indonesia, Soekarno. Soekarno was a leader of Indonesia’s nationalist movement during the colonial period. Together with Mohammad Hatta, he proclaimed Indonesian independence day on August 17, 1945. He then was appointed as the first president and served from 1945 to 1967.

The Little Mail Carriers look over several sheets of Indonesian stamps. One of the sheets features a picture of a former president.

We continued strolling along and passed by a graffiti of Banjar traditional costumes and traditional house just like the one that we saw before. Traditional costumes for men are long-sleeved vest decorated with motifs, long pants in similar color and a cloth with similar pattern wrapped around the waist. For the head, they wear a headband that has one of edges is higher than the others. Women wear a top called “Baju Kurung Basisit” and sarong. The top is called basisit, and it has straps (or “sisit” in Banjarese) at the neck and hand parts.

The Little Mail Carriers stand in front of a wall painting, featuring the traditional Banjar houses and costumes

The sun was already high but before heading back home we went to “Kampung Sasirangan” or Sasirangan village which is a center for sasirangan production. Sasirangan is a typical traditional fabric of Banjar ethnic group that are used as headbands, belts for men, as well as scarves, hoods and also a traditional tank top for women. Lately Sasirangan has been developed into an industrial product in South Kalimantan. Sasirangan is derived from the banjar word “sirang" or “menyirang" that means “to stitch together". The method in making sasirangan is a bit similar to that in Javanese batik.

The Little Mail Carriers stand atop a pile of colorful fabric, with more fabric on the background.

The next day we accompanied our host sending her mails to the post office. Here in this city, they do not use mailboxes anymore so all mails have to be dropped at the post office. Incoming mails are delivered directly to the door of the recipients.

The Little Mail Carriers look at an Indonesia Post Office building. The facade has a big sign reading KANTOR POS. Inside the post office, a counter can be seen, and also chairs for sitting and waiting.

It was a very hot day so once we were home our host treated us with rambutan fruit. “Rambut" means hair, and this tropical fruit has hairlike spines on its outer skin. Rambutan is a garden fruit tree and in South Borneo it is common to find them either in the back yard of the front yard of a house. The fruit are usually sold fresh but since they have a short shelf life they also made and sold as pickle.

The Little Mail Carriers sit behind some rambutan fruit.

Thank you Norita, for this sweet visit to Banjarmasin! So many new things to learn about and explore… I’m sure we’ll be dreaming of monkeys, rambutan and colorful sasirangan for some time.

With their passports in hand, the little ones are already off on fresh adventures – where they’ll pop up is anyone’s guess!

38 comments so far

jjmedusa, United States of America

I always love reading about the various journeys of the Little Mail Carriers! :)

lilacs, Germany

Great story! Thanks for sharing!

bandcrab, United States of America

Loved this...and love rambutan! :)

Cardiffgal, United States of America

Very nicely done and a fun read! Thank you!

sallyanne, United States of America

Wow! Lucky little travelers!

Loli-ts, Spain

What a trip... thanks for making us to discover daily life in that exotic (for us, not for the inhabitants) island!

Clicka, Spain

LOVE them! Please, dont stop travelling

Flippie, Canada

Thank you again!

bigskycrafter, United States of America

Love this! So fun to see those two out and about, traveling abroad. :)

Aguaroble, Lesotho

I loved to see the little mail carriers sitting on the stamps...
Terima kasih!

IndonesiaRaya, Indonesia

I'm so proud being Indonesian ❤️🇮🇩
thanks for sharing @noritaa 👍

twistie, Australia

I have just discovered this blog. How wonderful it is to read about their travels and see different places in the world. Thank you for sharing your country with us @noritaa.

scrabblebum, United States of America

I love the adventures of the little mail carriers! I only wish I could have asked them to mail me some of that fabric!

HappyJoga, Korea (South)

Happy thoughts; being there with those two!

puttingpentopaper, United States of America

Thank you for sharing the Little Mail Carriers adventures. It's a fun journey to watch them learn and share their knowledge with us!

rifay, Indonesia

Thank you for sharing about Borneo!

Myrake, Belgium

wonderful trip!! thanks for sharing!

purplepassion, Bermuda

This is the very first time that I have read one of these and it is informative and fun. Love the little mail carriers!

Thank you

Demmi, Romania

.... oops, they did it again! Thank you, again!
Happy Travels & Stay Safe!

CarminaBurana, Canada

Wow, such an interesting journey for both littl mail carriers and their owners. Thanks for sharing! I have 2 questions: are you on Postcrosssing travel mode while in a trip? ;) Are you sending yourselves postcards? Enjoy! :D

trekker_indonesia, Indonesia

Thank you for visiting our country, the Republic of Indonesia. Hope you enjoy your time in Indonesia. Terima kasih

heidiblooms, United States of America

So cute! I would love to have some of my own "little mail carriers" to take photos with on adventures :)

elsaayolanda, Germany

So proud to see my country is covered in one of Postcrossing articles. Greeting from an Indonesian postcrosser who's living in Germany now.

ps. thanks to this article, i'm craving soto banjar now :)

beesknees, United States of America

I agree with the above comment, am now too craving soto banjar!

tanzianne, United Kingdom

I enjoyed reading about the adventure hope that there are many more adventures.

jayclay2489, United States of America

Lalapan, mie goreng and gado gado are amazing dishes from Indonesia my wife's family is from there but moved to the States later in life from Jakarta Indonesia. She came here even she was four. I've had slot of these dishes home cooked in the states by her family and they are delicious as well as as chicken satay (chicken skewers)
Well cheers everyone from TX USA have a good day

betslets, United States of America

Another great story from the Little Mail Carriers -- loved seeing the beautiful stamps from Indonesia. I have American friends who spent time in the area when their work transferred them to Indonesia and they always sent glowing reports of the country and especially the people. I enjoy learning something new and "meeting" new Postcrossers, too. Thank you for sharing.

Nata_la, Russia

"Thank you.I've never read about little postmen.Interesting.The chicken foot, in my opinion, is not very tasty.

cerres, Estonia

The Little Mail Carriers are very cute. Thanks for sharing another trip of theirs ❤️❤️❤️

phoebefoil, United States of America

Awesome story!!

AsterArt, Belgium

What an adventure. I'm a bit jealous. The food looks delicious. Thanks for the interesing information.

LovelySunshine3, United States of America

Wonderful! Thank you!

MarcinDominik, Poland

Thank you for sharing the highlights of your journey with us! The pictures are amazing and it looks like you enjoyed every part of the trip. Can't wait to read about your future endeavours!

littleglitterwoman, Germany

So so cool!! I've known a bit about Indonesia and Borneo, from acquaintances' travels, but the various arboreal and relaxant green flora impressions here on the photos are looking more marvelous 👍💚.

joeonn, Malaysia

Wow, amazing! Keren banget!

miki_k, Japan

Hello ,
Reading this article reminded me of my beloved Ubud (Bali, Indonesia).
There was a kind postal worker at a similarly built post office.
Also Japanese postal workers are very kind, and deliver the cards carefully to my home.
On rainy days, they put the cards in a plastic bag to protect them from getting wet.
They have delivered over 1,300 cards to me. We have become good friends now.
I can meet all kinds of people through postcrossing.
Thank you !

ktbela, New Zealand

I love seeing all the places these two visit. I'd love to give them a tour of my city and show them Baldwin Street which holds the Guiness world record for Steepest Residential Street.

shellvillepost, United States of America

Just discovered these guys, and I love reading about their travels! Would love to bring them to my home town, where we hosted the world premiere of "The Wizard of Oz." There's no place like home, little mail carriers!

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