On from Samarinda, the Mahakam River is broad and slow, with sawmills and villages peppering the banks. Tenggarong is 45km and three hours upstream – or just an hour by road. This small, neat and very prosperous country town was, until 1959, the seat of the Kutai Sultanate, whose territory encompassed the entire Mahakam basin and adjacent coastline. It’s a good place to stay if you want to escape big cities and is a convenient location to start trips up the river.

The former palace, just opposite the ferry dock on Jalan Diponegoro, is now Museum Negeri Mulawarman which includes statuary from Mahakam’s Hindu period (pre-fifteenth century), which replicas of fourth-century conical stone yupa, which are Indonesia’s oldest written records. Dayak pieces include Benuaq weaving, Kenyah beadwork and Bahau hudoq masks.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Indonesia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Solo travel can be one of the most rewarding ways to explore the world. Whether you'd rather spend it on a desert island or in a frenetic new city, here are th…

21 Dec 2016 • Rachel Mills camera_alt Gallery
Bali travel tips: 10 things to know before you go

Bali travel tips: 10 things to know before you go

With its coral-speckled beaches, luscious green rice terraces and blissful azure seas, Bali has long been a haven for surfers, sun worshippers and yoga junkies …

21 Sep 2016 • Henry Fry insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month