Large, shallow lake teeming with fish and birds turns out to host a board walk village, too
Around Muara Muntai are several shallow lakes, varying in size depending on the water levels. We explored Danau Jempang, to the south of the main Mahakam River, a vast expanse of water obviously supporting a significant fish population. Various types of fishing nets are everywhere, and with them come the fish-eating birds. The area is supposed to be a huge reed growing area, but we didn’t see a lot of evidence for this, either because the reed had been harvested, or perhaps because the water level was so high that we only saw the tops of the reed plants – it looked more like weed to me than anything else.
In the middle of the lake – in the middle of nowhere, really – suddenly appears a village, Jantuk or something like that, a surprisingly affluent place, completely on stilts, board walks between various neighbourhoods connected by lots of little canoes that go back and forth. I would find it quite disturbing, if you can never walk on firm land, but the villagers don’t seem to be bothered, they are all enthusiastically waving at us, visitors.
Past the middle-of-the-lake village, it is another half an hour, or so, to Tanjung Isuy, the next stop on the Virtual Tour.