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Wednesday, 25 January 2023 12:50

Merah River

Written by  Rahma
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A river usually has clear water color like glass. But what if you see a river whose water is red like blood! Yes, the river with red water really exists in Indonesia; it is located in Barito Regency, Central Kalimantan. In accordance with its color, this river is called ‘Merah River’ or the Dayak people call it Marak River’. The red color comes from contamination of the roots of trees in the forest of Mount Beriun. This forest becomes the headwaters of the river and is very dense in accordance with the characteristics of tropical rains in Kalimantan. The Merah River area is still very beautiful, and it is surrounded by various green vegetation that thrives in the forests of Kalimantan.


According to local people, even though it is red in color, the water of the Merah River is safe for consumption. In addition, according to the myth that develops in the local community, the water of the Merah River is also believed to whiten the skin. Another myth is that if one bathes in this river, all his or her tiredness will disappear because the water is cool. Even so, the Merah River is still sacred by the Dayak tribe, so there are a number of taboos that must be avoided by visitors. One of the taboos or prohibitions is to avoid undressing when bathing in the river. If one doesn’t want to bathe directly in this red river, he or she can visit the tourist village of Pasir Panjang, West Kotawaringin district. There, the people around the village make a red bathing pool that can be enjoyed.

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