A Tranquil Trek to the Stone Garden at Sembinai Hill


East Kalimantan has quite a lot of wonderful spots to explore. From small exotic islands, lush green forests, and panoramic karst formations, this province has it all. One of the most beautiful karst areas to visit is Sembinai Hill.

The magnificent stone garden. via Instagram/dayat_rep

This hill is a literal stone garden carved naturally in the middle of the forest. You will need to walk through lovely trek to get to the hill. Even though the trip might be challenging, but it is also very rewarding. Here is all you need to know about Sembinai Hill.

Location and access

The place is rather secluded. via Instagram/jejak_petualang_ppu

Administratively, Sembinai Hill is located at Kasungai Village, Batu Sopang District, Paser Regency. This large karst area is located in the southern part of East Kalimantan. The village, where you can park your vehicle and start your trekking activity, is easily accessible. The closest town would be Tanah Grogot. Kasungai is roughly ten kilometers away from the main Kalimantan road.

Trekking through the river

A nice trek by the river. via Instagram/dwi_sun

Once you get to the parking spot, you will have to walk through the bank of Kasungai River. The stream is not too strong and the panorama is great. The trek is also quite easy even though you might encounter some cliffs. Most people also set up their tent by the river. The overall atmosphere is relaxing, almost soothing. The sound of the small stream is a perfect companion to spend your night here.

The Summit

The summit has lots of spiky peaks. via Instagram/hajibackpacker

Early in the morning, you have to climb to the summit of this hill. The climb would be relatively easy, without any extreme trek. You need to get to the peak before the sun rises to see the absolute beauty of the hill. A lot of pointy peaks spike up, creating an otherworldly view. This summit is a stone garden with the beauty of the panorama. This place is also very photogenic. Some people even climb to some of the peaks to get the best picture.

The Caves

There are big caves near the peak. via Instagram/roma_dhan

Just like most karst areaa, there are also several caves in Batu Sopang. You can find at least three big caves in this area. People usually explore the caves after they finish enjoying the peaks. The biggest ones near the peaks are Goa Pintu 1 (Door 1 Cave) and Goa Pintu 2. There is another big cave located near the road; Goa Tengkorak (Skull Cave). The caves are the home of countless bats.

The view is great up here. via Instagram/xanggroh

Sembinai Hill in Kasungai Village is lowkey a great exploration area in East Kalimantan. This area, even though is not really popular, offers a great trekking route for those who love venturing into nature.

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