Lighthouses of Indonesia: West Kalimantan (Borneo)

Indonesia has been independent since 1945 after having been the Dutch East Indies for more than 350 years. It is a huge country, stretching along both sides of the Equator for more than 46 degrees of longitude (roughly 5100 km or 3200 miles). Comprised of some 17,000 islands (more than 6000 inhabited islands), it has hundreds of major aids to navigation.

Borneo, known as Kalimantan in Indonesia, is the world's third largest island. 73% of the island is Indonesian; the remaining portion includes the Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah and the independent sultanate of Brunei. This page describes lighthouses of West Kalimantan Province, which occupies the southwestern corner of Borneo with a coast that facing west, mostly on the Natuna Sea.

The Indonesian word for a lighthouse is mercusuar. The phrase menara suar, which includes the Arabic word menara, is sometimes used instead. Tanjung and ujung are words for capes, pulau is an island, selat is a strait, karang is a reef, gosong is a shoal or sandbar, and teluk is a harbor.

Aids to navigation in Indonesia are operated and maintained by the Directorate General of Sea Navigation.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volumes F and Q of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 112.

General Sources
Online List of Lights - Indonesia - Vol. F and Vol. Q
Coming soon: photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Indonesian Lighthouses
Historic postcard views from the collection of Michel Forand.
World of Lighthouses - Indonesia
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
GPSNauticalCharts
Navigational chart information for West Kalimantan.

Tanjung Datu Light, Sambas, October 2016
ex-Google Plus photo copyright Yus Ran
Ketapang Regency Lighthouses
Gosong Mangkut
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 15 m (49 ft) tower, painted black with one red horizontal band. No photo available and the islet is barely visible in Google's distant satellite view. Located on a shoal about 16 km (10 mi) southwest of the southwestern tip of Kalimantan. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1410.3; NGA 25049.
Pulau Bawal (Tanjung Rotan)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 67 m (220 ft); three white flashes every 12 s. 30 m (98 ft) square skeletal tower painted white. No photo available but Bing has a very distant satellite view. Pulau Bawal is an island about 10 km (6 mi) northwest of Tanjung Simbar, the southwestern corner of Borneo. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1410; NGA 25050.
Ketapang (Tanjung Adung) Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 22 m (72 ft); white light, pattern unknown. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) square white skeletal tower. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. This is the approach range for the Kandangkerbau River and Ketapang. The front light is on a platform offshore. Located on Tanjung Adung, on the north side of the river's mouth. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1408.1; NGA 25066.
 

Kayong Utara (North Kayong) Regency: Karimata Islands Lighthouses
Karang Ontario (Ontario Reef)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 15 m (49 ft) tower, painted black with one red horizontal band. No photo available. Located on a coral reef 31 km (19.5 mi) south southwest of Palau Serutu; the safe shipping channel of the Karimata Strait lies between these lights. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1405.5; NGA 25058.
Pulau Serutu
1902. Active; focal plane 175 m (574 ft); three quick white flashes every 10 s. 25 m (82 ft) octagonal cast iron skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. A photo is at right and Bing has a partially clouded satellite view of the station. This is a major light with a range of 36 nautical miles (67 km, 42 mi). There is a proposal to protect the light station as a heritage area. Pulau Serutu anchors the southwest end of the Karimata Archipelago, which extends into the Karimata Strait separating Kalimantan from Sumatra. The light is an important landmark for ships sailing between Singapore and Jakarta. Located on the highest point of the island. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-181; Admiralty Q1406; NGA 25060.
Pulau Macan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 50 m (164 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) square white skeletal tower. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located on a small island in the southeastern Karimata Archipelago.Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1407.7; NGA 25064.4.

Pulau Serutu Light, Karimata Strait, March 2017
Western Karimata Province Cultural Survey Team photo (no longer online)
Pulau Layah Kecil
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 72 m (236 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. 40 m (131 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern painted red. Several coast guard buildings. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view of the station. This lighthouse is in Sukadana Bay, a broad embayment on the southwest coast of Kalimantan. Located on a small island about 80 km (50 mi) west of Tanjung Baikbudi. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-213; Admiralty Q1407.5; NGA 25064.1.
Pulau Lemanbudi (Lemen Boedi) (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 48 m (157 ft); two white flashes every 8 s. 15 m (49 ft) octagonal cylindrical concrete tower, painted white. The Coast Guard photo is at right and Bing has a satellite view. NGA lists a skeletal tower. Located on the outermost of a group of small islands at the north edge of the Karimata Archipelago. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1407; NGA 25064.

Kabu Raya Regency Lighthouses
Pulau Masatiga
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 20 m (66 ft); white light, characteristic unknown. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) square white skeletal tower. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a small island off the southwestern tip of Pulau Padangtikar. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1403.5.
Tanjung Padangtikar (Padang Tikar)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 3 s. 15 m (49 ft) round white fiberglass tower mounted on a platform supported by piles. No photo available but Bing has an indistinct satellite view. The range guides vessels into the Bangkolan River estuary leading to the port of Batu Ampar. Located on the south side of the river mouth and just off the northwestern tip of Pulau Padangtikar. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1402; NGA 25068.

Pontianak Regency Lighthouses
Sungai Kapuas Kecil (Pontianak) Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); quick-flashing white light. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower mounted on a platform supported by piles. No photo available but Bing has an indistinct satellite view. The range guides vessels into the Little Kapuas River estuary leading to Pontianak, the capital of West Kalimantan. The rear light is on a smaller tower on a hillside onshore. Located on the north side of the river mouth. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F1872; NGA 25072.

Pulau Lemanbudi Light, Karimata Strait
Indonesian Coast Guard Pontianak Navigation Region photo
Pulau Datu (Dato)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 62 m (203 ft); three white flashes every 9 s. 30 m (98 ft) white skeletal tower. No photo available and the tower is not sen in Google's satellite view. Located on an uninhabited island about 65 km (40 mi) west northwest of the Kapuas River mouth. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1879; NGA 25081.
Pulau Pengiki
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 206 m (676 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. 15 m (49 ft) white 16-sided skeletal tower. No photo available but Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on an island about 65 km (40 mi) west northwest of Pulau Datu. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1880; NGA 25080.
Pulau Sitinjan (Sitijan) (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 90 m (295 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. Approx. 30 m (98 ft) 4-stage octagonal white concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Budi Ponty's photo is at right, Nanank Potlot has another photo, and Ponty also has a photo of the tower under construction in 2017. Google has a satellite view of the earlier light, a square skeletal with lantern and gallery. Approx. 30 m (98 ft) square white skeletal tower with lantern and gallery. Located on an island about 75 km (45 mi) northwest of the Kapuas River mouth. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1883; NGA 25082.
Pulau Lemukutan (Lemoekoetan)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 314 m (1030 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. 19 m (59 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available and the tower has not been found in Google's satellite view. Pulau Lemukutan is a mountainous island about 18 km (12 mi) off the westernmost point of Kalimantan. Located on the highest point of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-214; Admiralty F1885; NGA 25084.

Sambas Regency Lighthouses
Tanjung Batu (Pemangkat)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); green flash every 3 s. 11 m (36 ft) tower. No photo available and the tower is hard to distinguish in Google's satellite view. Located at the tip of a promontory on the south side of the entrance to the Sambas River. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1890; NGA 25088.
Sungai Sambas Besar Range (Pemangkat Range) Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower mounted on a platform supported by piles. Tower painted with black and white horizontal bands. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. This is the entrance range for the Sambas River. Located in the river about 800 m (1/2 mi) northeast of Tanjung Batu. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F1892; NGA 25094.

Pulau Sitinjan Light, Karimata Strait, January 2018
Google Maps photo by Budi Ponty
Sungai Sambas Besar Range (Pemangkat Range) Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower mounted on a platform supported by piles. Tower painted with black and white horizontal bands. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located just off the south bank of the river 1148 m (0.71 mi) east of the front light. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F1892.1; NGA 25094.2.
Bukit Kalangbau (Kalang Bahu, Sungai Sambas)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 132 m (433 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. 40 m (131 ft) tapered square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Bung Jang has a 2018 closeup photo, Yanto Wen also has a closeup, and Google has a satellite view of the station. NGA lists the station as Pulau Pekak, although it is not on an island. Located on a steep-sided hill on the north side of the entrance to the Sambas River opposite the port of Pemangkat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1891; NGA 25092.
Sungai Paloh
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 15 m (49 ft); white light, pattern unknown. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower mounted on a square platform supported by piles. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view. Located about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) off the mouth of the Paloh River, about 40 km (25 mi) southwest of Tanjung Datu. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F1893.15.
Tanjung Datu (1?)
1885(?). Inactive since 1978. 10 m (33 ft) square skeletal tower. The tower appears in the photo at right. It is claimed to be an original Dutch lighthouse, although that seems unlikely.
Tanjung Datu (2?)
1978. 10 m (33 ft) square skeletal tower. Approx. 5 m (16 ft) white concrete tower. The tower is partially hidden in the photo at right.
Tanjung Datu (3?)
2006. Active; focal plane about 205 m (673 ft); two long (1.5 s) white flashes every 12 s. 40 m (131 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white, centered on a 2-story station building. Yus Ran's photo is at the top of this page, another photo is at right, and Google has a satellite view of the station. This staffed lighthouse marks the border between Indonesia and the Sarawak state of Malaysia. Since 1987 this border has been the site of dueling lighthouses, one on the Malaysian side and one on the Indonesian side. A photo at the top of the Directory's Sarawak page shows the Malaysian 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower (focal plane 171 m (561 ft; white flash every 15 s) as well as the original Indonesian light. A chain link fence separates the Indonesian light station from the Malaysian light. In 2014 Malaysia began construction of a new light on a platform off the point of the cape; construction was halted when Indonesia protested that the location was in Indonesian waters as provided by a 1969 treaty. Located on a promontory at the tip of the Datu Peninsula about 50 km (30 mi) northwest of Sematan, Malaysia. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1893.2.

Three lighthouses at Tanjung Datu, 2015
Indonesian Ministry of Transportation photo

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Sarawak | East: Southern Kalimantan | West: Bangka-Belitung Islands | Northwest: Natuna Sea Islands

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Posted December 9, 2008. Checked and revised April 4, 2020. Lighthouses: 23. Site copyright 2020 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.