Gateway to explore Kalimantan

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Balikpapan Town

Balikpapan City is the Gateway of East Kalimantan to the jungle of Indonesian Borneo island. Balikpapan recently has grown in importance for the tourism industry since the opening of the International airport flight routes, but more-over with Samarinda city as the connection with Indonesia country new capital. Balikpapan town has a population of about 800.000 people and beside the domestic and international flight connections, the harbor connects Sulawesi and Java island by Pelni passenger ships over the route Surabaya - Ujungpandang - Balikpapan.
Outwardly, Balikpapan presents two different faces. The first is the old Dutch-built section of the town, the other newer part is the result of the last decades oil industry and mining boom.
Balikpapan is the entrance to the Kalimantan interior destinations, such as the jungle Dayak settlements in the hinterland along the big rivers. One of them is the Mahakam River, a massive muddy stream which is the busy trade infrastructure channel to deep Borneo. Samarinda mark the start for a trip on the Mahakam River, as Kalimantan ’s greatest adventures of poison blow darts speeding through rain forest to hit dangerous bears, giant snakes and enormous leeches deterred many early explorers to the land of the former headhunters who now-a-days still practice the mystic animism believes in the the deep dark jungle terrain of Borneo. For those tourist who visit Kalimantan, the trip does not seem complete without a visit to East Kalimantan, despite most travel guidebooks, which seek travellers to visit the rehabilitation centres only in Kalimantan. The rain forest of East Kalimantan contains a wealth of rare flora and fauna as the wild black Orchid (Clogena pandurata), Nephents Amularia and Rattan vines growing in the forest up to 200 meters long. So do various species of valuable tropical hardwoods trees.
Among the animal species typical for Borneo, East Kalimantan counts the highest wild orangutan population living in the forests, beside the endemic Proboscis Long nose monkeys, chimpanzees (Pongee pygmaeus), and the Mahakam River fresh water Irrawaddy dolphins or pesut (Orcela fluminalis) along with many bird varieties.
The cultural and artistic traditions of the islands indigenous Dayak population are still preserved in this dense jungle region, especially in the hinterland of East Kalimantan. Sailing up the streams near the Malaysian border, one can still meet Traditional Dayak settlements which are little touched by the modernity.

The name Balikpapan is from an overloaded ship, which capsized near Tukung Island. A Dutch geological map of 1870 singes a small village with the name Balikpapan bay.
Now-a-days Balikpapan is East Kalimantan leading oil town, and a very important in Indonesia, Balikpapan was during World War II the target of assaults by both the Japanese and the Allies.
Balikpapan is the main gateway to East Kalimantan province. It has grown in importance for tourists since the opening of the International flight routes. Balikpapan town has a population of 800.000

Future New Capital “ Nusantara “ City of Indonesia
The President Joko Widodo have announced to move the Indonesian Capital from Jakarta to East Kalimantan Borneo Island in 2019 to build a green designed and modern new Capital in between Balikpapan and Samarinda cities at Borneo. The New Capital Nusantara City construction is moving forward in 4 stages with the first stage to move the central government administration of Indonesia to East Kalimantan by 2024. The second stage is to move the foreign embassies between 2024 and 2030. Later stage three and four will be for urban, developing and research centers which will be finished by 2045. The Capital will house all modernity upon the future as a smart city, with clean and green energy sources, with a green heart and lots of open space for Borneo's unique rain forest and the creations to make the Indonesian New Capital at Borneo to become a tourist attraction as the only one of its kind in the world.

Sungai Wain & Sunbear Rehabilitation with an education center
Sungai Wain is an conservation area, with swamp and mangrove forest, home to orangutans, and sunbears. The Sun bear as the mascot of Balikpapan City, is a threatened animal now-a-days, and lost about 30% of its population over the last 20 years at Borneo. The Rehabilitation center at 28 kilometers from Balikpapan, is an few hectares of forest where up to five sun bears can be rehabilitated in a natural habitat, beside the Rehabilitation center there is an education center to learn more about the sun bears and their nature instincts.

Black River ( Sungai Hitam )
Located about 35 kilometers from Balikpapan, a small River called Sungai Hitam, or Black River, with lowland and mangrove forest, which streams into the Balikpapan bay. The area covereved with forest, is home to wildlife creatures as the proboscis species, only found at Borneo. Birdwatchers will enjoy the mangove bird life here with kingfishers during your pleasant canoeing tour at the black river, from where you can spot the animal wildlife species, including monekys lizards and birds while the mangove forest along the river bank pass away.

Bukit Bangkirai Hard wooden hill forest
A 10.000 hectares of hardwooden trees of the Bankirai species, at a hill-top located about 38 kilometers from Balikpapan City on the way to Samarinda. The Tree-top bridge hanging about 40 meters high in the trees give you a beautiful view over East Kalimantan Rain forest hills.

Balikpapan Travellers Information

Tour Destination :
Indonesia, East Kalimantan, Balikpapan

Main Interest & Things to do :
City sightseeing Tour, visiting Manggar Beach, Japan Monument,Crocidile Farm,and Bankirai Jungle Trek recommended visit time is 1 or 2 days
Balikpapan is an booming oil city, and the entry point with an international airport ( flights from Singapore ) to the dayak country East Kalimantan province.
Manggar beach north of Balikpapan city, is the most famouse beach and relax place at Balikpapan, about 15 km from the center of the city Crocodile farm near Manggar Beach is a tourism object for mostly local visitors to see crocodiles and the farming system The Japan Monument, reminds to the Japanese invasion, and can be found in almost the center of the city.
Canoeing the Black River forest for wildlife as the proboscis monkeys, and a lot of birds
Sungai Wain, a small jungle area for trekking with wildlife spotting opertunities, of sun bears, and orang utans, next to the rehabilitation and sun bear education center.
Several shopping malls, international and simple Hotels are available in Balikpapan.
Bukit Bankirai, or Bankirai National Park, is located on the way to Samarinda, orangutans, monkeys, wild orchids and other kind of tropical flora and fauna including several kinds of wooden trees can be found here, overnight can be done in the resort of Bankirai, to know and experience the sounds and the jungle by night.
Visit tour to the construction of the New Capital of Indonesia at Borneo

Culture :
Javanese, Buginese, Kutai and Dayak Mix

Flora & Fauna :
farming, plantations and lowland Rainforest can be found outside of Balikpapan

Tour Starting Point :
Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, Indonesia

Transport Possibilities :
Public Bus and chartred car.

Tour Ending Point :
Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, Indonesia

Travel Distance to entry point :
0 Km to from Balikpapan Airport

Tour Duration :
Short Get Through Visit 1 to 2 Days

Hotels & Accommodation :
International Star to Simple Hotels

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