Going to Balikpapan? Get answers from our friendly locals
Balikpapan is a seaport city on the east coast of the island of Borneo, in the Indonesian province of East Kalimantan. Two harbors, Semayang and Kariangau (a ferry harbour), and SAMS Airport are the main transportation ports to the city. The city has a population of 639,031, making it the second-largest city in East Kalimantan, after Samarinda. Before the oil boom of the early 1900s, Balikpapan was an isolated Bugis fishing village. Balikpapan's toponym (balik = "behind" and papan = "plank") is from a folk story in which a local king threw his newborn daughter into the sea to protect her from his enemies. The baby was tied beneath some planks that were discovered by a fisherman.
As a coastal city it has many beaches including Manggar Beach, Segara Beach, Monument Beach, and Melawai Beach. Balikpapan is a departure point for nature tourism. There are wildlife exhibitions nearby such as the Samboja Lestari orangutan conservancy, Sun Bear sanctuary and crocodile breeding park.
As one of the fastest developing cities in the nation, Balikpapan has been supported by the rise of shopping centers. There five majors shopping malls in town such as Plaza Balikpapan, Balikpapan Superblock, Balcony City, Mall Fantasy in Balikpapan Baru, and Plaza Kebun Sayur.