Balikpapan: East Kalimantan

Balikpapan is located on the East Kalimantan and is renowned as a region for its timber, mining and petroleum export products. It has always been a company town and an access point to the interior of the island. There are actually two harbours; Semayang and Kariangau, the latter being a ferry harbour. Balikpapan is serviced by air through Sepinggan International Airport. In fact, the airport is the second busiest Indonesian airport after Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. The city itself offers little in attractions for visitors and decent accommodation is limited but there are some great warungs and other eateries. Almost everyone who arrives in the city eventually heads over to the Balikpapan Plaza as it is the most popular shopping mall.

The only attractions of worthy note are the beaches of Bunda, Lamar and Manggar. If you are like me and enjoy walking around markets then the Pasar Klandasan is the place. Here you can buy the usual market fare such as fresh fruit and vegetables. There are of course artefacts and mostly of Dayak origin. As I mentioned earlier, Balikpapan is one of those places that visitors might not find appealing. Having said that, staying there overnight is an experience and a worthwhile one.

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