Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Slice of...Balikpapan, Indonesia

Hello Sometimes Sweet lovelies, my name is Markati Prasetio of Clinicoustic's Scratch from Indonesia. I've read Sometimes Sweet for over 2 years and today I'll be showing you around Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, Indonesia, the town where I've lived for almost 5 years. I hope after reading this post, you will make my home as your vacation destination in addition to amazing Bali and Central Java!

with my husband, Joko Prasetio and my son Alif Raditya
Balikpapan is a seaport city on the eastern coast of the island of Borneo, Indonesia, in the East Kalimantan province. Its two harbors (Semayang and Kariangau) and the Sepinggan International Airport are the main transportation ports to the city. Balikpapan is the second-largest city in East Kalimantan, after the capital Samarinda.

Sepinggan International Airport
[photo credit]
oil refinery view at night
Balikpapan is one of the largest oil producers in Indonesia. Its oil refinery is located in the shore of Balikpapan Bay, established in 1922. Some multinational corporations conduct business activities in East Kalimantan province. Such companies as Pertamina (Indonesia), Total E&P (France), Chevron (US), Schlumberger (France), BakerHughes (US), Weatherford (US), Thiess Contractors Indonesia (Australia), and Halliburton (US) use Balikpapan as their base of operations in the region.

It makes Balikpapan a very onward town in Kalimantan. Some five stars hotels and international class restaurants are now in Balikpapan. As a modern town, Balikpapan also crowded with activity of entertainment and amusement. Balikpapan Shopping Centre is between Sudirman Street and Ahmad Yani Street and has become one of our city's symbols.

Tribes were the origins of Balikpapan- namely the Dayak Kenyah and Dayak Paser Tribe. But nowdays, Balikpapan is a modern city which urban and its origins has mixed. Like myself; I'm from East Java.

Dayak Kenyah Chief

[photo credit]
Dayak Kenyah traditonal dance
There's a Honey Bear conservation in Balikpapan called Environmental Education Area Tourism that specifically protects the Honey Bear, the mascot of Balikpapan. It is located in Km 23 North Balikpapan.

Another place to see is Tugu Australia, located near Strand Banua Patra Beach Balikpapan. This is a monument to remember and to respect the Australian troops who fought the Japanese who invaded Indonesia in old days. At Tugu Australia, there's a plate where you can read the whole history of the Battle of Balikpapan in 1945, written in both English and Indonesian. There's also the map of Borneo Island and and the estimated numbers of how many troops and civilians died during the war.

Tugu Australia
The Caribbean Island Waterpark, the only waterpark in East Kalimantan
One of the most famous traditional foods in Balikpapan is Soto Banjar, which is actually from South Kalimantan, but this food is all over East Kalimantan. The main ingredients of soto are chicken, chicken broth and special spices like cinnamon, clove and other spices that only available in Kalimantan. Soto Banjar contains shredded chicken meat, served with a potato cake and boiled egg. Sometimes we combined it with chicken satay.

I hope I didn't bore you with my story. Want know more about my home? Stop by my blog Clinicoustic's Scratch. And make sure to plan a stop in my beloved city when you take a trip to Indonesia. Feel free to get in touch too, I'll show you my beautiful Balikpapan in person. xo


  1. Oh wow! This is such an awesome guest post getting to know where others come from and their homes, rather than the travel brochure version. Love it!


  2. Definitely not boring! The food looks delicious, and I've always thought honey bears are awesome. Thank you so much for the tour!

  3. What a great guest post!
    I loved reading this!


  4. What a fantastic post. Definately not boring at all :).
    Thanks for sharing!

  5. What a great "A Slice of ..." post! I'd love to see more from International readers. Thank you for sharing, Markati!

  6. I've seen a honey bear in a zoo, I think it was in Seattle. It was one of my favorite things there, SO CUTE. This was really cool, thanks for sharing your home. :)

  7. oh wow this is cool! i am originally from Brunei, the northern part of Borneo and this makes me a little homesick :)

  8. It looks like an absolutely beautiful city and I would love to visit. I love the info on the honey bear! So cute!


  9. That's really nice. I've always wanted to go to Balikpapan and seeing the pictures here just make me want to do it soon. Thanks for sharing this story :)

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