Balikpapan is a city in East Kalimantan. It serves as headquarters for international oil companies, mining companies and related support industries operating in (and out of) eastern Kalimantan. The city is a relatively clean, small city, with clear blue skies but not much by way of nightlife. The population are a mix, with lots of Javanese due to transmigration, lots of people from Sulawesi, and of course, the locals. the people are quiet and polite, and the pace is slow and relaxed.

Get in

By plane

Most people arrive by air. Balikpapan's Sepinggan International Airport (IATA: BPN) has frequent flights from Jakarta, as well as commercial services from Surabaya, Banjarmasin, Tarakan, Palu, Makassar, Yogyakarta, Semarang and Denpasar, as well as numerous smaller airports in Kalimantan. There are also international flights from Singapore operated by SilkAir 6 times a week and from Kuala Lumpur operated by Air Asia 3 times a week. The airport is on the coast just outside of the city, around 8 km away from the city center. Airport taxis operate from the terminal; there is a fixed fare depending on the destination (starting from Rp 70,000, as of March 2016). You may be offered an unofficial fare outside the main exit if you walk to the left past the official taxi ranks; while some of these drivers may offer a slightly cheaper fare, many will quote an inflated price when they see a foreigner, so make sure you've asked the official fare to your destination in the taxi booth if you intend to bargain with them.

Despite the numerous signs which you'll see after leaving the baggage claim area, as of March 2016 there's no airport bus service to Balikpapan; the buses mentioned on these signs are going to Samarinda.

By car

Balikpapan can be accessed from Samarinda, Bontang And Banjarmasin by land through 2 bus terminal From Samarinda, Bontang by Terminal Batu Ampar, and From Banjarmasin from the other terminal in the Batu Ampar District.

By ferry

Semayang's seaport that serves cruises from Makassar, Pare Pare, Tarakan, Surabaya, and other eastern parts of Indonesia. This port is one of the busiest ports in Indonesia and the main gateway to Borneo, serving cargo ships not only from Indonesia and South East Asia.

Get around

Traffic does not yet inhibit travel within the city but is increasing by the day as relatively high living standards help to support a sea of small motor cycles.

By taxi

Some taxi companies operates in Balikpapan. It is advisable to call for their call center, tell your location and wait the call center arrange their unit to pick you up. It is uncommon to wait for empty taxis on the street because they usually stop and wait for orders from their call center.

List of taxi companies and their call center number:

Public transport

Public transportation in Balikpapan consists of small minibus named angkutan kota or angkot for short. Locals often call angkot as taxi and metered taxi as taxi argo. There's no public bus inside the city. Minibuses serves public transport between points. Although there're dedicated routes, they often deroute due to passenger's request. They also sometimes don't serve the whole route.

The color of the minibuses determines their routes. Common routes are as follows:



On Merdeka(Independent) square you can play soccer and do other sports. Check out the beach in balikpapan. See one of the nice local markets, and local tour operators arrange river safaris on the Mahakam River and Orangutan tours.

Balikpapan has a beautiful beach such as Manggar and Lamaru located just outside the city, and Kemala Beach further off Klandasan with nice views of the sunset.



A local delicacy is Amplang/Kuku Macan, a kind of chips made from fish. Pacifica Food Court in Balikpapan Plaza Mall has good food and a lot of choice.



There are a number of star rated hotels poised on the hills and at the beach that are perfectly adequate.



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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, March 10, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.