East Kalimantan (Kaltim) is the easternmost and the northernmost of Kalimantan. Best known for the beautiful beaches along its east coast, it stretches from the Celebes Sea near Malaysia into the Makassar Strait. Political it consists of East Kalimantan Province and North Kalimantan Province.
East Kalimantan is one of Borneo's most sparsely populated countries. With a population of only 3 million people and a land area of 204,534 km2, the population density is only 17 inhabitants per km2. Most of the population are Javaneses. The indigenous Kutai people traditionally inhabit the southern part of East Kalimantan. Other recognized minorities is the Dayak people. In recent years, immigration, in particular from the other Indonesian province, has increased greatly.
East Kalimantan is formally an Islamic province.
East Kalimantan is the centre of Indonesia's timber, oil and gas industries. As you might guess, the stripped coastal areas are not a pretty sight, but the province's more interesting sights lie far upriver in areas untouched by the voracious logging machines.
- Apo Kayan - remote highland plateau inhabited by Dayak tribes
- Mancong and Tanjung Issui Village - these two village inhabited by Dayak Banuaq living on a long-house. Most visitor take a house boat on Mahakam River beginning from Loajanan the area just before Samarinda City from Balikpapan.
- Tering Village - further up Mahakam River, Tering Village where Dayak Tunjung and Kenyah with long ear woman are worth to visit. Next to Tering is Melak Village, the location of Black Orchid garden.
- Labuan Cermin Lake - with layer of fresh water on top and salt water beneath.
You can also access Kalimantan Timur from Tawau in Malaysia. From Tawau there is a boat to Tarakan. From there another one to Nunukan in Berau district. You need a visa to enter Indonesia on that port (Visa on arrival is not available) but there is an consulate in Tawau which seems to do visas quite quick.
Visiting Mahakam River hinterland and orangutan or exploring kutai national park is the best option.
There is quite good diving on the east coast.