As a major producer of oil and timber, East Kalimantan at this moment is the most industrially advanced province in Indonesia. Oil, mining and logging bring prosperity to this province. Seasoned travelers might still be able to find adventures in relatively untouched places, and visitors who prefer comfort will find that most of the area here are pretty modernized.
Kutai Kingdom emerged in the 4th century. At first Hinduism, from India, dominated this kingdom. Eventually Islam began to influence this place, and Islamic kingdoms began to appear. In the middle of the 19th century, Dutch managed to colonize East Kalimantan with struggles and protests from the locals. In the middle of 20th century, Dutch was replaced by Japanese, and political parties created since Dutch occupation era were banned and disbanded. When Japanese was defeated in the WW2, Dutch tried to make a comeback by creating puppet countries, one of them was located in East Kalimantan. In 1950, the people managed to get rid of the Dutch and entered Kalimantan Province. East Kalimantan became a separate province in 1956.
Balikpapan is the gateway to East Kalimantan; Garuda Indonesia Airlines fly from Kuala Lumpur to Balikpapan via Jakarta. Balikpapan can be reached by flight directly form Jakarta, Manado and Surabaya as well as form Tarakan.
People & Culture
The original inhabitants of Kalimantan, the Orang Gunung or Mountain People. The tribes are collectivelly called Dayak, although this name is not embraced by many tribes-people themselves, who prefer to be known by separate tribal names such as Iban, Funan and Banuaq. Local tribes traditionally live in the communal longhouses called Lamin or Limaq Daru.
Sea food is a must here. Most of the places offer halal food due to Islam influence. Various dishes in Chinese style can be enjoyed with reasonable price.