Balikpapan is a city in East Kalimantan. Located on the east coast of the island of Borneo, the city is the financial centre of Kalimantan and the main gateway to the new capital of Indonesia. Balikpapan serves as headquarters for international oil companies, mining companies and related support industries operating in (and out of) eastern Kalimantan.

Although not as populous as the capital Samarinda, Balikpapan is Kalimantan’s only truly cosmopolitan metropolis thanks to a long history of oil money and foreign workers, and that makes it worth a look in its own right. It’s still seen largely as a stepping stone to Samarinda, Derawan or Banjarmasin, but a night in Balikpapan’s club scene will give you a whole new perspective on Borneo.

Balikpapan also known for beaches such as white-sand Kemala Beach. Stalls in Kebun Sayur market sell jewelry, gemstones and souvenirs. Agung At-Taqwa mosque is decorated with large geometric patterns. North of the city, Bangkirai Hill has a canopy bridge above the rainforest. The Samboja Lestari sanctuary houses rescued orangutans and sun bears.