Kalimantan Timur

East Kalimantan

East Kalimantan (Indonesian: Kalimantan Timur abbrv. Kaltim) is the second largest Indonesian province, located on the Kalimantan region on the east of Borneo island. The resource-rich province has two major cities, Samarinda (the capital and a center for timber product) and Balikpapan (a petroleum center with oil refinery). Ever since Indonesia opened its mineral and natural resources for foreign investment in 1970s, East Kalimantan province has experienced major boost of timber, petroleum and other exotic forest products. The state-owned petroleum company Pertamina has been operating in the area since it took control oil refinery from the Royal Dutch Shell company in 1965.

The population is a mixture of people from the Indonesian archipelago with Dayaks and Kutai as indigenous ethnic groups living in rural areas. Other prominent migrant ethnic groups include Javanese, Chinese, Banjarese, Bugis and Malays, who mostly live in coastal areas.


This province is the location of the oldest Hindu kingdom in Indonesia, Kutai, the existence of which is attested to by a stone manuscript, or Prasasti, which is now kept in the National Museum in Jakarta. The manuscript is written in the Pallava alphabet and the Sanskrit language. The replica of this manuscript can be seen in the Governor's Office in Samarinda.

Inscriptions on seven stone pillars (yupa posts) erected in the fifth century BCE on the command of a local ruler, King Mulavarman, records his victories, his generosity to brahmins, his princely genealogy.


East Kalimantan is divided into 10 regencies and 4 cities.
The regencies are:

  1. Pasir Regency
  2. Penajam Paser Utara Regency
  3. Kutai Kartanegara Regency
  4. West Kutai Regency
  5. East Kutai Regency
  6. Bulungan Regency
  7. Berau Regency
  8. Malinau Regency
  9. Nunukan Regency
  10. Tana Tidung Regency

The cities are:

  1. Balikpapan
  2. Samarinda
  3. Bontang
  4. Tarakan


The main problem in this province is the illegal logging which destroyed almost all the rainforest. Less than half the original rainforest still remains, in places such as the Kayan Mentarang National Park in the northern part of the province.


East Kalimantan heavily depends on earth resources activity such as oilfield exploration, natural gas, as well as coal and gold mining. Balikpapan has an oil refinery plant that was primarily built by Dutch governance before World War II, destroyed during World War II, and rebuilt by Indonesia Governance.

Other developing economic sectors includes agriculture and tourism. East Kalimantan has several tourist destination such as Derawan Islands in Berau Regency, Kayan Mentarang National Park ini Nunukan, Crocodile Husbandry in Balikpapan, deer husbandry in Penajam, Dayak's (native Kalimantan people) Pampang Village in Samarinda and many others.

The main problem to developing economic growth is lack of transportation infrastructure. Transportation depends on traditional boats connecting coastal cities and areas along main river, Mahakam River.


External links

  • WWF Heart of Borneo conservation initiative - Information about the Heart of Borneo - 220,000 km² of upland montane tropical rainforest, where endangered species such as the orang-utan, rhinoceros and pygmy elephant cling for survival.

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