KalimantanIndonesia part of the island of Borneo, the 3rd largest island in the world. The Indonesian part covers some 580,000 km2 (225,000 sq mi), the vast area is home to only 12 million people, so most of the area, especially in the interior, is very sparsely populated. The vast rain forests here are some of the most bio-diverse areas in the world.
East Kalimantan (Kalimantan Timur)
also including the province of North Kalimantan (Kalimantan Utara)
- - is called Oil City in Indonesia, because most of the major oil & gas companies have offices there. The cost of living in Balikpapan is high because it is difficult to find vegetables & fresh meat. The temperature fluctuates between 28C and 32C.
- - the biggest city in Kalimantan. Famous for its floating market.
- — home of the famous Bornean Orangutan
Flora and faunaThe Borneo rainforest is 130 million years old, making it one of the oldest rainforests in the world and 70 million years older than the Amazon rainforest. Borneo is very rich in biodiversity compared to many other areas. There are about 15,000 species of flowering plants with 3,000 species of trees, 221 species of mammals and 420 species of birds. Subject to mass deforestation, the remaining Borneo rainforest is one of the only remaining natural habitats for the endangered Bornean orangutan. It is also an important refuge for many endemic forest species, as the Asian elephant, the Sumatran rhinoceros, the Bornean clouded leopard, and the Dayak fruit bat.
Kalimantan has an equatorial climate, with the average temperature ranging between 23 and 31°C. The island has a high annual precipitation, around 300 mm per year, with a light rainy season between March and May, and a more intense one between November and January. Precipitation levels are however considerably lower than in many neighbouring parts of Indonesia.
There are 74 living languages spoken in Kalimantan. Indonesian is the official language, while the Banjar language serves as a lingua franca on much of the island except in West Kalimantan, where Malay is more popular. Other major languages include Dayak (Bornean) and a number of dialects related to the Chinese Hakka and Minnan (Teochew) languages.
By planeThere are several international airports in Kalimantan, with connections to and from Singapore and Malaysia. In addition, there is a wide array of flight connections to and from other Indonesian islands, mainly Java.
- Sultan Aji Muhammad Sulaiman International Airport (BPN) near Balikpapan is the primary airport on the Indonesian side, with international flights from Singapore (Silk Air), and domestic flights from many Indonesian cities. It is the second busiest airport in central/east Indonesia, after Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport in .
- Syamsudin Noor Airport (BDJ) near Banjarmasin is a regional airport located in South Kalimantan, with good connections to destinations throughout Kalimantan and Java.
- Supadio Airport (PNK) near Pontianak is the main airport of West Kalimantan, with international flights from Kuala Lumpur (AirAsia) and Kuching (Xpress Air), and domestic flights from Medan and the main cities of Java.
- Juwata International Airport (TRK) near Tarakan servers the northeast of Kalimantan, with international flights from Kota Kinabalu (MASwings) as well as a range of domestic destinations.
- Also the airports of Berau/Derawan (BEJ), Pangkalan Bun (PKN), Ketapang (KTG), Sampit (SMQ), Palangkaraya (PKY) serve destinations on Java island.
By landThe only formal way to enter Kalimantan by land from Malaysia is at the Entikong-Tebedu crossing between West Kalimantan and Sarawak. As the crossing is listed only as a visa-free entry point, nationalities who do not qualify for this will have to apply for visas beforehand. Read more about this in the article about the trip from Pontianak to Kuching or vice versa.
By ferryThere is an international daily ferry connection from Tawau in Sabah, Malaysia, to Nunukan and Tarakan in North Kalimantan province.
Domestic ferry connections to several ports of Kalimantan (Pontianak, Ketapang, Kumai, Sampit, Banjarmasin, Batulicin, Balikpapan, Samarinda, Tarakan, and Nunukan) are operated by PELNI. In almost all cases it is advisable for tourists to fly instead, except perhaps for trips to Kalimantan from relatively nearby islands such as Bangka-Belitung and the Riau Islands.
Distances on Kalimantan are long and public transport is spotty and expensive. The easiest option may well be to book an arranged tour.
- Borneo Discovery Tours Kalimantan office, 62 542 7254677 or 24hrs cell.08125361221 (Office Hours 08.00am - 17.00pm),