Balikpapan ranks high among Indonesia’s popular tourist destinations. It is located on the Makassar strait in the Borneo island. Often called the ‘Gateway to Borneo’ or ‘Gateway to East Kalimantan’, it is a seaport city in Indonesia. Being home to several international mining and oil companies, it is the largest exporter of oil and related products. This makes it popular as the ‘Oil City’ of Indonesia.
From being a fishing village to becoming one of the financial hubs, Balikpapan has undergone various transformations. The influence of the Dutch East India company aided this transformation bringing many skilled labourers and immigrants to Balikpapan. However, Balikpapan’s economy was severely disturbed during the Second World War during 1942-1945.
The etymology of the city’s name points to a popular folktale. In order to save his daughter from his enemies, a King tied his daughter to the backside of planks and set her free in the ocean. Hence the name Balik (behind) papan(plank).
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