Balikpapan is a city in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. The city has largest economic and oil and gas refinery station located in Balikpapan Bay. Balikpapan has developed become modern city, there are a lots of best things to do in Balikpapan where you can easily find the five star hotel, world class restaurants and crowded with entertainment activities. Besides known as large exporter of mining and oil products, the stunning natural beauty also one of the dazzling tourist attractions in Balikpapan city. As the preferred destination in Indonesia, Balikpapan offers the beautiful city and nature ranging from the splendid beaches to the stunning forest. To see the wildlife, there is the Wain river forest which is the protected forest cover an area of about 10.000 hectares and home to many endangered animals such as Orangutans, Probocis Monkey (Bekatan) and the honey bear. Balikpapan can be reached through the world class international airport of Sepinggan. There are many flights from and to Sepinggan Airport both international and domestic flight from all major cities in Indonesia. Let’s check out the interesting and the best places to visit in Balikpapan Indonesia:
- Visit Melawai Beach
First things to do in Balikpapan is visiting Melawai Beach. Melawai Beach is a popular hang-out spot in Balikpapan which is become the tourism icon. The beach bordered by the rocks and concrete walls on the transportation routes located close to many office building, hotel, café and restaurants. In the afternoon, many people come here to enjoy the beautiful sunset view while enjoy the dining. There are café offer various kinds of culinary.
Check Also: Best Things to do in Medan, North Sumatra
- Visit Manggar Beach
Manggar Beach or Segara Sari Beach is a white sandy beach in Balikpapan which is become favorite family tourist destination, the beach is located approximately 20 kilometer from the Balikpapan city or 10 kilometer from Sepinggan International Airport. The beach has clear crystal water and calm and very suitable for swimming. Besides, there available tourism facilities ranging from café and souvenir to the water sport facilities such as banana boat ride and jet skis.
- Trekking at Wain River Protected Forest
Wain River Protected Forest is one of natural tourist attractions in Balikpapan with the combination of forest and the river. The river flow reaching 18.3 kilometers long with clear river water where the left and the right side of the river has the stunning mangrove forest. This Wain River and Protected Forest is located 15 kilometers away from Balikpapan city. This conservation area has been designated as conservation forest by the Sultan of Kutai Kartanegara Kingdom since 1934 with the total area of 9,782 hectares with 2 watersheds. It has diverse biodiversity and many rare mammals such as leopard, Sun Bear, Orangutans, and various kinds of rare monkeys. You can also enjoy short trekking to explore the river and the forest for 500 meters available on the wooden bridge. You can also trekking with a little more challenging of about 3 kilometers till 10 kilometers away. You will many rare animals and rare plants along the trekking way. There is a guide available to accompany and guide you while trekking. It very dangerous for you if you do the trekking only with your friends.
- Visit Wanawisata KM 10
Wana Wisata KM 10 is the forest tourist attractions in Balikpapan that in very close to Wain River. This forest park built by PT. Inhutani I Unit Balikpapan the government owned company for in forestry sector. The forest park has a total area of 15 hectares planting many local trees such as pulp trees for paper industry. Beside there are many other kinds of local trees for the industry. There are many tourism activities offer to do here such as jogging, flying fox, outbound, riding and camping. The area has cool air temperature and very suitable for relax. There are also the protected flora and fauna. To get to the location, it takes about 15 minutes driving from downtown of Balikpapan. This place is also very good for research center and the place complete with the cottages and restaurant. For the fishing lovers, there is a fishing pond provide for the anglers and it has many fish here to catch.
- Visit Australia Monument
Australia Monument is the historical monument built on 1998 by Australian Government to commemorate the Australian division VII Soldier about 270 soldier who died against the Japanese army during the World War II. The short history of the war, in 1945 the Japanese occupied Balikpapan, later the alliance of Australia and New Zealand fight for the Japanese to take over the place and the war occurred. The monument is located on Jendral Sudirman Street close to Merdeka Square with the total area of 725 square meters. In front of the monument there is an inscription that tells about the World War II and the number of people involved and including the number of victims who died during the war. The Representative of Australian Embassy in Jakarta come here on 25 April every year held the ceremony to commemorate the Australian Soldier who died in the war.
- Visit Japanese Bunker and the Japanese Memorial Monument
The Japanese Bunker was the world war II bunker used by the Japanese to defense from the allies and dispels the enemy from the sea of Balikpapan. This bunker become the historical site in Balikpapan and the location of the Bunker close to the northern sea. Whereas the Japanese Memorial Monument was built to commemorate the Japanese, Australia and Indonesia soldiers who died during the World war II in Balikpapan. The monument built in 1990 and become a memorial to Japanese soldier who died during the World War II against an allied of Australia who landed there between June 26th, 1945 to July 15th, 1945. The monument is located approximately 25 kilometers from the center of Balikpapan city.
- Visit Japanese Cannon
The Japanese came to Balikpapan in 1942 was to control over the oil resources in Balikpapan that was in fact the Dutch has been controlled over it. The Japanese brought the advanced war weapons and enough soldier more than 5,000 soldier that ready to repel the Dutch. The Japanese War Strategy was supported by placing the cannon in the hill of Balikpapan. This made the Dutch surrender over the Japanese. The cannon still can be seen at this time located in Markoni Hill, South Balikpapan.
- Visit Taman Agrowisata KM 23
Taman Agrowisata KM 23 or Agro-tourism Park Km 23 is the natural tourist attractions in Balikpapan with an area of about 100 hectares. The park is located on Soekarno-Hatta Street Km 23, Balikpapan and was inaugurated on December 17th 1997 by the former vice president, Mr. Try Sutrisno. This park also popular as honey bear breeding and provide the educational tourism about the environment and the honey bear. This typical Kalimantan Honey Bear is smaller with the weight only about 30 to 70 kilograms. This honey bear is afraid of humans. You can see them from a far away. To see them in this park you can walk through the wooden bridge about half kilometers, normally the honey bear play around the shady trees.
- Visit Sun Bears Environmental & Recreation Center
Sun Bears Environment & Recreation Center is an environment education center which is the wildlife experts to develop the Sun Bear Educational Center supported by the government and private donors. The 1.3 hectares area is located in Agro Tourism Park Km 23, north of Balikpapan, East Kalimantan. This conservation center is worth and the best place to visit in Balikpapan. You can enjoy the natural scenery and seeing the sun bear which is the icon of Balikpapan. The place is also a great place for holiday with family. You will have opportunity to viewing the sun bear during the feeding time and taking the photo.
- Shopping at Klandasan Market
Klandasan Market is a traditional market in Balikpapan. You can find every traditional things here. The market is close to the beach and the place spoil you with the culinary spot with the variety of traditional culinary. You can also find the souvenir in this market. Besides you can explore the market through the vegetables & salted fish market section, the fruit market section and the food section.
- Visit Lamaru Beach
Lamaru Beach is a grey white sandy beach located in Teritip Village, East of Balikpapan and it can be reached about 30 minutes from Balikpapan city. The beach has clear sea water and calm waves which is very suitable for swimming. There is also banana boat ride offer for the visitor. You can also enjoy the stunning view and breeze while walking along the beach which is overgrown with the shady trees. The beachside areas is clean and tidy. There are many tourism facilities available such as food and beverage and gazebo for the visitor for relax and enjoy the view.
- Visit Kemala Beach
Kemala Beach is a white sandy beach located in the city center of Balikpapan precisely on Sudirman Street, Balikpapan. You can relax on the beach or enjoy the breeze in the café while enjoying the stunning view. There are many tourist activities you can do here such as the old game of Banana Boat Ride. You can also have fun of flying fox that spur your adrenaline. In this beach there are many restaurant serves the local and western food.
- Visit Crocodile Barnacle Farm
Crocodile Barnacle Farm is the breeding of barnacle crocodile farm in Balikpapan. This farm is the complete crocodile farm in East Kalimantan located on Mulawarman street No. 66, not so far from Lamaru Beach. This place regularly visited by many local people to see the crocodile. In this farm, there are many crocodile species of typical of Borneo and several other country. If you are coming at the feeding time, you will see the process of crocodile feeding directly.
- Jungle tour at Bankirai Hill
Junggle trekking in Bankirai Hill is one of fantastic things to do in Balikpapan. Bankirai Hill is a beautiful natural jungle tour destination managed by government state owned company PT. Inhutani. The place is located approximately one and half hour driving from Balikpapan city. With the total area of 1,500 hectares and overgrown with Bangkirai (Shorea spp) trees with the height of 30 – 50 meters. You can walk on the suspension bridge with the height more than 30 meters hanging on Bangkirai trees. You will see the amazing nature of this rain forest with beautiful panorama.
- Visit Margasari Village
Margasari Village is tourism village in Balikpapan known as the village above the water this because the village standing on the sea water. The entire existing house stands on the wooden bridge with the area of about 6.7 hectares. The village offer the green open space with many flowers along the way in the village. There is a concrete bridge beyond the village. In this bridge has lined gazebo. This place is the culinary center in this village which is serves variety of food. The place is crowded during the night.
- Holiday with family at Bekapai Park
Bekapai Park is the city park located in the heart of Balikpapan city. This park is open space park for the public for relaxing place and playing ground for the children. The park is very comfortable for family. There are many people spend time in this park especially at night. The place look so beautiful at night where the colorful lights around the park light up. It has also a fountain in this park. There are many food and beverage sells in this park where you can enjoy the culinary.
- Explore Segajah Island
Segajah is a small island located about 250 kilometer from Balikpapan city. The island is the sand embossed due the low tide especially during the day time. This island has very beautiful scenery of white sand and clear crystal water. This place is very suitable for snorkeling and swimming. To reach the island, from Balikpapan Sepinggan Airport go directly to Bontang and the Kuala Bontang port. You can rent a boat that will take you there about 30 minutes. There is no hotel and restaurant in the island.
- Enjoy Culinary at Ruko Bandar
Ruko Bandar is the culinary base complex located near the sea. There are rows of café and restaurants serves variety of food with a natural atmosphere and stunning sea view. This place is a perfect dining place in Balikpapan. It also perfect place to chill-out with friend and romantic dinner experience.
- Visit Banua Patra Beach
Banua Patra Beach is a beach in Balikpapan and sometimes local called Batu-Batu Beach. It is because the beach has a lot of natural big stone. The beach is not suitable for swimming, but perfect place for fishing. There are no tourist facilities in this beach. The people visit this beach just for sightseeing, fishing and watching the sunset.
- Visit Balikpapan Botanical Garden
Balikpapan Botanical Garden is the protected areas as well as for tourism, research and education. It is located approximately 20 kilometers from Balikpapan city. This botanical garden has an area of approximately 309.8 hectares. There are many flower plants, fruits, medicine plants and other kinds of protected plants. For the conservation area, there are three zones, the first is important Kalimantan’s timber collection zone with an area of approximately 46 hectares, fruits zone with an area of 8.6 hectares and special zone with an area of 16.9 hectares. Beside the botanical garden has wide parking area, guest house, educational building and seminar, and office building.
- Visit Monpera Beach
Last things to do in Balikpapan is visiting Monpera Beach. Monpera Beach is the beach in Balikpapan with the historic statue made to commemorate the fighters of East Kalimantan against colonialism. In this beach has park with the shady trees. The beach often held various events such as musical performances, night market and local art performances. In this amazing tourist attractions in Balikpapan has popular seafood restaurant namely Tip Top Restaurant and Sangiri Restaurant. Beside enjoy the seafood in the restaurant you can also enjoy the banana boat ride in the beach. The beach is located on Jenderal Sudirman Street No. 1, Balikpapan.