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Explore East Kalimantan Tourism: the New Capital of Indonesia

Our elected President, Mr. Djoko Widodo, or Jokowi, has just announced the transfer of our capital from Jakarta to the Province of East Kalimantan. According to the plan, this new capital shall between the border of two districts, District of Kutai Kertanegara and District of Penajam Paser Utara in the Province of East Kalimantan.

However, the pros and cons of Indonesian citizens are still ongoing and become one of the hot topics in various social media.

The Transfer of Indonesian Capital

Historically, the idea of transferring the capital of Indonesia to the other region in Indonesia did not happen for the first time.  In 1946, the capital city of Indonesia moved to Yogyakarta. Two years later, the government transferred the capital city of Indonesia to Bukittinggi, West Sumatra. However, within one year only, the government decided to move it back to Jakarta. So, ever since 1949, Jakarta has become the capital city of Indonesia

Pioneers of Civilization in Indonesia

Kalimantan Island is one of the rich islands in Indonesia, abundant with natural resources, especially coal mining, petroleum, and others. Perhaps one of the reasons for the Government to choose East Kalimantan is because of its glory, which has been famous for centuries.

History mentions that East Kalimantan is a pioneer of civilization in Indonesia. Historical evidence, such as ones found in the karst region of Sangkulirang – Mangkahalit, records that humans had inhabited this Island since the Ice Age. Firstly, it was occupied by Old Malay/Proto Malay Tribes in 300 BC. Then, in 500 BC, the second migrant came from the Deutro Malay until the entry of the Austronesian Nation.

The Kutai Kingdom: the Glory of East Kalimantan

Around 5 AD, the Hindu Kingdom named Kutai was founded at Muara Kaman, East Kalimantan, by Kudungga, a dignity from Campa or Cambodian Kingdom.

The Kutai Kingdom is the oldest kingdom in the Archipelago. However, it reached its glory during the Dynasty of Mulawarman, Kudungga’s grandson. Later, he changed the kingdom name as Kutai Martadipura.

 Hundred of years underway, a new kingdom was born, named Kutai Kertanegara, which has a close relationship to the Majapahit Kingdom in Java Island. Then, the Kingdom of Kutai Kertanegara conquered the Kutai Martadipura in the Year of 1365. The King established a new kingdom called Kutai Kertanegara ing Martadipura.

During the 16th Century, the influence of Islam entered Indonesia, including East Kalimantan, which subsequently transformed the royal system into an empire. The golden period took place during the leadership of Sultan Muhammad Salahuddin in 1782 – 1850. Unfortunately, the glory of the empire ended when the VOC or Dutch Government expanded Indonesia, including East Kalimantan, in 1844. After gaining Indonesian Independence, the Province of East Kalimantan officially became an administrative territory through Law No. 25 of 1956. Today, the Province consists of 7 (seven) districts and 3 (three) cities.

Explore East Kalimantan: the Trade Center

East Kalimantan is mostly tropical rain forests. This area is famous as a wood warehouse and mining. This province has always played a strategic role in the civilization of Southeast Asia and beyond. The Mahakam River was the channel for India – China Trade to enter the Indonesia market in the past. History also notes that the Sultan of Makassar from the Sulawesi Island ever borrowed East Kalimantan as a trading place.

Explore East Kalimantan: the Wealth of Marine Tourism

Despite the pros and cons of the new capital location, it is interesting to know the East Kalimantan is one of the destinations in Indonesia where you may explore unique traveling experiences.

For travelers who love marine adventure, East Kalimantan can be a destination of choice. This province has marvelous marine tourism with some of it as follow:

Mahakam River

Firstly, we start to explore East Kalimantan tourism by explaining about Mahakam River. Mahakam River is the largest river in East Kalimantan.  Its lengths reach 920 Km and 149,000 km square area. Enjoying the afternoon with a panorama of sunset at Mahakam River can be the best choice during the holiday. If lucky, visitors could see Pesut Mahakam, a dolphin species whose habitat is only in the Mahakama River. Every weekend, you could join an open trip to explore Mahakam River using a tourist boat that shall cross the two majestic bridges that are ranging through the river.

Besides, visitors could visit a small island in the middle of the river called Kumala Island. At the Island,  visitors could see Lamin, a traditional house of Dayak Tribe. There are also Hindu Temple called Pasak Pulau Temple, a Sky Tower with a height of 75 meters, a cable car, a Pesut Mahakam Aquarium, and many others.

Derawan Islands

Explore East Kalimantan - Derawan Islands - YoExplore

Explore East Kalimantan: Derawan Islands

Secondly, to explore East Kalimantan Tourism, you should not miss visiting the Derawan Islands.  The Derawan Islands are undoubtedly beautiful. It is a group of 31 small islands located in Berau District.

The beaches and the wealth of marine life are the main attraction of these islands. In Taliyasan, for example, visitors could swim with whales along the 9-10 meters while Labuan Cermin is a lake that is famous for its water clarity. Moreover, there is Sangalaki Island, which is a habitat for green turtles and stingrays. Also, Kakaban Island is a favorite spot for swimming or snorkeling with jellyfish. Not to forget, Maratua Island with its diverse marine life. Maratua is often referred to as Indonesia’s Maldives.

 Read Also: Bali Snorkeling Spots – Best Places to Admire Underwater Life in Bali

Tanjung Jumlai Beach

Thirdly, you could explore East Kalimantan Tourism by visiting Tanjung Jumlai Beach. Tanjung Jumlai Beach is in the district of Penajam Paser Utara. The beach is usually a favorite choice for local people to organize a variety of activities. For example, music festivals, kite festivals, and other performances. Besides, visitors could rent a boat from local fishers to explore the coastal area. Or if you like fishing, you could bring the boat to the middle of the sea. Moreover, there are some water activities, such as a banana boat. And at the beach pier, you could see some activities of local fishers and farmers.

Sipakario Beach/Nipah-Nipah Beach

Fourthly, Sipakario Beach as the nearest destination to explore East Kalimantan from the new capital location. Sipakario Beach has a very strategic location since it is only about 8 km from the location of the new capital. Access to this beach is excellent. Moreover, there are many Instagramable spots for visitors.

Semayang Lake

Fifthly, to explore East Kalimantan, you could enjoy Semayang Lake. Semayang Lake is the largest lake in the Kutai Kertanegara district, covering an area of 13,000 Ha. In this lake, we could see the freshwater dolphins, Pesut Mahakam. Besides, visitors could experience how to catch fishes traditionally with local fishers.

Explore East Kalimantan: Richness of Culture

Not only marine tourism but when you explore East Kalimantan, you could also learn its exciting history and richness of its culture. Among others, you could visit Mulawarman Museum or visit a village of Dayak Tribe. Besides, it also has Kutai National Park, which has a thousand collections of tropical floras, Borneo birds, primate orangutan, and many others.

Tentang penulis

Rosa Hutagaol

Rosa Hutagaol

Hey! I am a contributor to YOEXPLORE Magazine. I love to share my thoughts about social impact projects where you may read more through my articles. I hope you will enjoy reading it!

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