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11 Top Things to Do in Balikpapan Indonesia – Beaches – Culinary – Tourists Attractions

by Yoga Adi

Balikpapan is a capital city of East Kalimantan, Indonesia. The population of this city is 701.066 people, which is 22% off all East Kalimantan populations. There’s unique story about how this city called Balikpapan. Once upon a time there’s a princess who release by her father, because he didn’t want her to be enemy’s captive. She tied in board, in lying position. Because of tidal waves of the sea, the board flipped. When its stranded at beach coast, the fisherman found it.When he flipped it back, he’s surprised because he found a little princes bound to the board. Its said that her name’s Petung Princess. So, the area which she was founded is called Balikpapan (flipped board.)

This city has 85% area of hills and only 12% flat area. Like many cities in Indonesia, this city is also has Tropical Climate. The soil is very fertile here, you can plant almost any kind of fruits and vegetables. Also, there are many things you can do here and many places to visit in Balikpapan.

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1. Visiting Segajah Island

This unique place is a must visit. This island is 250 km from Balikpapan city. You can either bring benches to relax, your snorkeling or diving equipment, also foods to fill your stomach. You must fully prepared if you really want to get here, because there’s no food-stalls, resting area, or even buildings near this area.

If you really want to get here,the route is pretty simple. After arrived in Balikpapan ( Sepinggan Airport), you can continue your journey to Bontang city, either by your own car or rented car. Upon arrive in Bontang City, you can go to to Segajah Island by renting a boat. It’ll take 20 minutes to get there. For your information, you can enjoy this Island only in the morning, because when night comes, the island will disappear. It depends on the tide as well. Be careful though, there are sea urchins in this island, watch your step!

2. Visiting Ruko Bandar

Things to do in Balikpapan Indonesia, Ruko Bandar is a culinary area (or complex). You can find many restaurants, food stand, or cafes here. Here, you can enjoy anything you want, based on your taste and of course, budget. Anyway we got several recommendation for you, whether you want to visit this place or not , its totally up to you. First, Depot Selamat. This restaurant sells may kinds of Indonesian Cuisines, like Soto Banjar,  Coto Makassar, Nasi Pecel, Nasi Goreng, and many more. Depot Selamat is perfect for you who want to try Indonesian Foods. Prices in here is no expensive also, so that’s a plus. Second, Bakmie Klandasa. This place is recommended by famous Indonesian artist and food tester, Bondan Winarno. Noodle’s great and the price is tolerable.

Last but not least is Decafe as Balikpapan attractions. Cafe is perfect for you who want to relaxing your body and your mind by enjoying a cup of coffee, or eating cakes or pastries. Perfect place for you to relax, after all day exploring Ruko Bandar.

3. Visiting Bekapai Park

Here is the place if you want to chill and enjoying night at Balikpapan. This park is beautifully designed, you can see its charm at night. Located in the center of the town, Bekapai Park becomes favorite place to hangout for teenagers. There’s also free wifi in here, for those who need it.

There also some foodstalls and drinkstalls around the park. So you can buy your foods and drink before eating them while sitting in the park. This place is perfect for you to relax or enjoying the night with your lover. Just keep the environment clean though.

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4. Crocodile Breeding Tour in Teritip

In Balikpapan there’s crocodile breeding spot. Many crocodiles with jumbo size in Teritip. There are about 1.450 crocodiles in this breeding spot, from usual estuary crocodile until two species that nearly extinct, freshwater crocodile, and Supit crocodile. This venue has  5 hectar width, and opens in 1991.

In here, you can also feed the crocodiles, with a chicken that can cost you about 10 thousand rupiahs. You can also the taste crocodile satai as well, unfortunately if you are Islam, you cant eat it. Beside satai, you can also buy products made from Crocodile skin such as wallet, bag, belt, or watch. However this place opens from 8 am till 5 pm, and you must pay entry ticket, which cost you 10 thousand rupiahs.

5. Visiting Village Above the Water in Margasari

Never see a village like this before? Now its your chance. This village is called Margasari, which is right above the water. The Village is very popular in Balikpapan. Margasari is designed beautifully by government. The village once looked really shabby and damaged by fire now becomes village that’s suitable for travel. Its not surprise that Margasari brought an award the Innovation of Urban Management  to Balikpapan City Government in 2013.

The unique view of village that stands along the 6,7 hectare iron bridge over the sea is very entertaining. The houses around it are made of wood lined with small stalls. The children are playing around and plunged themselves into the sea, and swimming happily. The fishers chatting while waiting for his bait to be struck by a fish. That is typical scenery of this village yet as traditional Balikpapan attractions.

More Attractions in Balikpapan

Beside those tourist attractions you can visit, you also must visit these beautiful beaches in Balikpapan, such as :

6. Banua Patra Beach

This beach located in Perapatan, Balikpapan. Batu Patra Beach has many coral reefs and many travelers visit this place, mostly to watch the sunset. However, this beach is not good for swimming, because of the reefs that can hurt your body.

This beautiful beach is perfect for holiday with your family or your lover, but sadly this place is poorly maintained. lets hope the government will take care of this. To restore Patra Beach to its finest.

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7. Melawai Beach

Melawai beach located in Pelabuhan Semayang, Prapatan, Balikpapan. This beach isn’t a vast beach with a wide sand liek beaches in general. When the tide as come, this beach will sink. Only seen a small mound that resembles a hill. The mound os actually a rock. People call the rocks that exist in the middle of the beach with the name of Tukung (Pig) Island.

The island can be reached easily when the water is receding. But if the tide comes please go back as soon as possible, or you can get trapped there. Around the beach, there are also food and drink stalls, you can eat the foods or drinking while seeing the sunset with your lover.

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8. Kemala Beach 

One of the best beaches in Balikpapan. You wont skip this beach. Kemala Beach is filled by people who relaxing, playing sands, and swimming in the sea. You can do anything you want to do. The potition of Kemala Beach is in the center of Balikpapan city, because of this you can clearly see the buildings from this beach. At a glance, this beach is almost the same as Kuta Beach in Bali with iyts with sands that felt soft in our feet, calm wave, and coconut trees along the beach.

Also, other activities you can do here are Banana Boat and Flying Fox. Variety of games that will pump up your adrenaline levels.However, this place opens at 8 am till 11pm. But of course, the best time to go Kemala Beach is evening, when you can see the sun set. You also enjoying your meals that you can buy in nearest foodstals while watching the sun set. What a nice experience.

For Your Information, the banana boat and flying fox will cost you for only 25 thousand rupiah, whic is isn’t expensive at all. In addition, you can also play jetski to explore Kemala Beach, which will cost you around 800 thousand rupiahs. Plus, you must pay the entry ticket, only 500 each person. If you bring your own car or bike, you must pay the parking ticket which cost 1000 for bikes, and 2000 for cars.

9. Lamaru Beach 

Lamaru Beach, beach fenced with spruces. This beach has an oustanding view, especially beacuse of those spruces that sorround the beach. Calm and chill atmosphere are the thing you can feel upon entering Lamaru Beach. The sea, waves, and the trees is almost perfect combination. Beside relaxing, you can also swimming and playing sands. But in other months, the waves become more big than usual, so be careful for you who want to do water sports. However, this beach is located in Teritip village, Balikpapan in the east side of Manggar Segara Sari Beach.

There are some activites you can do here, such as flying fox, banana boating, and riding horse. To play those activities, you must pay from 10 thousand till 75 thousand rupiahs. For those who dont carry a mat, you can rent one fro 10 thousand. Anyway the entry ticket will cost you around 10 thousand rupiahs per person.

10. Manggar Segara Sari Beach

This beach is also becomes tourist favourite. Manggar Segara Sari is always crowded, especially in holiday. Like other beaches, there are also some foodstalls, to fill your stomach first before doing any other activities. In here, you can play football, play kites, play banana boat, beach volley, and cycling. Other thing you can do is chilling under a shady tree.This place opens from 6 am until 6 pm. Turned out, this beach is already managed by local government, so the cleanliness and facilities are reliable, it also has wide parking lot, and praying facility (as mosque). Plus, the other facilities this beach has are quite complete, already has watersports and also floating equipments for children.

To enter this beach, you must pay entry ticket for only 1000 per person. Also, the parking ticket if you bring your own vehile, 2.500 for bikes, 5.000 for cars, and 15.000 for busses.

11. Balikpapan Sightseeing 

Balikpapan Kalimantan IndonesiaThat’s it, several things to do in Balikpapan Indonesia, East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Actually, there’s more thing you can explore, and i want you to find it yourself, and make a great experience of it. Careful not to get lost though. Balikpapan has many great memories that you’ll find, many of them are maybe beautiful and romantic memories. Enjoy your holiday, have a great day!

Indeed, there are many things to do in Balikpapan Kalimantan and many places to visit there. So, if one day you have plan to visit Indonesia, just don’t forget to come to East Kalimantan and enjoy Balikpapan sightseeing.

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