Top things to do

Top Choice Wildlife Reserve in Balikpapan

Samboja Lestari

A Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation project, Samboja Lestari houses more than 150 orang-utans on a series of islands, along with a separate sun bear sanctuary. Half-day morning and afternoon tours include lunch o…
Top Choice Seafood in Balikpapan

Ocean's Resto

An entire reef's worth of fresh fish and crustaceans (the menu is a book in itself), along with steaks, burgers, pizzas and Indonesian dishes, all served in a fine open-air waterfront space. Ocean's anchors a row of…
Top Choice Mosque in Samarinda

Islamic Center

The western skyline of Samarinda is dominated by this must-see complex containing an ornate and colourful mosque with adjacent observation tower. The latter is the highest point in the city, offering panoramic views…
Top Choice Indonesian in Balikpapan

Warung Soto Kuin Abduh

Soto Banjar (chicken soup seasoned with a delicate blend of spices, including cinnamon) is naturally the dish of choice at this popular little warung, but you can also try sate chicken and nasi sop (soup with rice).…
Top Choice Indonesian in Samarinda

Waroeng Sambel Jogja

Serving eight very different varieties of sambal (salsa) designed to knock your socks off, this large complex opposite the riverfront is packed on weekends. The house speciality, the oniony sambel bawang Jogja, and …
Top Choice Indonesian in Berau

De Bunda Cafe

This fab little cafe-bakery serves Indonesian staples such as soto ayam and nasi goreng along with unusual dishes such as roast duck and ribs. Good juices and cakes. Owner Ibu Ayu is well travelled and speaks Englis…
Cultural in Tenggarong

Erau International Folk & Art Festival

Originally held in celebration of a sultan's coronation, the Erau (from the Kutai word eroh, meaning joyful, boisterous crowd) became a biannual, then annual, gathering to celebrate local Dayak culture and custom. I…
Wildlife Reserve in Balikpapan

KWPLH Sun Bear Conservation Center

This informative sun bear conservation centre is surprisingly straight to the point about the heartbreaking plight of all of Kalimantan's animals. Seven resident bears reside in the 1.3-hectare walled enclosure; wal…
Archaeological Site in Merabu

Goa Beloyot

Indiana Jones would feel right at home ascending to this alcove in a limestone cliff above the forest, 5km from Merabu village, where travellers left their mark some 10,000 years ago. These hand stencils and animal …
International in Balikpapan

Open House

Balikpapan's most romantic place to blow your last rupiah on a date is defined by architecturally dizzying spaces atop a prominent hill. Reserve your puncak (summit) table for two at the top of the spiral staircase.…