Originally envisioned by President Sukarno as a new capital city for Indonesia – and even for a pan-Asian state – construction on Palangka Raya began in 1957. It shows in the refreshingly ordered streets and wide boulevards. While Sukarno's dream died, the city remains progressive, with a youthful nightlife that transcends karaoke, some quality restaurants and upmarket river cruising. The market and old town are east, while government buildings and sprawl are west.
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