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Samarinda is not only the government center of East Borneo, but it is also the biggest city throughout Borneo Island. Its area spans over 718 kilometer square with the contour dominated by 100 to 200-meters-above-the-sea-level hills.
Samarinda has a popular nickname: "The City of Edge. It's originated from its position at the edge of Mahakam River. That East Borneo biggest river lines along 920 kilometers across Samarinda. This river is the life support for people around, in which they use it as the water source, transportation, and subsistence land for the farmers and the fishermen.
The strategic position also addressed Samarinda as the main access to connect surrounding regions to the inland of East Borneo. On the economic side, Samarinda has the main support from the petroleum mining industry, coal mining industry, and farming industry.
The city with Mahakam River Dolphin as a symbol offers fascinating tourism that accentuates history, culture, and nature of rivers and hills. The uniqueness of its traditional cuisine is also a temptation that attracts people from various regions to be addicted to visiting this city, again and again. Mentioned below are several main targets of, both domestic and foreign tourists.
Samarinda’s oldest mosque is a religious tourism icon located in Mesjid administrative village, Samarinda Seberang sub-district. This worship place was built in 1881 as a real action of Bendahara Prince (a Moslem merchant from Pontianak) to clear the image of Samarinda Seberang from the bad lifestyle that has been contaminated by gambling habit. This ancient mosque represents the original architecture until today, using the Ulin (Bornean ironwood), famous for its durability and strength. One of the enchantments of this mosque is the 21-meter-high octagon tower. Shiratal Mustaqiem Mosque also regarded as Indonesia's second-best historical mosque.
This destination represents a home for Riau culture, settled in Siring River, East Borneo. It is 20 kilometers away from Samarinda's city center. Pampang Village is the official cultural village for Dayak Kenyah tribe since June 1991. Tourists not only will face a warm greeting from the local people here, but they can also see the magical traditional costume and house, the way of life, and so various handicrafts from Dayak Kenyah tribe. Annually, this Riau’s most popular cultural village holds anniversary celebration named Pelas Tahun. It shows various art and culture of Dayak Kenyah.
If you fancy to buy up various souvenirs from Borneo, especially Dayak handicrafts, ask your Samarinda’s car rental driver to take you to Citra Niaga. Citra Niaga has been opened since 1987 in a 2,7-hectare area. This shopping center trades diverse typical-Borneo handicrafts, food, snacks, and gemstones. Several must-buy items here are Samarinda Sarong, beads crafts, and various woven bags. This shopping destination set at Jalan Dahlia 69, about 50 meters away from the Mahakam River Port.
As a big river crosses Samarinda, fishing is surely a common thing in this city. It is really fun to enjoy that activity in this city. Tjiu Palace Samarinda is a popular destination that offers compact fishing tourism. Besides fishing, Tjiu Palace also brings visitors to enjoy the other family recreations. Some of them are swimming in an indoor pool, playing water rides in the lake, taking pictures on the bridge, watching art show, lounging on gazebo amidst nature, and culinary traveling.
This family recreational park is a nature tourism object owned by Mulawarman University. This garden has been used as educational forest, officially since 9 July 1974. Extends for about 62 hectares, Unmul Botanical Garden presents a zoo with various collections of floras and faunas. 24 specimens of its faunas are protected animals, such as mouse-deer, orang utan, horse, white-headed eagle, peafowl, and long-tailed macaque. The facilities in this botanical garden are arguably very comprehensive to spoil families, covering food court, children’s playground, gazebo, ferris wheel, a museum of wood, stage, and fishing pond.
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While planning a trip to Samarinda, remind yourself to notice the best time to travel. You'll find more fun if you visit this city at a certain time. Note these things below before planning your trip to Samarinda.