Balikpapan

Daniel50

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Has anyone spent much time in Balikpapan? If so what is it like, relatively clean, slow pace etc.? How does it compare to some other Indonesian cties? Are there many expats etc.? I know Anglian said on another post he might sell his place to an Arab and buy in at Balikpapan:smile: Although I imagine he was mainly joking.

This Section, Where to Locate, is kind of funny. It started off as where to live in Indonesia " Discussion on the many varied cities and locales, from the urban to rural!" and then has some people starting threads on where to purchase some items...hahahah.
 

Theoros

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I haven't lived in Balikpapan since 1982 so I regret I can only offer nostalgia and occasional bits of historical perspective. I can tell you I'd love to visit again. The local people left a good impression on me.
 

Anglian

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Hi Daniel it's 2 years since we lived there, houses are expensive, the people very friendly and helpful, two of the hospitals are quite good, Pertimina and Silom, , avoid Ibu Restu, there were several expats employed in the oil industries, the taxis are quite good, but we always used the Angkot buses, they are called Taxis and will divert from their route at no extra cost, there are some excellent beaches out of town, a honey bear enclosure, crocodile farm and an Oran utan sanctuary but very exspensive to visit, an excellent fish restaurant by the sea front, the 3 big hotels also do excellent meals, two discos if your into that, never went myself, the only problem is that the main supermarkets might run out of milk or something else, we did find once the long life milk had gone off within its date, and a rotten egg once, bit of a job to buy English books, but can be bought at the airport, cannot think of anything else at the moment, lucky you
 

Ruserious

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Since the downturn in the Oil and Gas industry and Pertamina taking over Total (and soon to be Vico too) I believe Balikpapan has taken a big hit expat wise with almost all the oil and gas guys going. I think mining in the region is still ongoing but also down so the expat schools have gone and the expat orientated businesses are closing. Besides that though it is a nice place with a very nice sea breeze through the town, reasonable roads without too many traffic jams. I presume housing prices will have dropped but they were very high before.
 

Daniel50

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Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply. It is more just general curiosity. I have also done some reading elsewhere.
 

Theoros

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the 3 big hotels also do excellent meals

Is one of those you're referring to the restaurant at New Benakutai Hotel? I used to eat there with my family. It was the fanciest non-foreign-run restaurant in town at the time. I hope they kept it well maintained during the years they let the rest of the hotel fall into shambles.

I think mining in the region is still ongoing but also down so the expat schools have gone

Indeed, I just discovered that due to "the current economic climate" my old school Pasir Ridge closed down in June 2016 after 41 years serving the Balikpapan expat community. It looks like only about 65 students from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade were enrolled that final year. For comparison there were more than 80 K-8 students when I attended (pre-kindergarten was conducted elsewhere), and foreign-led oil and gas operations around Balikpapan wouldn't peak for another few years so enrollment was presumably still expanding.

As far as I can tell the only expat school still open is AIS, although it merely offers instruction from pre-kindergarten through 6th grade.
 

Daniel50

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It sounds like it could be an okay place to live. Anglian seems fairly positive on it and Ruserious. The city would be more laid back then Jakarta area, thats for sure. But, obviously less services.
 

Anglian

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Well the immigration office are pretty helpful and getting a driving licence no problem, there many good hotels but I don't recall the New Benakutai hotel,
 

Daniel50

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Well the immigration office are pretty helpful and getting a driving licence no problem, there many good hotels but I don't recall the New Benakutai hotel,

I know you indicated some positives and I realize people have different preferences but do you think it could be a relatively good place to live? Is it similar temp. to say Bali? Does it seem fairly safe, quiet with enough good services and there must be some nice nature in Borneo, or Kalimantan.

How about Pontianak vs Balikpapan?
 
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Theoros

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there many good hotels but I don't recall the New Benakutai hotel,

Perhaps a panoramic street view snapshot from 2015 might jog your memory:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/T...b0d5b0afe30416!8m2!3d-1.2751962!4d116.8387537

Here it is on the map:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/T...b0d5b0afe30416!8m2!3d-1.2751962!4d116.8387537

Since you mentioned housing, what part of town did you live in, if you don't mind telling? Are there upscale neighborhoods now?

When I was there almost all expats lived in one of the company housing complexes, most of which were fenced off and heavily patrolled by security guards. I suppose that worked fairly well to deter crime because the guards in our complex rarely had anything to do and seemed bored most of the time, except when they were flirting with our maids.

Gated communities aside, Balikpapan was still a pretty safe place. I don't remember there being any violent crime, and generally I don't think things got much worse than petty theft.
 

Anglian

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I know you indicated some positives and I realize people have different preferences but do you think it could be a relatively good place to live? Is it similar temp. to say Bali? Does it seem fairly safe, quiet with enough good services and there must be some nice nature in Borneo, or Kalimantan.

How about Pontianak vs Balikpapan?

I can only compare it with Jakarta, and I preferred Balikpapan, it is more expensive as everything comes by boat or plane, but it really is up too the individual, my wife from Java really liked it and had many new friends, people did seem more friendly, the only time I saw lots of expats was the Friday night Bar-BQ on the terrace of the Novotel, I didn't live in a gated community, but felt quite safe, best have a look Daniel and see what you think
 

Daniel50

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Davita

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Hahaha...........Yes it seems like my kind of town. There appears to be a lot going on and I could have the chance to be a part of it, possibly get a free t-shirt. Not exactly like invites to various Playboy Mansions, like some people on the forum, :smile: but nevertheless exciting from my perspective.

Good for you my friend...if I had a choice between visiting Balikpapan and the Playboy Mansion I also wouldn't hesitate. I got plenty T-shirts...so don't need any more but love to see well-filled T's, preferably wet...if you get my drift..:evil:

A Canadian blonde girl-friend of my wife was on her grand Asian tour. She was in Phuket and buying a ticket in a tour-office to visit us in Bali when she WU'd her ticket price. I said that's way too much as Air Asia then had a direct flight between Phuket and Bali and tickets were cheap...so I asked...where's your destination...she said "Of course Bali"...(tonal inference...you dummy)."
I asked what does the ticket say is the airport 3 letter designator. She replied "BPN"..... which is Balikpapan.

Lucky I told her to change her tickets to DPS (Denpasar) else we'd probably never have found her again.
 
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Anglian

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I do recall a problem, power cuts about twice a week, I asked The HR manager why nobody complained, he said he never had power cuts, I asked why, he said he lived next door to the Walikota,
 

Daniel50

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I have something else about Balikpapan. I read in another thread you could get a call from someone trying to scam you claiming to be from Balikpapan. :biggrin1:

Anyways, it sounds like it could be okay. I have read it is relatively clean, there are some good hotels, malls, a person could probably drive around town okay, fairly slow pace of life. Perhaps a few English speakers around to hook up with and some nature you could drive to (that hasn't been logged or mined yet). Also, the people are generally laid back and friendly and its only about a 2 hour flight to Jakarta, Bali or Singapore.
 
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Anglian

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There’s a Manchester United supporters club if you are weird
 

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