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West Kalimantan (Indonesian: Kalimantan Barat, abbreviated Kalbar) is a province of Indonesia in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo. Its capital city is Pontianak, located on the equator.


Map of West Kalimantan

  Pontianak city
  Sambas Regency
including Bengkayang Regency and Singkawang City.
  Mempawah Regency
including Landak and Kubu Raya Regency.
  Sanggau Regency
including Sekadau Regency.
  Sintang Regency
including Melawi Regency.
  Ketapang Regency
including North Kayong Regency.
  Kapuas Hulu Regency


  • 1 Mempawah, the ex-capital of Mempawah Malay Kingdom.
  • 2 Pontianak, the capital and centre of culinary in West Kalimantan.
  • 3 Sambas, the centre of orange plantation.
  • 4 Singkawang, the city of one thousand Chinese temples.

Other destinations[edit]



The history of West Kalimantan can be traced back to the 17th century, when Dayaks was the original inhabitants. The Malay migrated to West Kalimantan and built their own sultanates. The fact that there is a significant Chinese population in this province was that there used to be a republic built by Chinese miners called 'Lanfang Republic' after it defeated the local Malay sultans. The government of Lanfang Republic was overthrown in West Kalimantan after the Dutch occupation in 1884. The Japanese occupied West Kalimantan from 1942 to 1945 until Indonesia declared its Independence.

West Kalimantan was the site of substantial fighting during the Indonesia-Malaysia 'Konfrontasi' (Confrontation) under the Sukarno government in the mid-1960s. After Suharto deposed Sukarno in 1965, the confrontation was quickly resolved. Domestic conflict continued, however, for another ten years between the new military Suharto government and fighters organized during the confrontation and backed by the banned Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).


As elsewhere in Indonesia, Bahasa Indonesia or Indonesian is the official language. The young teenager can speak English too.

There are three majority races in West Kalimantan. They are Malays, Dayaks, and Chinese. It's better to use the word Tionghoa instead of Chinese or China when talking. The Malays usually use their own Malay dialect. The vocabulary is almost like Indonesian official words. It's only the speaking intonation only and some vocabularies replacement.

The Dayaks people have their own dialect like Kahayan and Ot Danun.

The Chinese people in West Kalimantan speak various Chinese dialects like Mandarin, Teochew, Hakka, and Cantonese. Some old people, who learn in pre-Indonesian-independence school, can even speak Dutch or German.

Knowing some phrases in local dialects will greatly impress your hosts.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Supadio Airport (PNK IATA) has very frequent flights from Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport operated by all major Indonesian airlines. In addition, there are flights from Bandung, Surabaya, Balikpapan, Banjarmasin, and other major cities of Indonesia. XpressAir operates international flights to Kuching, and AirAsia to Kuala Lumpur.

By bus[edit]

There are bus services to Pontianak from other cities in Kalimantan, such as Pangkalan Bun, as well as an international service from Kuching.

Get around[edit]




Traditional cakes[edit]

  • Lemang, made from pulut (glutinous rice) inserted into the bamboo.
  • Lemper, made from pulut filled with meat/beans, found in the Purun area.
  • Lepat, made from flour filled with banana.
  • Lulun, a kind of lepat filled with brown sugar, is found in the Belitang area, Sekadau Regency.
  • Lempok durian, Dodol made from Durian.
  • Kue keranjang, a typical Chinese cake

Typical Dayak[edit]

  • Jimut, a traditional cake of the Dayak Mualang community in the Belitang area, Sekadau Regency, made of flour formed into a circle the size of a ping pong ball.
  • Tumpi, found in the Kanayatn Dayak community, is made from flour.
  • Tehpung, a traditional cake of the Dayak Uut Danum, made from pulut which is finely ground and fried. This cake is usually made at traditional events, the shape of which is like a boat, gong and others.

Traditional cuisine[edit]

  • Asam pedas, a local food of Pontianak
  • Bubur pedas, a local food of Sambas
  • Kerupuk Wet, a local food of Kapuas Hulu
  • Clams Ale-ale, a local food of Ketapang
  • Manok Pansoh, a chicken meat dish in bamboo by Dayak community.
  • Sungkui, a Malay dish of Sanggau Regency.

Chinese Typical[edit]

  • Lek Tau Suan, Mi Tiaw, and Kwetiau, Chinese dishes in the city of Pontianak.
  • Nasi Ayam and Mi Pangsit, Chinese dishes in the city of Singkawang and its surroundings.


Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

This region travel guide to West Kalimantan is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!