Pontianak Travel Information
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Introduce || Economy || Transportation || Site-Seeing
Introduce
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Pontianak is the capital of the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo. The city is mostly populated by ethnic Chinese, Dayak, and Malay as well as significant number of minorities such as Bugis and Javanese.

It is a medium-size industrial city on the island of Borneo, among Indonesian, Borneo Island is called Pulau Kalimantan. Pontianak occupies an area of 107.82 km² in the delta of the Kapuas River, at approximately 1143 km, the longest river in Indonesia and the 133rd-longest river in the World by length. It is located precisely on the equator, hence widely known as Kota Khatulistiwa (Equator City).

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History

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The Pontianak city was formerly the capital of the independent sultanate of Pontianak and was founded in 1772 around an old trading station on the Borneo coast. It is built on swampy ground that is subjected to regular flooding by the river, requiring buildings to be constructed on piles to keep them off the ground.

During the Japanese occupation of 1942 to 1945, more than 21,000 people in Pontianak (including women and children) were kidnapped, tortured and massacred by Japanese troops. Japanese intelligence had become concerned ethnic Chinese were planning to start a rebellion, and were worried that people in the city had received guns and ammunition from the Chinese government.

After the end of war, the Japanese officers in Pontianak were arrested by allied troops and brought in front of an international military tribune. During the trial, it was revealed that the plan to start the rebellion did not exist and instead was only an imaginary plan created by Japanese officers who wanted to get promoted.

The massacre occurred from April 23, 1943 to June 28, 1944 and most of the victims were buried in several giant wells in Mandor (88 km from Pontianak). Allied forces occupying the area after the war found several thousand bones, and more than 60 years after the massacre, several secret graves of the victims were found in Mandor and the surrounding areas.

A monument called Makam Juang Mandor was created to commemorate this tragic event.

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Economy

 

Pontianak is renowned for its food and regional produce. The main industries are shipbuilding and the production of rubber, palm oil, sugar, pepper, rice and tobacco. It was formerly Borneo's main centre for gold extraction. Pontianak is also recognised for being a trade hub between overseas cities and other cities in West Kalimantan province. It has also strong trade link with the city of Kuching, Malaysia. Trading activities are centered along the Kapuas River, which range from easternmost part of West Kalimantan province to South China Sea.

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Transportation

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Most populated are motorcycles as personal transport mean. Public transport includes minivan (local: opelet), human-powered becak (three wheel), while city bus is a rarity. Inter city bus takes passengers to other nearby cities (2, 3, to 10 or more hours of travel), even to Kuching, a city in Malaysia.

Transportation to other part of Indonesia is mainly via airport. There are more than 10 flights every day connecting Pontianak and Jakarta. There is also sea transport connecting Pontianak to Jakarta, Semarang, Cirebon and some other cities, including regional cities such as Ketapang in southern part of West Kalimantan.

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Site-Seeing
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Kebun Binatang Pontianak (Pontianak Zoo), Jl. Adi Sucipto, a reconditioned zoo with a reasonable variety of animals from the jungles of Borneo and from some parts of Indonesia. Some of the collection, including some orangutans, were said to had been freed from illegal ownership by an Italian lumber mill owner.

Tugu Khatulistiwa (Equatorial Obelisk), built directly under the 0 degrees equator line. It is only 11km from the city center and is comparably easy and fast reachable by public buses. There you can learn lots of interesting facts about the equator and to see how unique is Pontianak, one of the few cities in the world situated exactly on the equator line. There are friendly English speaking staff and sоuvenir shop, actually maybe the only one in Pontianak.

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