Samarinda is the capital of the Indonesian province of East Kalimantan (Kalimantan Timur) on the island of Borneo. The city lies on the banks of the Mahakam River. As well as being the capital, Samarinda is also the most populous city in East Kalimantan with a population of 562,463 (2000) and as such is used by many as a gateway to the more remote regions of the province such as Kutai Barat, Kutai Kartanegara and East Kutai. Reaching these areas usually involves travel by river as the most efficient means. Although it has status as the capital of East Kalimantan Province, some government institutions are located in Balikpapan, such as Police, Indonesian Army District VI of Tanjung Pura, and Pelabuhan Indonesia (Port Transportation).
Transport into Samarinda itself is facilitated by an airport, Temindung and a port. However, there are plans to relocate both the airport and port soon.
When the Gowa War began, the Dutch under Admiral Speelman’s command attacked Makassar from the sea. Meanwhile, the Netherland’s local ally Arung Palaka led a ground attack. The Kingdom of Gowa was forced to surrender and Sultan Hassanudin made to sign the Bongaya Treaty on November 19, 1667.
The treaty did not quell all trouble for the Dutch however, since the Bugis from Gowa continued their struggle using guerilla tactics. Some Buginese moved to other islands close by such as Kalimantan. A few thousand people led by Lamohang Daeng Mangkona or Pua Ado I, moved to East Kalimantan, known then as Kutai, where they were welcomed by the local Sultan.
The Sultan of Kutai gave the migrants land in Kampung Melantai around the Karang Mumus River, now known as Kampung Selili, where established farms and fisheries. In payment, the Bugis people promised to help the Sultan defend Kutai whenever needed.
The name Samarinda originates from the description of the way in which the Bugis houses were constructed. At that time houses were customarily built on a raft and generally had the same height. This provided important social symbolism of equality between residents; no person’s house, and thus no person, was seen as higher or lower than another. They named the settlement ‘Samarenda’, meaning ‘equal in height’. After hundreds of years of use the pronunciation of the name changed slightly and the city became known as Samarinda.
The arrival of the first Bugis on 21 January 1668 was chosen to mark the city’s anniversary.
In 1955, the Apostolic Vicariate of Samarinda was established in the city. In 1961, it was promoted as the Diocese of Samarinda. In 2003, the diocese was promoted as the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Samarinda.
Samarinda is known for its traditional food amplang, as well as the cloth sarung samarinda. The city also has a bridge connecting the two river banks, called The Mahakam Bridge. The city center is on on side and the other side is named, Samarinda Sembrang