Tarakan, is one of Indonesia cities and become part of North Borneo Province. Tarakan or also known as the Bumi Paguntaka, a small island located in the northern side of Kalimantan.
Tarakan name, according to folklore comes from the Tidung language, Tarak (met) and Ngakan (eat) which literally means Place of the fishermen to take a break to eat, to meet and to make exchanges with other fishermen haul. In addition, Tarakan is also a meeting place of Kayan River estuary flows, Sesayap and Malinau.
NorthKalimantan region in general have three indigenous ethnics : Tidung, Bulungan and Dayak, representing three cultures of the Cultural Coast, Sultanate Culture and Inland Culture.
The Tidung tribe are mostly inhabiting the area in some beaches and islands, there is also a little on the banks of the rivers in the inland area. The Bulungan tribe mostly located between the hinterland and coastal region, especially the area of Tanjung Palas and Cape Selor. While most of the Dayak tribe inhabiting the Inland region. Along the names of Dayak people, the most Dayak tribe which inhabiting this island are Dayak Kenyah.
Dates back to the early history, there was an ancient kingdom name Tarakan or Tidung kingdom. The governmental center was formerly in Binalatung, and then moved to Pamusian. Hence, until the present time Tidung people are the most inhabitant in this area. Tidung people are mostly fisherman, beside, they also farming the forest products to fill the daily needs.
After the era of Tidung kingdom, the Dutch colonial was start to dominated this region. In 1896, a Dutch oil company, BPM (Bataavishe Petroleum Maatchapij) discovered the existence of oil resources in this island. Many workers were imported mainly from Java island, with the increase in drilling activity.
On the Indonesia independent era, Tarakan finally had their territory and the official date from this city was 15 Desember 1997.
Tarakan island is largely still in the form of protected forest areas especially the southern coastal area. This natural view is such an exotic mixture between protected forest, hills, forest conservation, fisherman village, plantations, beaches and historical heritage.
There are also some monuments in this island remaining the struggle of Japanese troops and Australian troops. Moreover, there are graves of Japanese soldiers which was in the former of Japan bunker in hill region.
Looking from the historical and the geographical side, Tarakan is tend to be the exotic tourism destination. In fact, there are some tourism spots that attract the visitors like Japanese monument, Australian monument, curved roof house, bunkers, observation post, pilgrimage tourism, old mining tourism and Amal beach, Tarakan is also near to Derawan island in Berau.