Balikpapan, Surakarta, Malang, Yogyakarta, Palembang, Makassar and Bandung have been named the country's most livable cities in the 2014 Most Livable City Index, a survey by the Indonesian Association of Planners (IAP).
The survey, which was conducted in 17 cities across the archipelago, shows that 63.6 percent of overall respondents were satisfied with the cities' quality of living, with Balikpapan, the business capital of East Kalimantan, rated the highest as 71.12 percent of its residents said the city was comfortable.
Audrie Napitupulu, 27, a communications staff member at a multinational company in Balikpapan, was surprised to find in her first few days in the city that foods, hangout spots and sports facilities there were comparable to those available in Jakarta, and were beyond her expectations.
"The quality of life is definitely higher [than in Jakarta]. Here you can do a lot more things in a day and the facilities are good," said Audrie, who recently moved from Jakarta to Balikpapan, where foreign and domestic companies, mostly in the coal and oil sectors, have been carrying out business for dozens of years.
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