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Bau-Bau or Bau-bau (Indonesian: Kota Bau-bau) is the main city on Buton island, Indonesia. Bau-Bau reached the city status on 21 June 2001, based on the Indonesian law number 13, year 2001. A port called Murhum serves the city sea transportation with a ferry terminal (jetty) operated by the Indonesian state-owned sealiner, Pelni.
During the fifteenth century (1401—1499), Bau-Bau was the center of the Buton (or Wolio) kingdom. There were no historical records known from this kingdom, except from a description in the Nagarakretagama text, an Old Javanese eulogy written by Mpu Prapanca during the Majapahit Kingdom. Mpu Prapanca described a village called Buton or Butuni with its garden and irrigation system, and there was a king ruled in the area.
The kingdom of Buton firstly established by Mia Patamiana, a four musketeer acted as a chieftain. The four musketeer were known as Sipanjonga, Simalui, Sitamanajo and Sijawangkati, based on a historical record Semenanjung Tanah Melayu (or the Malay peninsula record) written in the thirteenth century. They arrived on the island and founded a village called Wolio and appointed small district leaders known as Limbo. Later, they united into the kingdom of Buton and appointed Wa Kaa Kaa as the first queen in 1332; she was the wife of one of descendants of the Majapahit ruler.
In 1542, the kingdom of Buton transformed itself into sultanate when Islam entered the area. The first sultan of Buton was Lakilaponto, entitled as the Sultan Murhum Kaimuddin Khalifatul Khamis. The last sultan (the 38th) was Muhammad Falihi Kaimuddin in 1960.
Geographically, Bau-bau lies between lattitute 5.21°S–5.33°S and longitude 122.30°E–122.47°E, or lies on the southern part of south east Sulawesi region. Bau-Bau is bordered at the north by the Buton strait, the east by the Kapontori subdistrict, the south by the Pasarwajo subdistrict and the west by the Kadatua subdistrict. The area of the city is about 221–km2, with the sea area around 30–km2
The topographical condition of Bau-Bau mainly consists of mountain and hills. Long coasts and long hills stretch above the surrounding terrain with the variation of altitude between 0–100 meters above mean sea level. Bau-bau has land slope between 8–30%.
As for other Indonesian cities, Bau-Bau observes tropical weather. The day and night temperature varies around 29 to 33 Celsius during day time and 20 to 29 Celsius during night time. The ecosystems consist of rain forests, spiny forests and desert.
The city was previously divided into just 4 districts; Betoambari (then including Murhum) had an area of 34.34 km2; Wolio (then including Kokalukuna) had an area of 26.77 km2; Sorawolio had an area of 82.25 km2; and Bungi (then including Lea-Lea) had an area of 76.64 km2.
The population of the city is 137,118 as of the decennial census 2010 consisting mainly of the Butonese, Buginese, Moluccan, Javanese, and Sundanese people. It is the 2nd largest city in the province after the capital, Kendari. The city economy lies on the service industry such as hotel (30%), trade (20%) with mostly sea trade, agricultural (20%) with main coconut production, and the rest are in public transportation business. Bau-Bau is also a major fishing center in Sulawesi area producing trepang (sea cucumber).
Port Murhum serves the city's, and also the island's, main access for transportation. Direct sea connections include Jakarta and Kendari. The following passenger ships of the Indonesian state-owned sealiner company PT Pelni serve Bau-Bau: KM Bukit Siguntang, KM Ciremai, KM Dorolonda, KM Kelimutu, KM Sinabung, and KM Lambelu (2008 sailing schedule). Transportation by air plane can be done daily through the Makassar
- Biro Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2011.
- Biro Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2011