Pontianak is the capital of the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan. It is a medium-size trading port city on the island of Borneo. Pontianak occupies an area of 107.82 km˛ in the delta of the Kapuas River. It is located almost precisely on the equator, hence it is widely known as Kota Khatulistiwa (Equator City). The city center is actually less than 3 kilometres (2 mi) south.
The word pontianak — probably from bunting anak, "pregnant with child" — means the undead vampire of a woman who died while during childbirth. Disguised as a beautiful woman, the pontianak goes around murdering unwary men, harming pregnant woman and eating babies, but they can be controlled by plunging a nail into a hole in the back of their neck.
Legend said at the first time of Abdurrahman Alqadrie group arrival in the uninhabited area of Pontianak, it was haunted by pontianaks/kuntilanaks, which deterred many of his companions by their scary voices at nights. To sweep these ghosts away, Alqadrie ordered his men to fire their cannons to the forest which was believed to be their base. Afterwards, no more pontianaks' voice were heard ever.
In 1771, Abdurrahman Alqadrie cut down the forest which was at the crossing between Kapuas and Landak river, then settled there. He was awarded the title Sultan. Under his leadership, he succeeded to attract many traders, most of which are ethnic Malay, as well as some Dayaks from the upstream of Kapuas river.
Following the civil war and widespread poverty in China at the end of 19th century, many Chinese migrated to Indonesia, which also targeted Pontianak due to its strategic location for trading, main occupation of the Chinese. This later added Chinese culture to history of Pontianak. Chinese sub-ethnics in Pontianak are mainly Teochew, Hakka, and some Cantonese--dominant Chinese citizens in Hong Kong.
In the early of 19th century, the Dutch occupied Pontianak and the rest of West Kalimantan cities as part of its colonial campaign. Pontianak is occupied to become its trading post to gain rich natural resources, mainly rubber and wood, from the upstream of Kapuas river. Resistances committed by both ethnic Malay and Dayak occur sporadically, which forced the Dutch colonial armed forces to request for reinforcement from Batavia/Jakarta frequently.
Dutch occupation ended in 1941 during the World War 2 when Japanese imperial forces overrun their bases from the north, which were not deployed by reasonable amount of soldiers in order to defend strategic Java island. During Japanese occupation, they massacred tens of thousands of civilians and intellectuals, mainly those who refused to recognise the emperor of Japan.
When the Japanese retreated, the Dutch under the Allied Forces umbrella re-entered West Kalimantan. Their colonial government over Pontianak ended few years later after series of diplomatic missions and local resistances which have also freed the other Indonesian territories at the same time