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CJ City of Ester

The bustling metropolis of the South East

  1. mario.sihombing
    Game Version:
    • Cities XL 2012

    "Dad, where are we going?"

    "We're going to our old home, dear"

    "Old home? Aren't our home is in our current one in Manado?"

    "Hahaha...no dear, we're going to where we originally came from."


    During the 1980s, Indonesia experienced a major economic boom resulting in the expansion of infrastructure and technology not only in the Western regions, but also the Eastern regions. In 1998, however, a revolutionist movement broke out to overthrow the ruling president, which had ruled for over 30 years. In this peril moment, the coup succeeded and a new president was put into place. The new president turned out to be a fascist leader, resulting in more chaos and civil strife throughout the archipelago, resulting Timor Leste to secede from the Union. Subsequently, other territories shows disapproval towards Jakarta and secede, forming several nations as described in the picture.
    Map of the Indonesian archipelago

    As territories began to secede, the central government decided to 'take back' all of the territories with a military operation on all fronts. Wars broke out including the biblical Battle of Makassar Strait, the biggest naval battle in history, between the Eastern Indonesian Republic and the Republic of Indonesia, and also the Invasion of Lovina, which displaced the family from the story above.

    Flag of the South East Islands Federation

    This story/journal took place in the South East Islands Federation or Federasi Nusa Tenggara in its most western city, Ester.

    "Highston 77, Orion Tower, cleared to land runway 09, good day"
    "Cleared to land, Highston 77"

    The clear blue sea reflected the sun in its most beautiful way, reminding me of the beauty of this city. When I take refuge to Manado, this city is called Denpasar, a bustling low-rise paradise. Now, after 30 years, I'm back. It is kind of weird though, renaming it to Ester. As if, I have arrived in a mysterious unknown land.

    "Dad! Wear your seatbelts!!'

    "Oh! Okay dear, sorry!"

    As soon as we touched down, I was right...it is a mysterious unknown land.

    Satellites view of the city and its districts.

    Ester has 2 airports, one international, and one regional/military/private.
    Ester-Orion International Airport serves all international and domestic destinations. It is the hub for the state-run airline Highston Air and Canaveral Air. There are numerous international airlines operating here on a daily basis and on seasonal basis, which include Air Koryo and Garuda Indonesia.

    Top down view of Ester-Orion International Airport.

    Its one runway (09/27) spans West to East on a piece of reclaimed land. On the top of the picture is the Passenger Terminal, with the International Terminal on the left and the Domestic and International Terminal on the center and stretches to the right. The airport also has a main building in the center which hosted a shopping mall and parking. To go to the city, the airport has a bus service and a tram service. Just right outside of the exit is the Walls Interchange to connect to the Over-Seas Toll Road, which connects the CBD and Northern parts, the Airport, and Karelia in the South.

    The International Terminal (far left), and the Domestic/International Terminal (up front), with an expansion of the terminal under construction.

    The second, smaller, airport located Northwest of the CBD is Southern Cross Airport. It serves private jets, some regional destinations, and a scrapyard/storage.

    The really long toll road serves the CBD, Benoa Harbour, Ester-Orion Airport, and Karelia while continuing inland to the Formula Circuit. It was originally constructed in 1989 during the economic boom before the secession, but later expanded into Ester, Kencana, and Westend by the government.

    Airport and Harbour interchanges to CBD

    End of the toll road to Karelia and Kencana

    Ester International Formula Circuit interchange.

    Night view

    Night view

    Driving view from Westend into Ester and Central

    Airport and Harbour interchange with view of the main CBD.

    I'm getting tired typing all of this.....

    I'm just gonna attach all pics....


    The city has an extensive tram network spanning all northern parts and the Benoa-Nusa Dua strip. This one above is taken during peak hour at Westend.

    The Walls Interchange at the airport. In the middle are remains of the old city fortress with a tram line running between them. Around it are offices.
    Down left to Jimbaran and Southern Regions
    Down to Over-Sea Toll Road
    Top Right to the Cross and Westend
    Top Left to airport
    Down Left to CBD

    Another pic

    The Olympia district or Ester International Sporting Complex (EISC) consists of several arenas built for the 2020 Nusantara Games and 2032 Olympics. Notice the contrast between the complex and Jimbaran district on the right with old buildings.

    The Ester International Formula Circuit (EIFC) is the archipelago's largest circuit. It was used in the 2018 F1 Grand Prix and the 2022 MotoGP.

    The Motherland Greets statue located in Kencana symbolizes the blood of the people who fought for freedom. (Geography Now reference)


    The Benoa Strip is a popular tourist destination with luxurious hotels, world class shops, beautiful beaches and elite residences. It is also a popular spot for watersports. Its most notable feature is the Ester Kempinski Hotel with the two triangular towers with windmills in the center. This strip also has its own tram line connecting Regatta Hotel to Nusa Dua area.

    Benoa Strip at sunset.
    Left to Right (back row)
    Regatta Hotel and Apartments
    Hyatt Benoa
    JW Marriot Benoa
    Casa Benoa Hotel
    Ester Kempinski Hotel
    Novotel Gateway and Peace Benoa Hotel
    (front row)
    Benoa Mall
    Benoa Plaza
    Benoa Residences

    Central CBD Streetview

    Ester Tower, tallest in the archipelago and the nation. At the bottom is the Ester Opera Hall and the main bus terminal.

    The dense downtown area consisted of many multinational companies and high-rises.

    Nusa TV Tower, the tallest TV Tower in the nation.

    View from the Skydeck of Nusa TV Tower. Nice right?

    UHM......why does the website told me that I cant upload more pics?
    okay then, stay tuned for part 2 or updates!
    Botanical Gardens, Seville Row, Eastend, Trump, Ester, Essendon, and The Cross

    About me:
    My name is Mario and I've been playing Cities XL since 2011. This is my first CJ on the new site and I have published a CJ on the old side long time ago. Anyway, I am from Indonesia and currently studying in Melbourne, Australia. OK.......thnks....


    1. upload_2016-8-29_18-52-40.png
    2. upload_2016-8-29_19-11-47.png

Recent Reviews

  1. Wibi
    Since this is built in the map of Bali, and I am a firsthand Balinese, I applaud you for the accuracy of your city planning (Toll, etc).

    However I am not a fan of the city skyline. Too cluttered and too much mixture of architectures.

    I think I'm abit biased to a certain style since I'm from there, but the city feels too artificial, needs more trees and needs certain points of interest. It feels all over the place right now. Feels like you've built a strict city layout and just plopping big buildings in the gaps. Its stopping you from making it look realistic.

    Great attempt and see that you've out ALOT of work, time and detailing to it. Keep at it. Sorry if I sound harsh, just want y'all to improve and make more city journals for me to read! Cant wait to read more!
    1. mario.sihombing
      Author's Response
      Thank you for your feedback! I will sure improve my skills in a later stage of city building. I know that you (and others) doesnt really like the dense northern areas, but that is actually my intention. When i started on this map, i took inspirations from other city builders to create a replica of a certain city. Yes, i followed Google Maps on the airport and the highway and around south of the airport, but as soon as it grows larger, it gets laggier. I have experimented on city layouts in CXL and found out that grid cities produces the least lag. About the skyline, I tried to create HK skyline, in a what-if scenario if Bali doesnt have the height limit policy.

      Anyway, thank you very much for your feedback!
  2. kipate
    Four stars! I like your bravery of having put an airport where the peninsula gets to its narrowest point! And you brilliantly solved the problem of leading traffic from north to south via a highway bridge over water. Well done!

    I am not that much a fan of your CBD, I think you added way too many skyscrapers, maybe try a city with no skyscrapers for the next time :-D

    But ai like your EIFC racing course, one can see that you spent some time into constructing it!

    And the little story positively adds to your photos, so once again, good job :)
    1. mario.sihombing
      Author's Response
      Dear kipate,

      I accidentally write my reply to your comment on the report reply section, sorry.

      About the city, (sorry in advance again), i tried by best to follow Google Maps in the beginning to replicate Bali. But as the city grew, the lag increases and as i experimented, grid cities produces the least lag. My imagination run wild when doing the skyline, on a what-if basis. Currently, Bali has a height limit of around 3-5 floors. Just what if Bali doesnt have that height limit? And also experienced major globalisation effects. I tried to implement the HK skyline because i love it!

      About the circuit (EIFC), i actually follow Google Maps . The EIFC is based on Sentul International Circuit in Sentul, Indonesia.

      Anyway, thanks for the feedback and sorry. I will try to improve my skills later on, probably in Cities:Skylines, beacuse i just bought a new PC.

  3. PaulHudson
    Looks cute) Nice airport, hoods and interchanges)
    1. mario.sihombing
      Author's Response

      The airport and highway is actually based on the real world with guidance from Google Maps!
  4. Anonymous
    bad bad bad bad