The city was formerly the capital of the independent Sultanate of Pontianak and was founded in 23 October 1771 around an old trading station on the Borneo coast. It is built on swampy ground that is subjected to regular flooding by the river, requiring buildings to be constructed on piles to keep them off the ground. It has its name due to the story that the founder had seen an appearance of Pontianak “Kuntilanak” ghost at the place to be built for the palace, which he fought to save the people.
You may find that Pontianakians of each ethnic tend to live homogenously. For example, areas along Jalan Gajahmada are overwhelmingly Chinese whereas Sungai Jawi in the suburb are settled mostly by ethnic Malays. Intermarriage is not common, especially between ethnic Chinese and the indigenous people (Dayaks, Malays, Javanese, Madurese, etc.).