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Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Menado April 11th 2014

I could not believe I couldn't find Gorontalo in the 'location list'. Anyway, Gorontalo is located in the Northern part of Sulawesi, Indonesia. It used to be part of North Sulawesi province but since a few years ago, it became a province of Gorontalo. Coming from Singapore to Gorontalo via Manado by Silk Air, I felt the stark contrast of the culture between Manado and Gorontalo. During my transit in Manado, I was reminded how friendly the people were; I could not help overhearing an immigration officer asking a tourist at the counter the purpose of his holiday, and jokingly said 'honeymoon' to the middle aged couple - unlike the kind of flat tone we heard from immigration officers anywhere else. While waiting at the airport lounge, I was reminded the outgoing nature of the Manado ... read more
Stunning View around Olele
Paradise Beach
Pygmy Seahorse

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tangkoko National Park April 11th 2014

After my new year dive trip to Gorontalo, I stayed over night in Manado as my connecting flight to Singapore was the next day (Silk Air does not fly on Sunday from Manado to Singapore). Before I left, I had made an arrangement with Manado Safari Tour for a day trip to Tangkoko National Park, and I must say the online reservation was efficiently done (www.manadosafaris.com) Upon my arrival from Gorontalo at around 7 am, I was picked up and greeted by the friendly driver, Freddy, from Manado Safari Tour, who drove me to Tangkoko, which took about two hours. It is located at the foot of "Dua Saudara Mountain" near Bitung at Batu Putih area. The drive was easy and scenic as I could see the mountain clearly but was too sleepy to stop and ... read more
Tarsier
Kingfisher
Mushroom

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Makassar September 23rd 2013

Monday, 23rd September 2013 The night before, we were still debating whether to hire a car and visit the hill station of Malino. Researching from the internet certainly did not reveal too much information. We were told that there was a waterfall, some tea plantations and probably some cooling weather. Sometime back, we did the tea and strawberry plantations in Bandung and decided it just wasn't too worthwhile to make the 72km winding journey to see the same thing in Malino. Spending half of our time journeying to and from our destination certainly wasn't our cup of tea, at least in Makassar. Finally, our Malino idea was scrapped. Following an idyllic breakfast, we decided to spend some time at the hotel pool as the weather simply grew too hot for us to venture outdoors. After lunch ... read more
Have a cuppa before the flight home

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Makassar September 22nd 2013

Sunday, 22nd September 2013 Makassar is probably home to one of the world's most quiet Chinatown I've ever seen! The highlight of our day was a visit to Fort Rotterdam in the morning. This was about 10 minutes walk from our accommodation. Fort Rotterdam started life in the 1670s as the centre of Dutch power in Sulawesi. During the Japanese occupation, it assumed its role as a Prisoners-of-War (POW) camp. Accessing the Fort was relatively straight forward. We had to "report" at the guard house, signed our names on the guestbook and made a modest donation before entering into the premises. By 9am, the sun was already very high up in the sky and the heat was comparable to a typical afternoon back home. The well-maintained buildings within the fort were painted in shades of yellow ... read more
Lies Makassar's Chinatown
Nice Chinese food
Coffee shop in Chinatown

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Makassar September 21st 2013

Saturday, 21st September 2013 Silkair flight MI142 flew us straight into the city of Makassar, the provincial capital of South Sulawesi. There was plenty to cheer about during the three-hour flight - great service from the friendly stewardess and delicious breakfast choices. It helped to set our holiday mood right from the beginning. Arrival at the modern Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport at 11am this morning, there was not much of a crowd at the customs. Very soon, we hopped on to the taxi for our 21km journey to the hotel. The city of Makassar that greeted us was relatively traffic free on a Saturday morning. The streetscapes were kept reasonably clean. Touting and begging were almost non-existent. The traffic grew heavier as we approached the downtown area. Along the way, the driver was quick to point ... read more
Sunset from Losari Beach
Welcome to Makassar
Our home

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Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Lembeh May 21st 2013

The final leg of our trip took us back up to Northern Sulawesi. The first stop was Lembeh Strait, famous in the diving world for being the "Critter Capital of the World." Interestingly, it is a kind of hell for fish with a litter-strewn black sand sea bed seemingly devoid of any marine life. On closer inspection, however, you can find a myriad of strange, rare, and often creepy critters. Scott and I took the same approach as in Komodo, splitting the diving up while one person stayed with Kyla. After the first day I wasn't sure we'd done the right thing. Waiting on the boat had been hot for Kyla and our room at Two Fish Resort was just as hot as we didn't have air-conditioning for the first time on the trip. The subsequent ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi March 31st 2013

No sooner we came out of the plane in Manado (North Sulawesi) then a worker of the tourist office showed up and asked if we needed an hotel. We did. After all problems we had faced in Papua she was very welcome. A quick taxi brought us to our hotel, the Celebes Hotel, which turned out to be one of the nicest hotels during our trip. Manado and Tangkoko The famous naturalist Alfred Wallace wrote already how much he liked Manado. That was about 150 years ago. A lot has changed since then, but Manado has still that special atmosphere, which makes you feel at home. Nowhere on our trips we have met such a friendly people. There are pleasant restaurants along the sea. There is a big shoppingmall with all kinds of fruits and Indonesian ... read more
Crested Macaque
Bear Cuscus
Flying Lizard (Draco reticulatus)

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja March 26th 2013

I arrived in Makassar at about 8pm without knowing where I was going to spend the night that day, but I had the name of a street in which I knew there should be a couple of backpacker places (Jampean St). When I left the airport I was harassed by at least 10 taxi drivers. Most of them were charging 100.000 IDR. I got one that charged me 87.500 IDR. Makassar is a big city with about 1.6 million people. The airport surprised; pretty modern and well maintained, not like the one in Denpasar, Bali. The city also has a big port and a lively night life with lots of karaoke places and clubs. The driver didn’t speak any English. I told him to take me to Jampean Street. When I got to the street, I ... read more
Entrance to Tongkonan
Women in traditional dresses
Carrying the coffin

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Bunaken National Park October 1st 2012

Hi everybody, a few weeks has past since my last entry. Sorry about that but the internet conection hasn't been that good as I hoped. But here we go with the latest storries. Kuala Lumpur A city under construction - the headder I've kept in my mind since I saw this city fist. You can not locate a city center right now, betweeen the new well polished skycrapers you can find the old dirty "slums". Not really slums, but not that much better. Beside the Petronas towers it has also nothing special to offer. Riding the metro could be really anoying! Three different lines, opperated by three different companys so you have to buy a new ticket every time you have change headding. But at least they can improve :) I would like to come back ... read more
Please take out your shoes
Preaparing breakfast - Roti Carnai
Roti Carnai done

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Togean Islands August 28th 2012

Bolilanga = > Fadhila = > Malenge = > Gorontalo = > Manado It is not the first time. It has happened before. We researched and we planned and yet we ended up doing completely different thing anyway. Why? Because we met some travelers on the way who told us stories that altered our plan. Some French family in Poyalisa/Bomba was just one of those instances. Sarah, Bas and us planned to go to Kadidiri after Bomba and we even booked bungalows for a specific date. Then we wanted to go to the remote Malenge Island after which we would have traveled back to Wakai (port very close to Bomba) for the ferry to the other side of Sulawesi. The family told us that they just did the trip but other way round and that we ... read more
little Togean
sunset in Bolilanga
green lagoon in Lestari Malange




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