Makassar - Chinatown & Fort Rotterdam

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September 22nd 2013
Published: September 28th 2013
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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 and brown. Most of the buildings were out of bounds to the public even though the La Galigo Museum containing artefacts of the city was well worth a glance.

A block north of the fort lies Makassar's Chinatown. Beneath the Friendship Gate, the Chinatown was in a sorry state. While most other Chinatowns I had visited were bustling with activities, practically all the shop shutters were down when we visited. Makassar is probably home to one of the world's most quiet Chinatown I've ever seen!

The exception were the Holland Bakery, the LaoTa (老大) Hong Kong Porridge Specialist and the Hai Hong Warkop (海通咖啡店) where we stopped by and asked for some directions. The encounter reminded me of home as we finally found a local who spoke some Chinese.

After our meals in Chinatown, it was time to head back to the hotel to cool off with an afternoon swim before watching the setting sun in the evening. This was yet another relaxed day in Makassar as we ended up at the very same roof-top bar for dinner which we had patronised the night before.

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