"Indonesia is the most wonderful place in our world"-Chalermehai Yodmalai(Thailand)
Thursday, October 15, 2009
North Sulawesi with Manado as the capital city is a land of magnificent coral reefs protecting virgin white beaches and mountains. The Sangir-Talaud islands, to the north of mainland, from a natural bridge to the Philippines providing a convinient route for peoples and culture can still be found here. Today the main industries of the province are copra and cloves. North Sulawesi has larger concentration of coconut trees than any other part of Indonesia. The Dutch, however, have had the strongest influence on the development of the region. First contact with European traders came in the 16th century with the arrival of the Spanish and Portuguese, and with them they bought Christianity. It wasn’t until the arrival of the Dutch that Christianity became the predominant religion of the area. Manado’s main attractions are off-shore: the trully incredible coral reefs off nearby Bunaken Island are now a protected Marine Park and offer some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world.
Regular flights from Jakarta via Makassar service to Sam Ratulangi airport in Manado.
* Full Moon Festival is held in mid-October at Bitung harbor Manado, to seek blessings from God. The Minahasa people dance and sing with a great joy. * Bunaken Festival. Bunaken is a small island of the coast of Manado known for it’s fabulous under water gardens. Not far, lies the volcano, Manado Tua. Highlights during the festival include art and cultural performances from the four ethnic group living in the North Sulawesi Province. * Lake Tondano Festival celebrating the cul¬ture of Minahasa tribe perform Maengket dance and kolintang (bamboo orchestra) on Nov 2008.
Places of Interest
Tasik Ria. Tasik Ria is situated about 20 km southwest of Manado and has a beautiful sandy beach fringed with coconut trees. Ideal for sunbathing, swimming, fishing, diving and snorkeling, Tasik Ria seashores resort hosts the four-star Manado Beach Hotel, with 250 rooms, a swimming pool, bar & discotique. It is easily reached by public bus or taxi from Manado.
Tara-Tara. 15 km further southwest from Tasik Ria this village has traditionally been the center of Minahasan culture and arts. Traditional dances enthrall on the open air at Kemer Garden. There are World War II at Japanese caves at the Ranowangko dam, and the Kemer natural bathing spot nearby in the shadow of volcano lokon, mount Kasehe and mount Tatawiran.
Watu Pinabetengan. According to Minahasa history, this is a place where the ancestors first divided up the land among the people. The famous megalithic stone here is covered with crude, mysterious drawings and a script which has never been deciphered. It is located in Tompanso, about 45 km from Manado.
Bukit Kasih Toar Lumimuut=]
Bukit Kasih Toar Lumimuut is a beautiful hill remains historical chronicle, situated in the vicinity or Kanonang Village, Minahasa Regency 55 km from Manado and easily reached by public bus from Manado’s Karambasan bus terminal heading for Kawang¬koan then take a mikrolet or ponny trap “Bukit Kasih” or Hill of Love is a spiritual epicenter where followers of different faiths (Christian, Catholic, Islam, Hinduism and Buddism) commune, medicate and worship in the fresh air of open natural atmosphere.
Manado Tua Island=]
Manado Tua Island. Manado Tua is the main island of the Manado Bay group. A path to the top of Central Mountain takes several hours to climb, but the view takes in all the islands in Manado Bay. The beach is a mixture of white sand and coral formations. The reef lines the coast of Tangkoko Batu¬angus in a nature reserve. A permit should be obtained from Sub Balai Konservasi Sumber Daya Alam (Nature Conservation Office) in Manado, before heading for this reserve.
Waruga Cemetery. This ancient ceme¬tery of Minahasan ancestor consists of 144 stone sarcophagi, remnants of the megalitic age. “Waruga” sarchopagi are unique square stones with holes in the middle and prism shaped lids. The tombs are carved with various motifs such as humans’ beings, plants, animals, and traditional geometrical motifs like clouds, strings, curls and double braids. The cemetery is located in Sawangan village, about 24 km from Manado.
Tangkoko Batuangus. An open grassland nature reserve covering the slopes of Mt. Dua Saudara, the park is compossed of impressive green hills and valleys with wondrous scenic views of natural beauty. Black apes, maleo birds, snakes, wild pigs, hornbills and rusa deer live in the 3,196 hectare reserve. There are several cottages and small restaurants nearby. It is only reachable by four-wheel drive jeep from Girian village over a rough road.
Dumoga Bone National Park=]
Dumoga Bone National Park. Located on the border between two districts, approxiamately 260 km from Manado, this park straddles Dumoga in Bolaang Mongondow and Bone in Gorontalo. Its mountains and hills are blanketed in dense forests, making it an ideal habitat for rare species like maleo birds, anoas, hornbills and Tarsius spectrums (the smallest primate in the world).
Lake Tondano-Remboken. About 36 km southwest of Manado is Lake Tondano, 600 m above sea level. The drive to Tondano passes through charming villages and sprawling clove plantations. Situated right on the edge of the lake is the Remboken Tourist site, an ideal place for after skiing, fishing, and natural boating. Bungalows, a natural hot water swimming pool and restaurants are available.
Lake Moat. Situated in the highlands about 900 m above the sea level the lake is surrounded by a dense forest abounding with birds.
Ranopaso. Sparkling clean natural hotsprings set in a gorgeous setting of terraced rice fields make this a popular tourist destination. Bungalows are available at Koya village, about 3 km from Tondano.
Wale Papataupan. Situated at Sonder village, about 37 km from Manado, Wale Papatuan is a sumptuous tourist spot with bungalows, a swimming pool, steam bath facilities, restaurants, fish ponds, and an open stage for cultural performances. It is easily reachable from Manado by public bus or taxi.
Japanese Monument. Since Bitung play important role during the Pacific War as home base for Japanese Imperial forces, it becomes the last resting place for their soldier who died in the area. The Japanese and North Sulawesi governments jointly founded this monu¬ment.
Bunaken. About half an hour by a motorized outrigger canoe from Manado, Bunaken Island is a veritable paradise for snorkelers and scuba enthusiasts. The coral reef off Bunaken Island is particularly noted for the drop-off at Liang Cove. It is described by international divers as being among the most spectacular anywhere in the world, with caves, gullies, and caverns harbouring an immense wealth of marine life. The water averages a balmy 28 degrees C and visibility is over than 30 m.
Manado Modern Manado is an engaging, prosperous city. Like Jakarta, it has an impressive variety of eye-cacthing statues, and an interesting mix of Indonesian, Filipino and Chinese cultures and architectural styles. Although Manado has its own port, the principal deep-water port northern Sulawesi is at Bitung, about 48 km from Manado. This seaport serves domestic and international sea trade.
Saronde Island This tiny but exquisite island with white-sand beaches for swimming, boating, snorkeling, diving, and water skiing is located in the district of Gorontalo.