09 August 2017
An Exotic Land on The Far Coast
Manado is a beautiful and fascinating city that offers numerous natural attractions in its vicinity. The highly popular eco-tourism spots in the area are drawing more tourists to the region each year.
On the northern tip of the island of Sulawesi is Manado, the capital of North Sulawesi province and the largest city in the region. This coastal city stretches along 18.7 kilometers of the ocean and is surrounded by mountainous landscapes. Manado is a fascinating place for tourists to visit.
The name Manado is derived from the words “manadou" or “wanazou” in the Minahasan Language, which means "on the far coast" or "in the distance". Originally the name referred to the farthest of two islands which can be seen from the mainland. The majority of Manado’s inhabitants are Minahasa people, from the indigenous Bantik Tribe.
There are numerous other tribes who live in Manado, including the Mongondow, Sangir, Gorontalo, Arab, and Tionghoa people, along with other tribes from outside Manado: Javanese, Batak, Mollucas, and Makassar. As such Manado has a rich and diverse culture. The people of Manado have a reputation for being friendly people who love life and enjoy welcoming guests to their homes. There are some good places to eat in the city along with plenty of coffee houses that serve tantalizingly fresh and delicious coffee from around the region. The coffee has a different taste to the generic coffee from cafes or those that can be prepared at home.
Over the past two decades, tourism activities have increased rapidly and developed into one of the mainstays of Manado's regional revenue. The enchantment of Bunaken National Park is a major magnet for tourists from not only Indonesia but the world. The area is revered as one of the most magnificent marine parks in the world. Tourists come to enjoy the spectacular diving and snorkeling available here.
In addition to Bunaken, Manado is also close to other sights such as the volcanic area of Tomohon, Rurukan Agro-tourism village, Lake Tondano, Mount Lokon, Klabat Mountain, and Mount Mahawu. All of these points of interest can be reached within three hours or less from the city center. Seeing the tarsiers and the black macaque monkeys in the wild at Tangkoko National Park, and taking a dip in one of the hot springs dotted throughout this volcanic region, are activities not to be missed.
HOW TO GET THERE
Manado is a three hour and twenty-minute flight away from Jakarta. You can also fly directly from other Indonesian destinations, such as Bali, Surabaya, and Balikpapan. From Singapore, the flight time is three and a half hours. There are also direct flights from China and Macau.
Tour the City
Manado offers some great shops and architecture around the city. Visitors can simply go for a walk around the city during the day to check them out. While in the city you are sure to find great food, especially at Pierre Tendean Street which is known as a culinary boulevard.
PLACES TO VISIT
Bukit Kasih otherwise known as Love Hill is located 50 km to the south of Manado. Built in 2002, Bukit Kasih has become a spiritual center where religious followers from various faiths can gather, meditate, and worship side by side at the lush and misty tropical hill. There are five houses of worship in here; a Catholic Church, a Christian church, a temple, a mosque, and a Hindu temple that is built on the second peak. The hill is a sulphuric hill that is still active and has a chilly atmosphere.
Bunaken National Marine Park
Bunaken National Marine Park was established in 1991 as a protected nature reserve. The park covers an area of 75,265 hectares with five islands: Manado Tua, Bunaken Island, Siladen Island, Mantehage Island, and Naen Island. Bunaken National Park can be reached through the port of Manado, Marina Nusantara Diving Centre (NDC) in the District of Molas, and Marina Blue Banter.
Tangkoko Nature Reserve
Located at the foot of Dua Saudara Mountain, the Tangkoko Nature Reserve can be reached in a one hour drive from Manado. The Reserve comprises rolling hills and valleys with a variety of hardwood trees and unusual plant life. The reserve is home to some unique wildlife that can be observed in the forest. You can meet the Black Macaques, Tarsius tarsier (one of the smallest known primates), maleo birds, wild pigs, and Cuscus which are often termed “one of the most adorable marsupials on the planet”.
Located at an altitude of 800 meters above sea level, the city is a great place for tourists who want to explore the beautiful mountainous countryside of Northern Sulawesi. Around the city, there are interesting places, such Bukit Kasi, Mt. Lokon, Mt. Mahawu, Woloan, Mt. Masarang, Tumimperas & Tinoor Waterfall, Lake Linow, and the famous Lake Tondano. The city can be reached by car in one to three hours from Manado.
Manado’s most typical food is often referred to as Titunuan. It consists of a pulp dough made from rice combined with green vegetables and corn shavings. The porridge is served with sauce and salted fish.
This Manado cuisine is made from glutinous rice and coconut milk that is burned in a bamboo stalk covered with banana leaves. The delicacy of jaha rice is specifically down to the blend of spices found in the food. Nasi jaha is usually eaten with venison or beef floss, tuna floss, or curry.
Bakasang & Roa Sauce
Manado is famous for its spicy flavors. There are many types of spicy and delicious sauce to try here. Two of the famous sauces are bakasang and roa sauce. Bakasang sauce is made from chili mixed with fish eggs, while roa sauce uses chilis mixed with roa fish (a type of flying fish).