Some valuable Indonesian treasures you can find in Makassar, Sulawesi will definitely make your holiday unforgettable. Makassar is also known as Ujung Padang, the capital of South Sulawesi serving as an important hub with Makassar airport providing international and domestic flights. This port becomes the main springboard to exploring southern Sulawesi and beyond. Most travelers do come here for shopping and eating before heading off to remote places in Sulawesi like Tana Toraja or to numerous beautiful diving sites such as Wakatobi National Park.
Makassar is located at South Sulawesi. It is obviously the largest city in Sulawesi that serves as capital in the south.
- Fort Rotterdam: This is an old Dutch fortress dating back from colonial time with Rp 10,000 mandatory donation.
- Paotere Harbor: You should come here to see the old tradition still alive and bustling in an old fishing harbor. In the morning, you can see the fishermen returning with their days catch.
- Makassar Great Mosque: It is popularly known as the floating mosque. This new and very well-maintained muslims worship place is certainly a sight that is certainly worth a visit. It is located nearby Losari Beach.
- Stroll and relax at Losari Beach: It is not exactly a beach but a nice waterfront in the middle of the city. You should certainly come here for a breathtaking sunset view. Yet, do beware of the pickpockets.
- Shop at Trans Studio Makassar: It is actually the biggest mall in Makassar. It houses a lot of shops, restaurants, and cafes. Also, here is the hang out place for the locals and visitors. Most of all, there are a bunch of attractions that you can try, so that it would be fun to mingle and do some people watching.
- Malino tea plantations: If you do have the time and would like some cooling and relaxing fresh air, take 60-90 minute-drive out of Makassar to this beautiful highland with tea and strawberry fields. The fee (as of 2016) to enter this place is IDR 50k per person.
Needless to worry that there are plenty places to stay, from high end hotels to cheap guesthouses. Therefore, most travellers stay in the city center due to the various choices and also easy access to the rest of the tourist attractions and transportation to the other parts of Sulawesi.
Makassar’s airport is Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport, located 20 km away from town that has domestic flights from various spots in Indonesia, namely Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Denpasar, Banjarmasin, Balikpapan, Kendari, Palu, Manado, Gorontalo, Ambon, Ternate, Manokwari, Sorong and Jayapura. It also provides international flights from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Singapore. Then, from the airport, a taxi to the city is about IDR 70,000 if you get your own while an official airport taxi will cost IDR 100,000. If you want to get cheaper alternatives, you may take a bemo (minibus) into town for IDR 4,000 and would stop exactly at Makassar Mall.
You should note that domestic departures will require IDR 40,000 tax while international departures cost IDR 100,000 tax.
Also, Makassar is a major port for PELNI boat, it can be one of alternatives to flights via the sea. If you are keen on trying out for new experiences, you should note that it is not much cheaper than flights and the hours are long. For example, a boat ride to Makassar takes 16 hours from Balikpapan, 24 hours from Surabaya and 30 hours from Tanjung Priok. If you have got a seasick, you should take the flight instead.
- From Makassar, you can get to the famous Tana Toraja by bus that is about 300 km away with at least 8 — 10 hour-drive. It will cost you IDR 80,000 for an air-conditioned bus from Makassar to Rantepao, with a choice of morning or overnight bus. To get to the bus terminal, you may just hop on the frequent bemo (minibus) that will take about 40 minute-ride.
- Nearby is also Pulau Khayangan, a small island 20 minutes away by boat.
- Or else, Pulau Samalona is about 30-45 minutes away. You can stroll on the white sandy beach or try some diving.
Those valuable Indonesian treasures you can find in Makassar, Sulawesi are certainly hard to miss when visiting Makassar. Arrange your itinerary very well to make the most of your time, here. Do share your experiences if you have been to Makassar.