Manado

Manado waterfront

Manado (also Menado) is the largest city in and main gateway to Northern Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Understand

The capital of the province, the former stronghold of the Dutch and the cultural center of the Minahasa people, for a long time Manado prospered through trade with the nearby Philippines and the spice trade with the rest of the world. Alas, the bombings of World War II and the suppression of a local insurgency in the 1950s flattened most of Manado's older buildings. While by Indonesian standards still relatively prosperous, most visitors will be rather less impressed and head straight to the islands and reefs of nearby Bunaken. Unlike much of the rest of predominantly-Muslim Indonesia, Christianity is the dominant religion in Manado.

Weather

Mostly sunny throughout the year, the wet season usually starts from September until March/ April. During its hottest days, it can reach up to 32C. In the highlands of Tomohon, Tondano, Kawangkoan it is cooler but sunny nonetheless.

Get in

Manado is quite far from the rest of Indonesia and most visitors arrive by plane.

By plane

Manado's Sam Ratulangi Airport (IATA: MDC) An airy, modern facility last expanded in 2001. The airport fields some international flights to Singapore (Silk Air, 4x weekly, 3h) with visa on arrival possible, but Air Asia no longer operates.

If you want to make a call in the airport, please have your cell phone ready, don't count on the public phone.

There are also frequent flights to Jakarta (Garuda, Lion Air 3h, 600,000+Rp) and Makassar (1.5h). Other flights include Surabaya(East Java), Balikpapan (Kalimantan), Denpasar (Bali), Ternate (North Maluku), and Sorong (Papua). A taxi from the airport to central Manado takes about 30 minutes and costs Rp 70,000 (bargaining may be necessary). There are also frequent mikrolets leaving from Terminal Paal 2 [paal doo-ah] costing 2,300 Rp that take about the same amount of time.

Departure tax from Manado is Rp 100.000 for international flights and Rp 30,000 for domestic flights. The terminal has an Internet cafe in the public area and the standard array of restaurants (KFC, Es Teler 77) and gift shops inside, but note that there is nothing once past immigration.

Get around

The main ways of getting around are ojek/ompreng, moped taxis that can be a bit scary, or with Mikrolets (mikros), the blue mini buses that you jump on just standing by the street. They all have a certain route and within a day one should figure out how it works.

By taxi

There are several taxi operator here : Bluebird, Taxi Kokapura, Trust, Celebrity. The most reliable one is Bluebird, the blue taxi. It is the most trusted taxi operator in Jakarta and other cities in Indonesia. The Manado office phone number is (0431) 861234.

By Angkot (Angkutan Kota)

Also known as mikrolets or bemos. Angkot is the typical Indonesia's cheapest way of transportation inside the city. Most of cities in Indonesia have this Angkot, as well as Manado. Angkot is a minibus of 8-10 passengers. The cost is very cheap, currently at Rp. 2,900 per trip.

Compared to angkots in other cities in Indonesia that have side-facing seats, the ones in Manado come with all front-facing seats. Manadonese are known for being picky and would only take the good-looking and full music angkots.

By rental car

Manado Rental Car around Rp. 500,000 per day, already included Driver and Gasoline, or Self Drive approximately Rp.300,000.- per day. For Central Information tel +62 852-4022-0620 or +62 431-892-979.

CV. Sinar Berkat Rent a Car Manado, has been operating since 1995 has various types of care. Reservation can be made through email at sinarberkatmanado@gmail.com or mobile at +62 818 834 726 or +62 431 8876. The service includes pick up and drop at the airport.

By ojek

Ojek is motorcab taxi, pronounced O - jack. Ojek is also a typical cheap land transportation in Indonesian cities. In Manado, ojek rate is not fixed, and depends on the distance and is negotiation. For a very short distance (+/- 1 km.), it will be around Rp. 3,000.

See

Do

Manado is famous throughout the region for its diving areas. Bunaken is one of the finest and maybe the most well-kept national marine park in Indonesia.

The national park is about 50 km from Manado and is accessible by taking a bemo toward Bitung (Rp 10,000) and transferring to an open aired bemo along the way (ask the driver to drop you off at the transfer at the junction town along the way), also Rp10,000

Buy

Eat

A yummy-looking bowl of tinutuan (it doesn't taste that bad, honest)

Manadonese food is famous throughout Indonesia for two things: the Minahasa eat absolutely anything, and the flavour of choice is very spicy. Sugar is used little if at all, with flavour added through lemon and herbs. Being Christian, the Minahasa also often marinate meat in alcohol and favour pork. More exotic protein options include cats, forest rats, fruit bats and dogs, the last of which is the obligatory centerpiece of any wedding ceremony or Christmas feast. Classic dishes include:

Dutch settlement here has also brought in a few surprising influences, notably:

Budget

Mid-range

Drink

These two kind of drinks are made from Palm trees:

Please Drink Responsibly, the locals have a bad habit of drinking IRRESPONSIBLY. Probably, the ONLY major crime problem in town is caused by drunkards.

Sleep

Manado is Sulawesi's other bustling center of business and tourism. And with demand to match, the prices here are higher than elsewhere in Sulawesi. However, if you are willing to pay up, luxury options that you haven't seen since Makassar are available here.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Connect

Telco : Cell, Net

There are 3 main providers of GSM cellular services in Manado : Telkomsel, Indosat / Satelindo and XL (Axiata co). As per November 2010, Telkomsel provides EDGE, 3G WCDMA, 3.5G HSDPA. Indosat only GPRS,EDGE. XL up to 3G. Please note that high bandwidth cell service mainly works in downtown area of Manado. All 3 of them carries Blackberry services.

Prepaid GSM SIM cards dan CDMA RUIM cards can be cheaply purchased (approx 1 USD) at almost every supermarket along with their reload vouchers, ranging from approx 50C US (Rp 5000) to approx 10USD (Rp 100K).

Internet Cafe

If you want to go online cheaply then go to Ocean internet cafe, at the 3rd floor of Samudera minimarket located in the Megamas shopping center area on the Manado boulevard. The rate is approx 50C US (Rp 5000) hourly and the bandwidth speed is good. It is open from 1000 to 2200.

Consulates

Philippine Consulate General Address: Jl. 17 Agustus No. 30A Tanjung Batu, Manado 95119 Tel. +62 431-862-181 or +62 431-861-178 Fax +62 431-862-365 email: manadopcg09@yahoo.com

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, January 19, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.