klenteng ban hian kiong
this is the oldest buddhist temple in eastern part of indonesia. the setting is lovely and taking pictures amongst the gigantic candles is nice. it was restorated several times and always looks well-maintenance.
- Road Trip
further afield from manado
there several beautiful destinations setting at the mountainous range or hilly areas nearby manado. it takes approximately 30 minutes to 2 hours drive from downtown.
- pre-christian manadoian cemetery called "waruga" in airmadidi [more details in my airmadidi page]
- trekking to the crater rims of mount lokon, klabat and mahawu [more details in my tomohon page]
- visit tomohon, addressed as 'flower city at the west'. it's remain me to baguio in luzon, the philippines [more details in my tomohon page]
- lake tondano and lake linow [more details in my tondano page]
- tangkoko and batuangus dua saudara national park
- Road Trip
- Hiking and Walking
further down to the sea
there are several groups of small islands nearby manado which offers one of the best sea garden in the world!
catch a public boat, renting glass bottom boat or asking to the homestays and resorts or hostels at those islands to pick you up and enjoy the underwater scenes by snorkeling or diving.
on the list are included in bunaken national marine park:
- bunaken island
- manado tua island
- nain island
- siladen island
- pulau lembeh
can be reached from bitung
- Diving and Snorkeling
NATURAL HOT SPRINGS
An ideal place for water skiing, fishing, and boating. Remboken is also known as Sumaro Endo (which means: facing the sun) because it is the place at the side of Lake Tondano where people watch sunrise.
Bungalows, a natural hot-water swimming pool and restaurants are available.
The thermal delights of the Ranopaso Hot Springs are a short distance from the resort and surrounded by rice fields. You can enjoy a hot water soak in one of the specially built bathrooms with the thermal water supplied from one of the hot springs in the area. This hot water pool gives beautiful impression for all visitors. There are a lot of bungalows to relax.
The Bunaken Marine Park
A visit to North Sulawesi is uncomplete without one day to view the spectacular coral gardens of the Bunaken Marine Reserve. Declared a Marine Park in 1991, it is acknowledged as one of the top dive sites in the world. It is about 45 minutes with motorized outrigger canoe or dive boat from Manado.
The Bunaken Marine Park stretches over 75,000 hectares in the deep waters of the Sulawesi Sea. There are five islands that make up the park, Siladen, Montehage, Nain and of course Bunaken. The fifth one Manado Tua stands out quite literally as it is a magnificent extinct volcano which dominates the four others and the skyline panoramic view.
The beautiful corals here are to be found surrounding the islands and with a depth from 3 meters to 1300 are home to the many species or sea life to be found here, definitely making this a unique diving experience. The drop off wall at Liang Cave in particular is rare in the world and described by enthusiasts as spectacular with caves, gullies and caverns harboring an immense wealth of marine life. Brilliantly colored fish dart amongst the vibrant coral and the water is clear and warm.
Although primarily a dive destination, the shallow reefs are also a haven for many different fish, starfish and corals, possibly even turtles, thus making it a wonderful experience for snorkelers also. With the coral disappearing into the deep, that's where you will discover so much more! Due to the depths here, the recommend of maximum dive depth of around 25-30 meters, depending on certification.
With the water temperature an all year round 26-29°C it is a destination for all seasons, with March to October being the dry season, and the rainy season starting around November through to March/April. The hottest/sunniest time tends to be June to September, but whatever the Month, don't forget your sun cream! Enjoy...
The Sunset Café is not only a nice place to eat (only restaurant in Manado where you can eat good pizza on nice sea-view terrace), but you can also witness the most beautiful sunsets there.
Even better sunsets can be seen from the poolside at the roof of The Ritzy hotel.
Snorkelling at Bunaken Island
A boat trip to Bunaken is costly unless shared with lots of people; 10-12. We paid Rp500,000 for the whole boat after some negotiations. The boatmen took us to three different places including the beach for lunch.
The snorkeling place was magnificent. Side by side were deep cliffs which were good for diving. So, at some poins you can stand, and next to it the sea is so deep that you can't see the seabed.
We didn't go to Manado Tua island nearby; the one with a volcanic mountain. The boatmen said that the corals there were gigantic.
- Diving and Snorkeling
This is nearly a day trip. Leave early before it gets hot. The sun rise at 5.25 am and we departed at 6.00 am with a tour Toyota van. The total cost for the van and tour guide was Rp600,000 for the whole day. It was not long before we started ascending. The road was good and at some points the views of Manado and nearby islands were magnificent. One of a good stopping point to enjoy the good view is Tinoor.
The highland, I think, starts as soon as we reached Temohon. The town has two public swimming pool; that's not bad. We stopped at one resort to see flowers and to view Mount Lokon, a quite active volcano. The view was so good. It was cool up there. We also circled Lake Tondano, hot spring and another lake that keeps on changing colors (Lake Lenow). There were also many Japanese tunnels around the hills; some are said to be of 10 km long.
TANGKOKO BATUANGUS NATURE RESERVE
Tangkoko Batuangus Reserve is located on open grassland and is home to a great variety of flora and fauna which are mostly endemic. When you entering the forest you can watch the fotogenic black-tailess mongkeys (Black Crested Macaque, Black Monkey indigenous to North Sulawesi) playing arround on the beach or trees, Maleo birds, snakes, wild pigs, the giant hornbill birds and deer. But special interest is given to the Tarsius Spectrum, which sneak out at dawn and dusk. About 10cm short / tennis ball size, these tiny monkeys are claimed to be the smallest primate in the world and delight to see. One special thing also from these animal is they can't live alone (without partner)...;p
This Nature Reserve offers a suitable protective environment to help prevent these animals from becoming extinct. An exciting trip for nature lovers, trekkers and anyone who likes the outdoors. Cameras, long pants and a flashlight are needed for the trip.
*** Please note that the road to Tangkoko is somehow difficult and visitors are recommended to visit with a local tour operators to ensure a safe journey and to take advantage of an experienced guide who can assist in spotting the wildlife. Losmen (simple guesthouses) are available for overnight stays.
- National/State Park
The other beach tourism unfolding in east Minahasa coastal area, with oblique white sandy coast, clean and water which do not wavy make this ideal and balmy place for vacation. A stone looking like a girl close to Telss beach. A legend of a beautiful girl who had suicide plaintively. The place is called as "Batu Nona". From the top of the hill, we can enjoy spectacular view to the sea, fisherman village and Klabat mountain....
enjoy the cool panorama views of manado, from the bay, city and peninsula amongst the greenery of coconut trees.
just go to the stop panorama views nearby resto tinoor manado, to direction of pineleng and tomohon.
- Road Trip
Scuba Diving at Bunaken Island
Bunaken Island boasts of rich marine life from the Tropical waters of the Pacific Ocean and Celebes Sea, plus the diversity of aquaculture from Australian waters.
It is a haven for divers with its untouched beauty. Truly a must go if you're an avid diver.
How to go there:
You can take a hired boat from Manado to take you to Bunaken Island. There are some boats available from the Manado Boulevard.
Entrance fees to Bunaken National Park vary for foreigners and locals. As far as I can remember, the foreigners fees range from Rp50k-100k
Tangkoko is an accesible reserve about 30 km from Bitung. You mustn't have problems to see Tarsiers, black macaques and red-knobbed hornbills.
The best times to see the wildlife are at dawn (macaques and hornbills) or dusk (tarsiers).
The park fee plus a English spoken guide cost about 3€/person.
Tangkoko Nature Reserve
Tangkoko Nature Reserve located in North Sulawesi in Bitung Region. It is about 6 km from Manado. It is one of the most impressive reserves in Indonesia. The 8800 hectares are home of black macaques - the endemic Sulawesi monkey with no tail, cuscus and tarsier, maleo birds, and endemic red-knobbed hornbills. Tangkoko Nature Reserve provides one of the last refugesin North Sulawesi for these unique species and is therefore an extremely important conservation region.
The opportunity to observe entertaining groups of crested black macaques (macaca nigra) is the highlight of any visit to Tangkoko Reserve. These monkeys, found in social groups of up to 100 individuals, can be seen grooming, fighting and playing with each other. You may also be rewarded with sights of cuscus, a free-dwelling pouched mammal that moves in slow motion through the canopy.
Another highlight of Tangkoko Nature Reserve is Tarsius Spectrum - the smallest primate in the world. The locals name it Tangkasi. Tangkoko Nature Reserve is the only place in the whole island of Sulawesi where one can have chance to surely see the animal in it's natural habitat.
The reserve is accessible by land tranportation from Manado. It takes about 1 hour driving through the winding road untl reach Batuputih where the guest houses and homestays are. There are several homestays with simple facilities like water tank in the bath room, soft bed with mosquito net.
There is a beach with beautiful pure black volcanic sand located just next to the jungle where one take observation on the above mentioned animals of Tangkoko Nature Reserve.
Here are some recommendations for getting the most out of your your visit to the forest:
Dress appropriately. Wear light, breathable clothing that dries quickly. Drab colours are preferable; avoid whites and reds. Although it is hot, long sleeves and pants prevent scratches and insect bites. Use insect repellent and tuck your pants into your socks to minimize insect, leech and mite bites.
Carry good binoculars; without them even the most spectacular birds will be no more than a shiny dot in the canopy. Carry a waterproof bag big enough for binoculars and cameras in case of a downpour.
Go slowly, quietly and in small groups (no more than 5) so animals will be less likely to be disturbed by your presence.
Seek out fruiting trees, especially figs, or pools and streams. These are profitable places to sit and wait for wildlife, particularly birds.
Sit often and for long periods and search for the things that tend to go unnoticed like glossy beetles, graceful butterflies, velvety ants, and exquisite but minute flowers.
Be aware of sounds - the buzzing of insects, calls of birds, rustling in the underbrush. Quite often these cues are the first indication that something is about to happen.
Go early. Most birds and many mammals are active in the morning with their movements dropping off by midday. The afternoon peak is never as energetic as the morning but these are good times to visit streams and water sources.
When viewing monkeys, let them approach you on their own terms. If you stoop down and avoid looking directly in their eyes they will be less inhibited. Do not chase or pursue monkeys and never feed them. No matter how innocent they may look, wild monkeys bite and carry dangerous diseases.
When viewing tarsiers at night don't forget your flashlight. However be considerate of their extremely senstitive eyes.
- Jungle and Rain Forest
- School Holidays
Cap Go Meh (Toa Peh Kong) Festival
Cap Go Meh is also known in other places as Toa Peh Kong or the Lantern Festival. It's held on the fifteenth day (the first full moon) of the Chinese Lunar calendar, which usually takes place in February. Search Google for the dates of the Chinese New Year then add 15...:-)
The festival centered around several Buddhist Temples in Chinatown, starting in Ban Hing Kiong temple. It usually consists of:
* Traditional Bamboo music.
* Parade of kids wearing traditional Chinese costumes on some floats or moving platforms.
* The lion dance (barongsai) and the dragon dance.
* Young men dressed like the god Na Cha / Lo Cia on horses.
* Men in trance (Ince Pia) who cut their own bodies with sharp objects.
- Religious Travel
- Diving and Snorkeling
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