After a morning of snorkelling or diving, take a walk around the island. Decent tracks make it easy to cross from one side to the other. Along the way you might come across a game of football, the locals are likely to invite you to join in. There is a large church that the islanders financed for themselves. There are great views of Manado Tua, an island volcano, from the southern tip and terrific sunsets to behold.
Don't let your lack of diving experience stop you from visiting Pulau Bunaken. There is amazing snorkelling to be done just metres from the shoreline. I found the water on the east side to be a lot clearer than on the west (which tends to suffer from rubbish floating in from Manado). Access through the mangroves is easy from places such as Lorenso's allowing you to reach the reef in minutes and float down the coast with the current. The water is teeming with fish and some beautiful, colorful corals.
Tarsier time is dusk. This is when the incredible animal climbs down through the hollow trunk of their 'home' after spending the day sleeping and hidden away from the outside world. Tarsiers have the most amazing eyes, so huge that they can't rotate in their eyeballs. But they can turn their heads almost 360 degrees and spot flying insects in the night - this is what they feast on. Without a guide, it is unlikely that you will find tarsiers in Tangkoko. The guides are aware of which trees, amongst the myriad in the jungle, are being used as a home for one of the Tarsier 'families'. They are usually found in family units of about seven or eight. I was lucky enough to be with a guide who found one of the trees just as last light was fading. He made a few taps on the side of the tree and the shy yet curious tarsiers made their way down to see what was happening. So huge are the eyes, it was almost as if they came first and the rest of the animal followed. Definitely one of the mst fulfilling experiences in all my travels.
Perhaps the simplest access to Tangkoko reserve and a visit to the tarsiers and black macaques is from Batuputih village. The name means 'white rock' which at first seemed strange to me as when I walked to the beach from my homestay, the beach initially appeared all black. As I got closer I noticed collections of almost pure white rocks amidst the stretch of black sand. Children were happily playing in the sand and jumping off the rocks. It is a pleasant beach to while away the time after a morning exploring the nature reserve. Children are keen to have their photos taken.
Tangkoko nature reserve is a sizeable national park on the north west tip of Sulawesi. You need to take at least two trips into the 'jungle'. One should be at dawn. It is at this time that you have the best chance of spotting a troup of black macaques having an early morning feed. My guide told me there were two large troups in the park, Rambo Satu and Rambo Dua, with Rambo Satu being the more adventurous of the two and often roaming into the village of Batuputih to 'steal' fruit. We set off just before dawn and after an hour of walking we spotted Rambo Satu - just waking up and preening themselves. They seemed fairly relaxed, although quite rightly, didn't want us to get too close when they were on the ground. As we were leaving, we also came across Rambo Dua. Some of them had found a few durian recently fallen and were hacking their way in with incredibly sharp teeth. It was a fantastic couple of hours that I would highly recommend.
Tomohon is truly a town of flowers. In few other places in Indonesia have I seen so many flower stalls lining the roads. Take a walk down the main street and chat to the locals. Visit the market where, amongst other things, fresh bat and fresh dog are for sale. I stuck to the bananas and had a great time chatting to a couple of ladies selling them. They were a little camera shy but eventually allowed me to take a great snap. The children too are very friendly and are keen to practice their English. Along the main street you can see examples of Minahasa architecture and get great views of Mt Lokon.
There are two active volcanoes in the Tomohom area: Gunung Lokon and Gunung Mahawa. Both offer incredible views of the surrounding are, with Mahawa easier to climb than Lokon. Ask at your accommodation for advice about climbing - Mahawa is easily accessed by a road next to the market and then sign posted trail. The climb is fairly easy although steep at the top and quite slippery if it has been raining. Care needs to be taken on the path around the crater. When I visited Tomohon, I was advised not to try to climb Lokon as it had been raining quite steadily for a copule of days and the track gets very slippery and is subject to a lot of rubble. The views from Mahawa were quite stunning. The murky, grey muds of the steep crater were foreboding. Well worth the effort, but a piece of advise, take sunscreen. Although it was an overcast day, I got quite burnt!
If you are in Manado or nearby, it is worth a trip to Tomohon. It is known as the Flower City and there is a huge flower festival during the first week in July. However, there is a market there year-round which is also worth the trip. I went on Saturday, late-morning. It seemed as if the entire world was there shopping. People were stocking up on large bags of rice. Veggies, fruits, spices, meats, fish, flowers, sundry items.... it's all there.
I was amazed at the fish and meat sections of the market. These parts were located underneath large, open-air shelters. You can see the various things being scaled, cut, skinned, plucked, chopped... If you don't like the sight of blood, avoid the meat market. There were also a few things that weren't too pleasant if you're a dog lover.
Bukit Kasih Monument located around 50 km to the south of Manado. This hill is a pure sulfur hill. There, you can see the sulfur smoke is still actively spreaded. This hill is so cool since located in a very high hill.
The situation there is so fun yet calm where you can see at one spot there is a 5 places to pray for the 5 religions in Indonesia. To reflect the unity and the diversity that Indonesia has.
Above the hill, is the big Cross located. To go up and reach the Cross, you must go through lots of stairs. But, it's worthed with the view you will find up there.
Bunaken Sea Garden located in Manado Bay. This island is part of Manado, the capital city of North Sulawesi. This sea garden has one of the highest sea biodiversity in the world. Diving and snorkling are some of the activities you can do here.
Tomohon is a a cool and breeze small town in North Sulawesi, it was beautiful small city at the Foot of Gunung(mount) Lokon, an active volcano in North Sulawesi. Tomohon is Unique with its Tomohon Market where one can see the peoples selling dog meat for RW Cooking, Bat meat for Paniki Cooking and Rat meat
Manado is Capital City of North Sulawesi, it was the seat of Provincial Government, A State owned Sam Ratulangi University, it was also A Business center, and one of Indonesian Tourist Destination where one can go to Bunaken island for diving, snorkeling or just for enjoyment
There are many places to visit such as Tondano lake; the bigest lake in north Sulawesi located in Tondano, Linow lake; a sulfur-changing colour lake (colour change depends on the reflection of clouds, grass ect. Woloan village; where the Minahasan Style Houses being built, knock down style, ready for delivery or shipping. Last but not least Temboan Hill; very kind hill, where you can see Tondano Lake and Lembeh Strait from distance.....
Sam Ratulangi is the name of the Air Port which located at Manado, it was about 20 km to the city center, Sam Ratu Langi is an International Air Port
Pasar 45 is the central market of peoples in Manado, the peoples get their daily need from the market, very crowded market almost everyday
Bunaken Marine Park, North Sulawesi, Manado, Sulawesi, 95011, Indonesia
Good for: Solo
Desa Kima Bajo Dusun III, Kecamatan Wori, Kapupaten Minahasa Utara, Manado, Indonesia
Good for: Business
We're so called "repeaters" and will repeat again Definitely TRR is the place to dive and to relax!...more