Sulawesi is HUGE (ranked eleventh largest island in the world) and Makassar is its province capital. Look no further if you want to find out things to do in Makassar. In this article, I am going to distill my recent travel experience in Makassar and recommend you the 8 things to do in Makassar, Indonesia.
Situated on the eastern side of Indonesia, Sulawesi is in between Borneo and Papua, this island has always been on my bucket list. We all know the Emerald of the Equator, also known as the Thousand Islands has plenty of secret gems for travellers to explore. There is something for everyone here, from breathtaking natural wonders, cultural and sensory experiences with the locals to urban and off-road adventures, Sulawesi is a vibrant island with many things to do and to explore in in Makassar. From divine beaches, interesting local traditions, inspiring art performances, handicrafts and to the majestic volcanoes and geographic landscapes, Indonesia will leave visitors in wonder.
When you talk about Indonesia, Makassar or Sulawesi does not automatically come to most people’s mind. Many people will think of Jakarta or Bali and I am guilty of that thought too. Before this trip, those were the only Indonesian travel experience I had. But all thanks to the Ministry of Tourism Indonesia, I am honoured and happy to have sated my curiosity for Sulawesi and other parts of Indonesia! And YES!!! Finally an in-depth coverage of Indonesia. In my opinion, a mysterious Thousand Islands nation with a great mix of cultures and fascinating landscape sitting on the plate boundary. This is gonna be exciting! 🙂
So, here are the 8 things to do in Makassar, Indonesia! 🙂
#1 Kodingareng KeKe Island
Ever dream about having your own island? Kodingareng KeKe Island is one of the uninhabited islands in the region. About 14km from Makassar, this is one of the best kept secret paradises of Indonesia. You won’t find yourself with tonnes of people photo bombing your beach photos here. Sounds great right?
The coral reefs here are beautiful and in good condition which is great for both divers and snorkelers.
Did I say uninhabited? Fortuntaely, we brought our own drinks and snack to the island. Perhaps, we could even sell them and make money! haha 🙂
The best time to visit Kodingareng Keke Island is from June to September. Or basically, any time when it’s dry! 🙂
Getting there: Take a boat ride from Bangkoa Wooden Jetty – Makassar city pier. It costs about 500,000 Rupiah (which can accommodate up to 10 people) and the ride will take about 40 to 60 minutes.
Once there, you will be immersed in the tranquil beauty of Kodingareng KeKe Island. 🙂
#2 Bantimurung Waterfall – Bulusaraung National Park
Keen on some natural slides through the waterfall rapids? Bantimurung Waterfall, also known as butterfly kingdom is a good place to check out. This national park is well known for its large karst area of 43,750 hectares and has 286 caves, which includes 33 pre-historic caves.
At Bantimurung Waterfall, you can explore the two caves near the waterfall, The dream cave and the stone cave.
Tubing is one of the favourite activity of the locals. So be prepared to join the local crowd if you want to visit during the weekends. 🙂
Let the running water cleanse your body and soul! This is indeed, a good place to seek for internal peace or to chill out with your family and friends! 🙂
There are also some souvenir shops for you to grab some local gifts home! 🙂
#3 Sunset at Losari Beach
When you google or chance upon any website about Makassar, sunset at the Losari beach is one of the highly recommended things to do in Makassar! But when it says sunset at Losari beach, it doesn’t mean a swimming beach, rather it’s a crowded area where locals hang out to watch sunset during the evening before dinner. haha
There are a lot of fascinating local stalls around the area and I think is pretty cool to hang out there to feel the vibe of the town.
The Sunset was of course, AMAZING! Need I say more?
Tip: To avoid disappointment, check the weather forecast for clear skies to be able to view the sunset before heading down! 🙂
#4 Fort Rotterdam
Yes, there is a Fort Rotterdam in Makassar! This reminds us of the dutch presence and influence during the 17th century. Interestingly, this fort was originally built by the Gowa Kingdom and was originally called “Jum Pandan”. Later, the new fort was built on top of it by the Dutch! 🙂
Before entering the fort and knowing the history, I had expected to see a big stone fort, with colonial looking structures but it wasn’t really the case. Surprisingly, the sight of cars and motorbikes parking inside the fort kind of ruined the old historical feeling.
The museum has some interesting exhibits but it is quite small. The attraction may be average and good for a quick visit to learn some history. One of the things to do in Makassar. 🙂
However, this place is definitely instaworthy! 🙂
#5 Eat Pisang Ijo – Green Banana Roll Ice
If you are following my recommendation #1 to #4 on the things to do in Makassar, you would have already done islands hopping, tubing down the rapids at the waterfall, checked out the caves, admired the sunset and know a little of the historical side of Makassar. That would have worked up quite a sweat for sure in the hot and humid tropical climate. Need something to cool you down? Try Pisang Ijo! 🙂
Pisang Ijo, aka Green Banana Roll Ice is the one local dessert in Makassar that you really need to try. Pisang Ijo looks really pretty and colourful, and it’s really refreshing.
Here’s the ingredients for calories checker:
- Sago Flour (50 grams)
- sieved corn flour (175 grams)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- Suji Leaves (5 pieces)
- Banana (6 pieces)
- Boiled water (30ml)
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Strawberry Syrup
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Shredded Ice
#6 Indonesian Gado Gado
Next will be FOOD!!!!! Exploring makes one hungry. When you are in Indonesia, you must try the local salad – Gado Gado!!! It’s a local salad with thick peanut sauce served on to fried tofu, garnished with a mix of steamed vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, tempeh and sometimes longtong (rice). If you are a fan of peanut sauce, this dish potentially might be your favourite for life! 🙂
How I would described it “Absolutely yummy!”. 🙂
#7 Try The Local Pancake With Flavours Of Your Choice
Now, I don’t know what this snack is this called. Maybe someone can enlighten me from Makassar. Due to lack of an accurate title, I shall call this the Makassar pancake for now. This snack looks like a pancake and comes with flavours of your choice, such as chocolate, peanut, strawberry, kiwi, durian etc… This pastry is served hot and is a popular local snack. We waited 30mins for it…yes it was that popular in Makassar. 🙂
#8 Try Their Local Bus – Mini Blue Van
Trying out the local transport is always fascinating and interesting. So what about Makassar’s local bus? We kinda deviated from our original path on the way back to the hotel and decided to take a local bus back. Interestingly, their local bus is actually a small mini blue van! haha
AND you can negotiate the price. Usually around 2,000 rupiah per ride. You honestly don’t really need to fly to Cuba to enjoy this vintage ride! haha
#Bonus 9: Especially For Singaporeans – Reminiscence of Childhood at A&W
I am sure most Singaporeans would appreciate this! There is A&W in Makassar! haha. If you wish to reminiscence your childhood, there’s actually an A&W restaurant opposite the airport. We were absolutely thrilled when we found out there is an A&W there. A time to be reunited with my favourite beverage A&W Root Beer Float and its mascot the A&W Root Bear! haha
Collecting moments will make you happier than collecting things! – Keith Yuen
Do check out Travel Inspiration 360‘s facebook and instagram post for more #WonderfulIndonesia and #TripsofWonders information and stand a chance to win a trip to Bali Indonesia! Hurry before it ends on 5th October 2016! 🙂