Trip Start Sep 27, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Lestari Hotel

Flag of Indonesia  , Sulawesi,
Thursday, June 3, 2010

After leaving Bromo we got a bus to the train station and had a 3 hour train ride to Surabaya. We got an economy ticket this time as we would have had to wait another 3 hours for a business class train but which time we would be in Surabaya. The train was really crowded but there was a really nice family there who let us but our big bags next to them and squeezed up to give Em a seat. There was a horrible guy on the train that was trying to pickpocket us, we knew what he was up to so we told him to get lost and he got a bit aggressive and was trying to intimidate us. Luckily all the locals on the train were on our side and helping us out and eventually he got off the train.

Anyway we got to Surabaya and jumped in to a taxi to the airport. We didn't see much of Surabaya but what we did see was traffic and lots of it. We couldn't make up our minds where to spend the next 10 days in Bali, Kalimantan or Sulawesi. The number one choice was Sulawesi but the flights had been expensive so we thought we would turn up to the airport and see what we could find, if nothing we would get a ferry to Bali. We went to all the airline desks and luckily found some cheap flights to Makassar in South Sulawesi leaving that evening, result!

We hung around the airport waiting for our flight which was delayed by about an hour. We flew with Batavia airlines which were ok, the Indonesian airlines have quite a bad reputation for safety as most airlines are banned from the Eu due to safety concerns but the flights have been fine so far and you haven' got much choice getting around such a huge country without flying, the boat to Sulawesi would have taken over 24 hours!

We finally arrived in Makassar late at night and found a hotel which was pretty expensive but had cable tv, hot shower and ac so we couldn't resist a bit of comfort as we were so nackered after only having 4 hours sleep the night before and traveling all day! Sulawesi is huge, just like everywhere in Indonesia. We based ourselves in South Sulawesi as it sounded great and there were a couple of places we really wanted to see. Makassar, the capital of Sulawesi is the 4th biggest city in Indonesia, we have now been to or traveled through all 4 of the big cities and they are all the same chaotic, traffic clogged and smelly!

We woke up late and went and explored pretty much the only sight in Makassar, Fort Rotterdam. The fort has been completely restored and was originally and old Gowa fort before the Dutch took over and converted it in the Dutch style. We weren't expecting much but it actually turn out to be pretty good.

After that we wandered along the seafront before getting a pete pete to a shopping mall. MAkassar is huge and really hot so the pete pete's are the best way to get around. The pete pete's (old minivans) are great too, they go everywhere and each ride around the city only costs 20p and they drop you where ever you want! You meet the best people in them as well, the people in Makassar are so friendly!

We went to a mall and got some well needed haircuts for 3 pound each, bargain! It was quite a scary experience though as no one in the hair salon spoke any English so trying to explain what we wanted was pretty changeling but the people were lovely and the hair cuts were not too bad all things considered!

After our haircuts we got another pete pete to the harbour front. We watched the sunset over the water which was really beautiful and then went for a few beers. The Bintang is the most popular beer in Indonesia but its not that great so we tried some Anker beer which tasted much better but still expensive for Asia. We are missing are 'well deserved beers' as over here the beer is a lot more expensive than elsewhere in Asia (well apart from Malaysia where is costs even more).
After a few beers we went and had some seafood which Makassar is famous for. We tried two different types of fish which tasted great and another sneaky beer. We got a cycle becak back to the hotel and for once the guy didn't try and overcharge us! Makassar is a cool city, although there isn't much to see and do the locals make up for it as they were all so friendly which is really usual for a city.
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Bree on

Hi, if you haven't been to Bali, it's really a good choice after Makassar... Gili, Lombok, and Komodo islands would be a great choice as well! Have a nice stay in Indonesia, I'm coming this August!

Vicky on

Welcome to my hometown :) it was nice to read your experience there. You're such a lucky people that have a chance to travelling around Indonesia :) hopefully you were enjoyed your trip here.

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