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.
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.
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 (Batavia Air, 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.
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).
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.
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.
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. If you're new to the town, use this taxi. Wybisana.
Even is meter taxi, you must beware as they will tend to making extra mile near the area that you intend to go, and making you paying extra according to meter. This is especially for taxi from hotel to airport, you may want to get a taxi from hotel by negotiating the price upfront.
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. 2,000 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.
Manado Rental Car around Rp. 500,000 per day, already included Driver and Gasoline, or Self Drive aproximately 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 automobile. For administration you just need to give a copy of your current driving license or ID card. Reservation can be made through email at email@example.com or mobile at +62 818 834 726 or +62 431 8876.
The service is including pick up and drop at the airport.
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, depending on the distance and negotiation. For a very short distance (+/- 1 km.), it will be around Rp. 3,000.
Modoinding. Agrotourism place, where all kind of vegetables and spicy came from, to supply the demands of East part of Indonesia, the area is about 900-1200 meter from the sea level. The place is cool and you will find Modoinding valley with Moat Lake with "Bukit Doa" on the east, very beautiful place. There is also Ambang National Park where you can see Golden Owl as favorite for Bird Watching activity. About 180 km from Manado. You also able to stay in the community house, Traditional Minahasan wooden house with IDR 200.000, approx 20USD a night for the small house with western toilet and shower.
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.
Tangkoko Nature Reserve, ☎ 431 853265, . Home of tarsiers and macaques. The tarsiers can be viewed in the late afternoons when they are most active, from about 4-6pm. A guide must be hired at the park entrance and costs Rp85,000 per person. Included is the park entrance fee of Rp15,000. The national park is about 50km 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. If you want a more guided experience, please try Safari Tours & Travel, $105. edit
Diving round Bunaken Island In Bunaken National Marine Park, Bunaken Beach Resort ,Address :Pangalisang Beach Bunaken, ☎ +62 813 40037657 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . edit
Mt Mahawu Volcano Trek, Tomohon, ☎ (431) 853265, . This is soft adventure at its best!! Arriving at the base of Mount Mahawu you begin the 1-hour trek to the crater's edge. From that vantage point we can see Bunaken & Manado Tua Islands, as well as the bay of Manado. At the bottom of the crater, one can observe a steaming lake and experience the smell of sulfur from the pools. After this magnificent hike stop for lunch at a shore-side restaurant on Lake Tondano.edit
Minahasa Highland Tour, Highland of Minahasa, ☎ (431) 853265, . Leaving Manado for Woloan village to see the Minahasan Style Houses being built, knock down style, ready for delivery or shipping. Then it's off to see the traditional food & flower market in Tomohon. After lunch on Tondano Lake, we travel to Pulutan Village, a cottage industry for making pottery. As we start to head back towards Manado, the weaving factories are a must to visit & observe the local weaving tradtions being practiced. Last stop is Lake Linow, the changing color lake. Note: Please bring some local currency Rp. 200,000 - 300,000 ($20-30 USD) if you are interested in purchasing ceramic or textile handicrafts.edit
Kali Waterfall Tour, Kali Village, ☎ (431) 853265, . Waterfall buffs, this is probably the nicest way to spend 5 hours if you need to kill time in Manado. Just a short drive, part way up the road on the way to Tomohon you will discover a rural village and enjoy a scenic walk to the two falls. Suggestion - wear sneakers or hiking boots as it can be quite slippery (maybe bring a change of clothes, t-shirt and shorts). Be ready for lots of wind blown spray as the force of the water is pretty intense, causing the mist to pretty much cover everything and everyone. There is a nice bridge that spans the river where you can get some great shots of the waterfall! edit
Snorkeling Trip on Bunaken Islands, Bunaken National Marine Park, ☎ (431) 853265. The Bunaken National Marine Park was formally established in 1991 and is among the first of Indonesia's growing system of marine parks. The park covers a total surface area of 89,065 hectares, 97% of which is overlain by sparkling clear, warm tropical water. The remaining 3% of the park is terrestrial, including the five islands of Bunaken, Manado Tua, Mantehage, Nain and Siladen. On this trip you will be picked up from a Manado hotel at 7.30 AM, and then transported to a local dive center. Here, you will receive your snorkeling equipment (fins, mask, and snorkel) then enjoy the 1 hour boat trip to Bunaken Island. Once arriving in Bunaken National Park, you will enjoy the underwater life. Lunch will be served onboard. You will have several different spots for snorkeling during this trip.edit
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 flavor of choice is very, very spicy. Sugar is used little if at all, with flavor added through lemon and herbs. Being Christian, the Minahasa also often marinate meat in alcohol and favor 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:
ikan mas bakar rica, grilled spicy fish cooked in traditional style, using a piece of coconut shell as a way of cooking. Grilled together with chilli, that poured in the fish while cooking.
ikan mas goreng, fish fried till the soft bone is crunchy.
ayam rica-rica, grilled chicken topped with a fiery red chili-and-onion paste
ikan mas woku balanga, fish simmered in herbs
babi tore, fried pork until crunch with a lot of chilli
perkedel milu, corn fritters
tinutuan (or bubur manado), a goopy porridge of rice, pumpkin, noodles and random vegetables — doesn't look very attractive, but it can be tasty (and, for once, not spicy)
Dutch settlement here has also brought in a few surprising influences, notably:
brenebon (bruine bonesoep), a rich red kidney bean soup
Fresh grilled fish is served every morning in a small warung near the harbour dock to Bunaken. The place is very basic, but don't mind the look. Just ask around for warung ikan bakar and hope someone helps you.
This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Under 180,000 Rp
Over 350,000 Rp
Manado is Sulawesi's other bustling centre 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.
Hotel Ahlan, Jl. Sudirman. Stuffy, unappealing, dillapidated. Double room w/out air-con and with stuffy shared bathroom, but cheap.50,000 Rp. edit
Metropolitan Inn, Jln. Arie Lasut No. 69, ☎ +62-0431-845-433. Located on the quiet side of the river, this popular place has good-value single rooms at 120,000 Rp (outside bathroom) and doubles 180,000 Rp (inside bathroom), both include breakfast. Wi-Fi is available in the lobby, 10,000 Rp one-time fee for the duration of your stay.120,000-180,000 Rp. edit
Rex Hotel, Jl. Sugiono. Very basic room, Wi-Fi from next door Regina Hotel can be used. Staff can help you arranging transport to Gorontalo or Pulau Bunaken.44,000 Rp for Single Room. edit
Sinar Berkat Stay, ☎ +62 818 834 726 or +62 817 012 1270 (email@example.com). Located in the downtown and suitable for budget or backpacker travellers that need to lay back and enjoy the city. We have 3 nice location in Titiwungen and Wenang, Jl. Sam Ratulangi very near to Mega Mas Area and Sario, Jl. Ahmad Yani very near to Manado Town Square Area. Rooms with bed, air-con and bathroom.15-20 US$. edit
Hotel Central, Jl. Sam Ratulangi No. 33, ☎ +62-431-851234. Opened in 2004, the sheen of newness is fading fast, but the rooms are clean and functional with air-con and hot water.195,000-215,000 Rp. edit
Hotel Regina. Big rooms with AC, tv and bathrooms with hot water. The best option on this street of Lonely planet recommended cheapies.198,000 Rp. edit
Hotel Wisata, Jl. Sam Ratulangi No. 7, ☎ +62-0431-860908. Another popular business hotel. All rooms have AC, hot shower and TV, the difference in room quality is really a matter of the size of the room, the date of the furniture and the size of the bed.215,000-315,000 Rp. edit
Hotel Minahasa, Jl. Sam Ratulangi, . A nice family-run place on Sam Ratulangi. They are used to tourists, as well as being the main place that academics in the area stay in, so you are apt to meet some one who could really fill you in on the local scene. The drawback is the monotonous breakfasts.edit
Quint Hotel, Jl. Wakeke no 12-14 (central of town), ☎ '''+62 431 855551/853022''', . All rooms have AC, hot shower, cable TV, and high quality spring beds. Breakfast are inclusive.start from 225,000 Rp. (1.4858,124.8388)edit
Aston Manado City Hotel (Aston Manado), Jl. Jend Sudirman No. 128, Manado (City Center), ☎ +62-431-8888989, . Enjoy a beautiful hotel in the very heart of Manado that combines exceptional service and attention to detail to ensure a most memorable stay. The delightful Aston Manado City Hotel offers over 100 rooms and suite with dramatic views of the city skyline. Experience the best restaurants, entertainment, and shopping, as well as the city’s fines attraction, all within easy walking of the hotel.(1° 29' 25.56 N,124° 50' 28.89 E)edit
Hotel Gran Central Manado, Jl.Sudirman No.45, Manado (Located in the centre of the city), ☎ +62 (431) 878888. the most strategies hotel in town, located in the centre of the city with 65 room price from Rp 350.000edit
Sintesa Peninsula Hotel, Jl. Jend. Sudirman, Gunung Wenang Manado SULUT 95123 Indonesia, ☎ (62-431) 855008. Located in the very heart of the city of Manado,just 30 minutes from Sam Ratulangi International Airport. Featuring 150 spacious and modern superior rooms, studios, corner suites, deluxe suites, sintesa suites and a presidential suite, the luxurious standards of accommodation will rival those of any major city in South East Asia and combined with extensive Conference, Seminar and Banqueting facilitiesedit
Hotel Sedona, Desa Tateli, ☎ +62-431-825888, . Was perhaps a 5-star resort 20 years ago. It is 20 minutes drive from Manado City. Some rooms feature view of the sea, others the garden. While it has been through a downward phase, it is under new management and is very nice. They provide good access to Bunakin via a 30 minute boat ride. It is up to 3-4 stars now, and with more business, looks like it will continue to improve.edit
Hotel Santika Manado, (located in Tongkaina Village just across the Bunaken Sea Garden), ☎ +62-431-858222, . Often cited as the only resort facing Bunaken island, offers a wide range of accommodation options ranging from deluxe, bungalow and suite, all over looking the beautiful sea.edit
Hotel Aryaduta Manado (former Ritzy Hotel), Jln. Piere Tendean Bulevar, ☎ 62-431 8555554, . Offer rooms equipped with air-conditioning, TV with cable channels, coffee/tea maker, and Internet access. Some of its facilities and services include the Cakrawala Coffee Shop, a swimming pool, the lobby lounge, massage and room services.Rate starts at USD114.95. edit
Quality Hotel, Jl. Piere Tendean No. 88 - 89, ☎ +62-0431-888-3888 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . A short walk from the Mega Mall with restaurant and bar services, wonderful staff and rooms.Starting at 40$ per night. edit
Mapia Resort & Spa, . Located on Kalasey beach, 30 minutes from the airport. Boutique Resort in a beautiful tropical garden resort with Indonesian/Italian cuisine. Diving operated by Celebes Divers as on the sister location Onong Resort on Siladen Island. Both resorts have 24/7 electrical power and all cottages are air-conditioned.edit
Tasik Ria Resort & Spa Manado, Jl. Raya Trans Sulawesi (30 minutes drive south of Manado), ☎ +62-431-823444, . Boutique resort with 34 rooms in a peaceful and scenic palm fringed backdrop, ideal for divers & non-divers, families and adventure seekers.109-145 US$. edit
Tomohon, a small city, surrounded by 3 active volcanoes: Mount Lokon, Mount Mahawu and Mount Masarang. Located around 25 minutes from Manado, Tomohon is a very nice place to stay for its cold climate (around 20 degree celcius).
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