Manado (also Menado) is the largest city in and main gateway to Northern Sulawesi, Indonesia.
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 is quite far from the rest of Indonesia and most visitors arrive by plane.
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 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.
Telco : Cell, Net
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.
By Angkot (Angkutan Kota)
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.
By rental car
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 - jeck. 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.
- Ban Hin Kiong. A 19th century Buddhist temple.
- Bukit Kasih
- 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 National Park. 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
- Diving round Bunaken Island In Bunaken National Marine Park, Bunaken Beach Resort ,Address :Pangalisang Beach Bunaken, ☎ +62 813 40037657 (email@example.com), .
- Manado Inter Money Changer, located in front of Bahu Mall, next to Bank Tabungan Negara (BTN), Jl. W. Monginsidi No:62 Bahu Link: III Manado, Ph: +62-431-866676 & +62-431-866677.
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 bambuden, 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 bambuden, fish fried till the soft bone is crunchy.
- ayam rica-rica bambuden, grilled chicken topped with a fiery red chili-and-onion paste
- ikan mas woku balanga bambuden, 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:
- breneibon, a rich kidney bean soup
- klappertaart, a Western-style coconut cake
- 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.
- Bambuden Seafood Restaurant @SARIO - Famous for Grilled & Fried Fish, Offered variety of Seafood Menu, Jl. Pemuda No:2 Sario Manado, Ph: +62-431-852459 / 864096 / 9197772
- Kawan Baru Restaurant and Cafe, Mega Mas Boulevard, tel. +62-431-879490 +62-431-879491, . Indonesian food.
- Raja Sate BBQ & Asian Resto, Jalan Boulevard (near Mega Mall), tel. +62-431-3327380 or +62-431-846679, . Asian cuisine, with an emphasis on satays and barbequed seafood.
- Warong Rica Rica, tel. +62-431-879490. A seafood restaurant located at Bahu Mall Bay street Cafe. Local seafood with panoramic sea views.
- Pizza Hut, tel. +62-431-842732, Mega Mall, The usual pizza from a well known chain
- Kafe Excelso, . Conveniently located in Mega Mall. Best place for coffee and light snacks.
These two kind of drinks are made from Palm trees:
Please Drink Responsibly, the locals have a bad habit of drinking IRRESPONSIBLY.
Probably, the ONLY major crime problem in town is caused by drunkards.
- Raja Oci, Jln Sudirman no 85, ☎ +62431-863946. Seafood Restaurant with "Oci" as speciality fish
- 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 facilities
- Hotel Ahlan, Jl. Sudirman. Stuffy, unappealing, dillapidated. Cheapest option on the menu is a double room w/out air-con and with stuffy shared bathroom for 50,000 Rp.
- *Sinar Berkat Stay, was located in the down town where suitable for budget or backpacked travelers 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. We have rooms with bed, air-con and bathroom. With only $15/room/night with additional $5/room/night for your partner. For reservation you can email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call to +62 818 834 726 or +62 817 012 1270
- Hotel Central, Jl. Sam Ratulangi No. 33, tel. +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. Single rooms from Rp 195,000, including breakfast, then following by Deluxe Rp 215,000.
- 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.
- Villa Wantik See Location Jl. Raya Manado - Tanawangko km. 21. email: email@example.com. Homestay with nice views.
- 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)
- 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 350.000
- 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.
- 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.
- Hotel Ritzy, Central Manado, .
- Grand Puri, South Manado, . Shabby, tired and out of the way.
- Quality Hotel, A short walk from the Mega Mall with restaurant and bar services, wonderful staff and rooms starting at USD$40 per night.
- Mapia Resort & Spa, located on Kalasey beach, 30 minutes from the airport.  Boutique Resort in a beautiful tropical garden resort with Indonesian/Italian cuisine. Diving operated by Celebes Divers as on the sister location Onong Resort on Siladen Island. Both resorts have 24/7 electrical power and all cottages are air-conditioned.
- Tasik Ria Resort & Spa Manado, Jl. Raya Trans Sulawesi (30 minutes drive south of Manado), ☎ +62-431-823444, . Boutique resort with 34 rooms in a peaceful and scenic palm fringed backdrop, ideal for divers & non-divers, families and adventure seekers. 109-145 US$.
Philippine Consulate General
Address: Jl. 17 Agustus No. 30A
Tanjung Batu, Manado 95119
Tel. +62-431-862-181 or +62-431-861-178
- Island Bunaken a diver's paradise. Many small bungallows are available in this small but beautiful island.
- Tangkoko National Park Home of The Big-eyed Tarsius Monkey (The Smallest Monkey In The World).
- 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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