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The First Taste of Celebes: Day 3-4

Hi, this time I am going to write about the rest of my Makassar trip. In my previous post, I have shared places that Lost Wanderer crew (I, my husband and our daughter Nad) visited on our first and second days in Makassar which are: around the city (Fort Rotterdam, Kampung Popsa, Losari Beach) and Maros (Rammang-Rammang, Leang-Leang, Bantimurung). So, where to go next?

On the third day, we went to Malino. The same driver, from the same car rental company as yesterday, picked us up at the hotel around 8.30am. I confirmed to continue booking their car rental service just the night before. The rate to rent car 12hours to Malino was Rp.500,000 (exclude fuel charge), more expensive than the price to Maros. Honestly, I still don’t understand why the price is different with the same car and same duration. I know Malino was further than Maros and would spend more fuel, therefore I acknowledged the higher fuel charge we paid, but higher rental car charge as well? I don’t get it. Anyway, I was too lazy to find another car rental, so I just stuck with this company.

First, we stopped by at Balla Lompoa Museum, still inside Makassar city but it’s on the way to Malino. This used to be a palace of the Sultanate of Gowa, the most successful ancient kingdom in South Sulawesi. Now the stilt house building is used as a museum in where Gowa relics items being kept and displayed to visitors, such as crowns, jewelry, clothes, and weapons. We were the only visitors at that morning, so it was quite enjoying to explore all by ourselves. No annoying photographers and Nad was not cranky being inside that old building surrounding by old stuff (not like when we visited Pagaruyung Palace in West Sumatera :P).

To get more feel of Gowa, we rented a traditional costume, only Rp.50,000/person, and wear it while sightseeing the museum. Its women traditional cloth is called Baju Bodo. Baju Bodo colors have meanings:

  • Orange is used by girls until 10 years old
  • Red is used by big girls from 10 until 25 years old
  • Black is used by women from 25 until 40 years old
  • White is used by nurses
  • Purple is used by widows
I should have worn the black one :p

Thereafter we continued our trip to Malino for about 2.5 hours by car (90km from Makassar city). If Jakartans have Puncak, Makassar people have Malino. It’s a small hill town resort where the air is cool and people renting out villas and gardening tea, strawberries, and flowers. In Indonesian history, this place is well known as a venue for Malino Conference between Dutch colonials and Indonesian rulers after independence day. Choosing a cool place for cooling down? Hehe. 

Our destination was an all-in resort called Malino Highland. With ticket price Rp.50,000/person, we could view refreshing tea garden, waterfall, minizoo, and beautiful flowers garden. The tea field was perfectly seen from Kafe Green Peko located on the top of the hill. We had a lunch there first before exploring the rest of the complex by car. In this resort, they also provide villas or rooms for staying.

Tea field view from Kafe Green Peko 

I was craving for strawberries but there was no strawberry field in this resort. I saw few small gardens outside Malino Highlands resort offered strawberry picking Rp.1000/strawberry. Our driver was not familiar with any of these small gardens so we did not go to any of them. Instead, we stopped by a small market besides the main road to buy some strawberries. They were selling vegetables and fruits from Malino gardens.

On the way back to Makassar city, we stopped by at Hutan Pinus (Pine Forest). The pine trees are lined up on one side of the main road hence we could just stop the car see and take pictures of them for free. However, one spot had been commercialized. With low entrance fee (I forget, maybe Rp.3000/person), we could go inside to enjoy lots pine trees (of course), horse riding and flying fox (with additional cost), small playground (more suitable for big kids). Well, at least it felt safer.

Pine Forest at Malino

Then we continued our way back to Makassar and arrived in the city around 5.30pm. Still too early for dinner, so I asked the driver to bring us to Akkarena Beach. My plan was to see the sunset, but apparently, Makassar traffic was really jammed on that Saturday evening, therefore we only arrived on that beach at 6.15pm when the sun was already down. There were still few lights creeping in from the sky, thus Nad could enjoy playing with sands for a while. We walked to the small wooden dock and walked really careful because the bridge had many holes here and there.

Playing on the sand while catching sunset

At 7 pm we had dinner in Sop Sodara Jl. Irian based on our driver’s recommendation. The meat soup is almost similar like Coto (Makassar). Coto is usually eaten during the day while Sop Sodara is eaten during the night. I like both!

On the next day, which was also our last day in Makassar, we spent it really slow. We enjoyed our breakfast, then walked by foot to Makassar Museum, just 500m from our hotel. Unfortunately, it was closed. Not just for that day, I think it’s closed permanently. So sad that Makassar government does not care much about their historical tourist attractions. We then walked to Macan Park across the street where was packed with local people exercising on that Sunday morning. I am always fond of public space like this.

After that, we walked to Somba Opu Souvenir Center. Even though I already bought some souvenirs from Cahaya shop 2 days ago, since It was a just 400m distance away from Macan park, I thought we had to visit that street full of gift stores. I also wanted to buy fresh Otak-Otak (fishcake wrapped by banana leaf) which was a famous local food and could be found in many souvenir shops. Usually, it could last 24hours in the air outside, or 1 week in the freezer. That’s why we should buy it on the day we fly back home.

Somba Opu Souvenir Center street

From there we went to Mandala Monument. This place was only 1km away from Sumba Opu street and passing by our hotel. a monument to commemorate Indonesia. We could walk, we still had a lot of energy in that morning, but we wanted to try riding the local rickshaw. After hailing one trishaw and bargaining a little bit, the cycle driver agreed to bring us to the monument where was built to commemorate Indonesian’s fighting to free West Irian (now Papua) from Dutch colonial. Unluckily, it was closed either, but perhaps because it’s Sunday. I did not check first beforehand. However the fence in the backyard was opened a little bit so we could go inside to the yard to take some pictures of the building from outside, but we could not go inside the building. I read there are many dioramas explaining history and movements around the 1960s. In the backyard, there was a big rotten child outdoor playground. Too bad they did not take care of it.

Mandala Monument

Around 11 am we headed back to our hotel by feet, ready for check out at 12 pm. We ordered Uber to Sultan Hasanuddin Airport to catch our Sriwijaya flight 1.45 pm to Jakarta which was then delayed to 3.45 pm (is there any cheap reliable local flight in this country??! *grumbled*). Hmm, at least we could explore this nice airport for a bit. Its interior was modern and it was clean everywhere. Nad’s boredom could be distracted with children playground and cute small aquariums. They said the airport uses silent method, meaning no big loud many announcements of boarding time etc to make the airport less crowded. Well, I appreciate that initiative, but only if they could maintain text announcement better! Let’s say our flight was scheduled at first to board from Gate A, so we were waiting there, but then it got delayed and so on and suddenly moved to another gate without any sound and text announcement. We thought our flight was still in Gate A, luckily we asked some staff and just in time to queue in the correct gate to board the airplane. There was no priority lane for family with small children either 🙁

Playground at Makassar Airport

Anyway, that was our traveling story to Makassar, South Sulawesi. My first trip on putting my feet on Celebes land. Sulawesi and other eastern parts of Indonesia are well known with assertive and fierce behaviors. Nonetheless, in reality, I found the people in Makassar were really kind, nice and not rude at all, even more friendly than people in Java and Sumatera islands. I also met more diverse travelers when I was traveling here, not only Java and Sumatera tourists but also tourists from Papua and other east Indonesia. I hope I can travel more to east Indonesia in the future.

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