|Sunset in Makassar by Losari Beach|
If you walk here from the main part of town, you will most likely see the main waterfront square before Losari where you can find the famous huge red words spelling City Of Makassar. This will be the main waterfront area where hundreds of locals hang out in the evenings to catch the beautiful sunsets.
The closest national park to Makassar and only about an hours drive away. Here, you can find a beautiful waterfall which is open to the public and not far from the main entrance of the national park and as you explore further, the main trek filled with flora will lead you to a cave and another small pool or lake.
The total trek from the start to the lake will probably take you only thirty minutes. There are street vendors selling souvenirs and local restaurants. Entrance tickets for tourist is also Rp.255,000. More info and a need to translate is here - http://www.tn-babul.org/
|View from Kodingareng Keke Island, Makassar|
|Bangkoa Jetty in Makassar|
To get here, you need to go to the Bangkoa Harbor Jetty, which is also in the main town area where you have to walk through the main arch as in the photo, towards the jetty area.
There are also probably hundreds of people there, mostly locals so if you need assistance, you best look for someone who speaks a little English. A four hour boat charter will cost around Rp500,000 to Rp600,000 for about 6-8 persons and you will need to negotiate your price with the local boat men here.
|Boat to Kodingareng Keke Island|
The waters around Kodingareng Keke are simply amazing while there are healthy coral patches around the island making it ideal for snorkeling and diving.
As for the size of this island, you can walk from one end to the other in under five minutes. Snorkeling equipment is available for rental from Samalona Island for about Rp50,000 per set, so you need to ask the boatman about this before you head to Kodingareng Keke Island.
|The Fort Rotterdam words in red outside the tourist attraction|
|Inside Fort Rotterdam|
Inside there is also a museum called La Galigo which has exhibitions about history and culture of Sulawesi dating back to the 17th century.
Outside the main entrance, you can see huge red words spelling out Fort Rotterdam which is a popular place to get a photograph. Inside, you can spend around one to two hours exploring this place and learning about the interesting history since the Portuguese first came in 1511 before having the Dutch take over in 1667.
|Trans Studio Theme Park in Makassar (Image from Indonesia Tourism)|
Asia's largest indoor theme park and the third largest in the world at a whopping size of 20,000 square metres, however due to our travel schedule, we did not manage to visit this place. But I will list it down here as those traveling with kids should make a stop here as this indoor theme park is really huge.
Trans Studio in Makassar is also an integrated park with a shopping mall and a resort therefore it would be a perfect one-stop for any family visiting here. There are a total of 21 rides and four main areas to explore here. For more information on Trans Studio Theme Park in Makassar, please visit - http://www.transstudioworld.com/
|Coto Makassar, a must-try local dish here|
Hands down, anyone visiting Makassar must try the local food here and without fail, the Coto Makassar (Pronounced as Choto) is the most famous dish which can be found around the city. Some of them from roadside vendors while others in proper restaurants. I had walked about 500 meters from the Aston Hotel Makassar down the road to a well known Coto Makassar restaurant called Coto H.Daeng Tayang along Jl.Sultan Hasanuddin.
|Local Makassar dishes at one of the restaurants|
Other must-try food in Makassar is the Pisang Ijo which is actually banana wrapped in a green pandan layer of flour, served with a dash of condensed milk and sugar syrup. These can be found at almost every corner of Makassar and along with another similar dish called Pisang Epe or grilled banana that is condimented with brown sugar syrup and a topping of your choice from cheese, chocolate and durian.
|A huge monkey structure before entering the Bantimurung National Park in Makassar|
I visited Makassar in July 2016 under a familiarization trip organised by the Ministry of Tourism Indonesia and from the Wonderful Indonesia campaign. This was also the inaugural trip under this years campaign called Trip of Wonders where we also visited Lombok, Gili Tarawangan, Banyuwangi, Mount Ijen and also Bandung.
I had previously visited other parts of Indonesia under the same campaign which took me to places like Komodo Island, Borobudur, Jogjakarta, Palembang, West Java and many other very interesting places. If you plan to visit Komodo, I have an article on how to get to Komodo Island for those needing some information and you can also read my article on places to visit in Indonesia for 2016.
|Samalona Island, 15 minutes from Makassar|
One of the much talked about places in Sulawesi is also Tana Toraja, which is located 328 kilometers north of Makassar and is one of the must-visit places if you love culture. However, the journey here would be something to remember as it takes about 8-10 hours via bus from Makassar to this highland county. Again, for those who are planning to visit this place, I can easily say that Makassar is truly Indonesia's undiscovered gem waiting to be explored.