Makassar First Timers


The view of just before the sunset time, taken from Losari Beach, Makassar
I had a crush on Makassar even prior to the first moment I stepped my foot on its ground. It was not because of its sunset view picture as seen above, but the capital city of South Sulawesi offers direct access from airport to its main tourist attractions area. By spending only IDR 25,000 per person (June 2014 price), visitors may take DAMRI airport bus to RRI roundabout from which important places for tourists such as Jalan Jampea (Chinatown), Fort Rotterdam, and Karebosi Square are just within a short walking distance.

However, our trip today was not started from the airport where the bus departed as the previous night we stayed at a hotel located at the main road connecting Maros and Makassar. There were actually many minivans (which was called pete-pete here) passing through this road it required a transfer at Daya Terminal to reach Makassar. Avoiding the inconvinience of the transfer, we decided to go back to the airport using the free shuttle service from the hotel then take DAMRI bus right to the heart of Makassar. Had we taken the pete-pete instead, the fare would have been cheaper in theory. But I think our decision was right coz the pete-pete drivers said to overcharge passengers especially when they notice the passengers as newcomers.
Bus DAMRI Stop. Inset: RRI Roundabouts.
There were only few people inside the DAMRI bus we took, perhaps because it was still early enough, I guess. The traffic was also not so unpacked yet. The positive trends did not stop there. The bus driver kindly dropped us right at the front of our hotel though it was a little out of designated route. Even then he got down along with us and carried our belongings up to the receptionist desk. Thought we would be charged for his service but apparently he did not expect anything in return. The lucky story went on. It was still few hours before noon when we reached the hotel, but we were allowed to do early check-in. It was really a blessed day for us in Makassar!

Leaving our bags inside the hotel room, we were out of our patience to wait for another minute to look around the city. Fort Rotterdam was the first 'victim' of our wanderlust. Aside of its proximity to the hotel, I thought it would be interesting to learn the history of the place before literally exploring it. The entry fee to this fort was based on visitor's voluntary donations. But to enter La Galigo Museum, it was IDR 5,000 fixed per person. Inside the museum, there were almost no other visitors than us. Not really surprising, that what happens when Indonesians are asked to pay for a museum entrance.
The Entrance to Fort Rotterdam
Buildings inside the fort wall
Museum La Galigo contains many historical collections
Sitting on the defensive wall
Vandalism, a very common practice to be found in tourist places across the country.
Historical sites and cultural heritages are not exceptions.
A nice small park just outside the fort wall

Another museum located a stone's throw away from the fort seems somewhat neglected.
Along with Fort Rotterdam, Losari Beach is also one of the Makassar's leading tourist attractions. The beach from which visitors may see the sunrise in the morning and sunset in the evening is just a straight line down from Fort Rotterdam and still within a short walking distance. For many people, Losari Beach is a must-visit place in Makassar. It was Sunday when we came there, so inevitably that afternoon Losari Beach was flooded by visitors. Sadly, most of the visitors could not maintain the cleanliness of this place.
What a dirty popular beach
Food Hawkers along Losari Beach
The visitors crowds
An entertaining traditional dance performance
A floating mosque at Losari Beach
A typical traffic right along the beach
In fact, visiting Makassar is not only about Losari Beach and Fort Rotterdam but also its food! Yes, this biggest city in the eastern sphere of Indonesia is well-known for its local cuisine like mie titi and konro.  When the sky turned dark, we left the beach to find the best mie titi in town which was only 50 meters away. What is mie titi like anyway? Well, you may say that mie titi is Makassar version of ifumie. Slurp... it was yummy!

Mie Titi

The next day before departing to Kuala Lumpur, we were lucky enough to have a half-day walking tour around the town, especially to the Karebosi area, and had a chance to taste konro. Despite its relatively high price (for tight budget travelers like us), konro did not disappoint us at all. The Konro we tried was the dry-version usually called konro bakar. The most common is sup konro, the wet-version. Whichever it is, konro is always served with special spices which makes anyone miss the food and Makassar as well.

Me, in front of Karebosi Square
Ribs of beef was being roasted for being a konro
Jampea Street is Makassar's Chinatown and also backpackers area.
The street names in Makassar is written in both Latin and Lontara alphabets.

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