Makassar – Island Getaway

We wake up a bit late compared to our initial plan as we are too tired for our journey day before. After having the breakfast from the hotel, we went straight to Fort Rotterdam. When we reached Port Rotterdam, we are approached by a Man offering us boat tour for island hopping which is our plan as well. The price offered is reasonable, IDR 400.000,- for 3 islands, Lai Lai Island, Pulau Kahyangan and Samalona island. Information I got from website before, many of the boat owner would request IDR 500.000 – IDR 700.000. We decide to take the boat  offer but after we visit Fort Rotterdam.

Every visitor enter Fort Rotterdam need to register themselves at the security at the entrance and for the entrance fee is up to you on the amount you give to the security guard.Fort Rotterdam itself is a must visit place while in Makassar. The building here is well maintained and nice photography spot. Fort Rotterdam itself previously served as the residency of Governor of the Dutch, Admiral C.J Speelman (building D inside).
Port Rotterdam

Port Rotterdam

Inside Port Rotterdam, you can find La Galigo museum. There are two sides of museum, left and right which you can enter using the same ticket. Entrance fee for the museum is IDR 5000 for Indonesian and IDR 10.000 for foreigner.

It’s a recommended to enter the museum, especially the collection on the right side of the museum for you to understand better of Celebes/ Sulawesi island. The history of the museum itself was started since 1938 by the government of Nederlandsch-Indie.
La Galigo Museum
La Galigo Museum

The name of La Galigo on the museum itself is based on the advise of scholars and cultural consideration that La Galigo or I La Galigo is great and famous world classic literary works, as well valuable cultural reality in the form of written text of Bugis language called ‘Sure Galigo’.  Sure itself contain noble values and guideline for behaviour in real life which is considered as noble and holy. The other consideration of the naming is as La Galigo is very popular figure in South Sulawesi which was crowned ‘Payung Lolo’ (Viceroy) in Luwu kingdom, the oldest kingdom in South Sulawesi.
La Galigo Museum
La Galigo Museum
La Galigo Museum

There are many rooms inside with each room has a theme for the collection. From one section of the museum, you can find the kingdom of Gowa Tallo,  a famous kingdom of South Sulawesi with its relation with Sulu Kingdom from Southern of Philippine. You might hear the name of Sulu which recently was in the news for its spat with Malaysia on Sabah.
La Galigo Collection from Sulu Kingdom

From the museum, you can understand different tribes of people living in Makassar, Makassar people,  Bugis people, Tana Toraja. Tana Toraja itself is famous for its burial ceremony where the body of the dead is put between the stones of the hill. It will depend on the social status of the dead. For the low social strata (Tanak kua-kua), the burial in done in between of stone gap (Liang Silik). For middle social strata (Tanak karurung), a square shaped coffin is being used. As for royal family and duke, buffalo shaped coffin named Erong is used. All the coffins are faced to the north, with leg on the north and head of south part as people assume place of god directed toward north.
Tana Toraja Coffin

After spending some time on the museum, we went out to look for the canal behind the museum building.
Port Rotterdam Canal

Next we exit Port Rotterdam, and  I was looking for the man offering the boat then finally met him. Up to my surprise, the pier for boarding is just across the street of Port Rotterdam, however it’ss only a small pier.
Boat Pier

The boat itself can actually accommodate more people, I think up to around 8 people inside. The first destination we went was Lai Lai island, located quite near from Makassar. Not much to see in this island as this island serve more as residential area of the people. Our boat man himself stay with his family as well in this island. There is rest area built for tourist on one side, but as it’s not that interesting, we did not spend much time in this island and move to next island.
Lai Lai Island
Lai Lai Island
Lai Lai Island

Samalona is the second as well the main attraction of the day. When we almost near the island, I can see speed boat went toward to the island. It’s a beautiful and clean island with its blue and green colour of the water. This island is suitable for swimming, snorkelling as well diving as the water inside is clear and clean. If you want to spend night in this island, there are several type accommodation also available for rental.
Samalona Island
Samalona Island

You can also rent the snorkelling equipment with the feet’s equipment with relative affordable price.  We rent the snorkelling equipment and the rest area for ourselves  to relax in the island. I was glad that we chose this island as our destination during our visit to Makassar as it’s worthed and really enjoy spending times there.
Samalona Island
Samalona Island

For the last island visit for the day is Kahyangan. Kahyangan itself means heaven. Kahyangan itself as resort area for tourist resting however I think Samalona is much better. For the distance from Makassar, Samalona is the farthest compared to both island with Lai Lai is the nearest. From our boat man, we were informed that if we want to stop over at Kahyangan island, there will be entrance fee for visitors. Later we decide not to stop over there, but just see from the sea nearby the island.
Kahyangan Island
Kahyangan Island

Based on our initial itenary, our trip actually should end here, however after the boat man know that we would like to visit Paotere port, he offer the service to take us there with additional fee of IDR 100,000.  In this port, you can find traditional Bugis Phinisi ship here, suitable for photography. The other reason people visiting this port is for eating at Paotere restaurant, a famous seafood restaurant in the area.
Paotere Port
Paotere Port

You can choose your seafood here with affordable price for various seafood. However you need to bear the smoke coming from the BBQ which flow to inside of the restaurant. This seafood restaurant is popular restaurant with one of the guest before is Indonesia’ current president, Mr Susilo.
Paotere Restaurant
Paotere Restaurant
Paotere Restaurant
Paotere Restaurant
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If you do not have your own transportation, it might be difficult to find taxi in this area unless call them directly. Fortunately, we ask the cashier to help us to call for one cab to go back to the city as the boat that took us before have mechanical problem. From there, we toke the cab to Mal Panakkukang, one of the most famous mall in this city with its department store, hypermart, movie theatre, and eating place. This mall became our last place to visit for the day, as both of us are tired after spending times in the island.

On the next morning, our schedule is just went straight to the airport as it’s morning flight to go back to Singapore via Balikpapan again. I think I would like to spend more time on my next week to enable me to visit other places like Bira and Tana Toraja.
Ujung Pandang International Airport
Ujung Pandang International Airport

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