The Province of North Sulawesi is located in the northern most part of Indonesia which is adjacent the Philippines, situated between 0°30'- 5°35' Northern latitude and 123°70' - 127°00' Eastern longitude with its northern border with Sulawesi Sea, the Philippines Republic, and the Pacific Ocean. The eastern, southern and western borders are Mollucas Sea, Tomini Gulf, and the Province of Gorontalo, respectively.
The province area covers about 15.221,06 km2 consisting of six regencies and three municipalities i.e. Minahasa, North Minahasa, South Minahasa, Bolaang Mongondow, Sangihe and Talaud Regencies, and Manado, Bitung and Tomohon Municipalities. North Sulawesi has aproximately 40 mountains, 17 lakes and 30 rivers spreading in various locations all over the province.
Manado is the capital of the North Sulawesi province of Indonesia, located at the Bay of Manado, and surrounded by a mountainous area. The city has about 417,548 inhabitants.
As the largest city in the region, Manado is a key tourist transit point for visitors. Sam Ratulangi International Airport of Manado is one of the main entry ports to Indonesia. In 2005, no less than 15,000 international passengers entered Indonesia via Sam Ratulangi International Airport. Ecotourism is the biggest attraction in Manado. Scuba diving and snorkelling on the nearby island of Bunaken are popular attractions. Other places of interest are nearby Lake Tondano, Lokon Volcano, Klabat Volcano and Mahawu Volcano.
Culture and Customs
Manadonese are fun loving and radiant people and smiles are characteristic. Shaking hands on introduction is the usual for both men and women. Using the left hand to give or to receive something is considered taboo (the left hand is used for personal hygiene), pointing with the left hand is rude and crooking a finger to call someone is impolite.
Wear a shirt or swimsuit cover-up when not on the beach or pool. Swimsuits, a swim top and sarong, etc., are not acceptable attire on any street. Nude bathing is illegal and impolite.
Begging is not customary in Manado. If you hand out money you encourage people to ask again.
Manadonese are conscious of presentation, both for themselves and visitors. Poor attire often attracts poor service, especially in government offices. Singlets, halter tops and mini skirts are not acceptable in government offices. The proper dress code: trousers and collared shirt with sleeves for men, and dress or skirt with blouse with sleeves for women.
Climate / Weather
Manado has a climate that is tropical all year; however the wet session is from October to March. In May, the average temperature hovers around 27 – 33 C.
Indonesia is divided into three time zones:
UTC/GMT + 7 hours – Jakarta
UTC/GMT + 8 hours – Island of Manado
UTC/GMT + 9 hours – East part of Indonesia
PLACES OF INTEREST
BUNAKEN SEA GARDEN
The world famous Bunaken Marine National Park, with an area 75.26 hectares, is located very close to Manado and comprises of 5 islands: Bunaken, Manado Tua, Siladen, Mantehage and Nain. The superb diving and snokelling sites puts the Marine Park in one of the top 10 dive area of the world and is a mecca for seasoned and beginner divers alike. Wall diving offers a spectacular drop off 100's of meters deep and the warm water is particularly inviting. The variety of fish and other marine life often spotted include: Coelacanth, Napoleon Wrasse, Angelfish, Turtles, Blue Ribbon Eels, Stingrays, Eagelrays, Snappers, Groupers, and sharks to name a few. There are hundreds of other species too numerous to list but easily located at a variety of sites.
This island is comprised of many white sandy beaches. Good diving for experienced divers, but good snorkeling for all. To those who feel the need to escape from civilization, this tranquil place offers a pleasant opportunity for relaxing and sunbathing.
WOLTER MONGINSIDI & PIERRE TENDEAN MONUMENT
A monument to commemorate the meritorious young men from North Sulawesi, Wolter Monginsidi and Pierre Tendean. Wolter Monginsidi died during the struggle of Indonesian Independence and Pierre Tendean died in the so-called "communist rebellion" on September 30, 1965. Situated on the waterfront, facing the Bay of Manado, it is usually crowded with people who want to relax while enjoying the beautiful panoramic view of the bay. The monument is located in Bahu at the intersection of Jl. Monginsidi and Pierre Tendean.
SECOND WORLD WAR MEMORIAL
A memorial to commemorate the destruction of Manado which was heavily bombed and to honor the victims of World War II. It is located in the center of Manado next to Gereja Sentrum (City Center Church).
The city of Bitung is located on the northern coast of Sulawesi, approximately 47 km from Manado. Its land mass covers a total area of 30,400 Ha with a population of 118,633 people (1996). Bitung is a signifigant commercial port in Eastern Indonesia and as well a tourist gateway. The port is well equipped with a pier capable of accomodating modern cruise ships. A major asset for Bitung is the Lembeh Strait and Lembeh Island which acts as a natural shield protecting Bitung from wind and rough seas. It is believed that the name "Bitung", was taken from the name of a shady tree that grows in the coastal areas, offering people shelter from sun, rain, and wind.
TANGKOKO BATUANGUS NATURAL RESERVE
Located at the foot of Dua Saudara Mountain, the area is comprised of rolling hills and valleys with a variety of hardwood trees and unusual plant life. The animal life is also quite varied, and one can often view Tarsius Spectrum (world's smallest primate), black tailless monkeys, Maleo Birds, wild pigs and kuskus (marsupial family). Tangkoko Batuangus Reserve offers a suitable protective environment to help prevent these animals from becoming extinct. Tangkoko is located in the northern sector of Bitung, and comprises an area of 3,196 Ha, and takes about 1.5 -2.5 hours to reach from Bitung or Manado, respectively. Please note that the road to Tangkoko is somewhat difficult and visitors are recommended to visit with a local tour operators to ensure a safe journey and to take advantage of an experienced guide who can assist in spotting the wildlife. Losmen (simple guesthouses) are available for overnight stays.
As Bitung played an important role in WW II as a home base for the Japanese Forces, it became the last resting place of their soldiers who died during the War. To commemorate this time in history and the men who died, the Japanese and North Sulawesi Government constructed this monument located at Manembo-nembo 7 km from Bitung center.
The Minahasan region covers an area of approximately 418,862 Ha with a population of 733,029 people (1996). The capital of this district is Tondano, a town close to Lake Tondano. It is situated on a plateau 700 m above sea level, surrounded by magnificent countryside with cool mountainous air. Minahasan people believe the legend that they are descendants of Toar and Lumimuut. The reminders of this time long ago are the Waruga, stonegraves in Sawangan Airmadidi, and Watu Pinabetengan in T
ompaso. The word Minahasa which means unification of the traditional tribes was derived from the word esa or one, hence the land was named Minahasa.
IMAM BONDJOL MAUSOLEUM
This mausoleum, located 7 km from Manado, represents traditional Minangkabau architecture and honors Imam Bondjol, a national hero from Minangkabau in West Sumatera. He was a hero of the Perang Paderi (Paderi War) against the Dutch and was later exiled to North Sulawesi. He was born in 1791 and died in Lota Village, Pineleng in 1864.
Bolaang Mongondow is the name of a district, which covers the highlands & lowlands between Minahassa and Gorontalo. The population is 411,086 (1996). Beside the legend of their origin, Bolaang Mongondow is renowned for their traditional ceremonies, which are unique and impressive and portray the process of human life from birth to adulthood. These celebrations are great tourist attractions that should not be missed. Another cultural attraction is the traditional dances, which have been preserved over time.
This tranquil lake, about 23 km from Kotamobagu, is situated in the highlands, 1000 m above sea level, is surrounded by dense forest with abundant bird and animal life.
BOGANI NANI WARTABONE (DUMOGA BONE) NATIONAL PARK
The National Park, 260 km from Manado, has a land mass of 193,600 ha, altitudes of 200 - 1,968 m and stretches from Dumoga in Bolaang Mongondow to Bone in Gorontalo. Its mountainous terrain and dense vegetation make it an ideal home for maleo birds, anoas, horn-bills, wild pigs, tarsius spectrum and giant fruit bats. Giant fruit bats were a new species discovered in 1992. The major reason for establishing this area as a National Park was to protect the watershed and stop deforestation. The World Bank has lent its support to this program. Much of the forest is at comparatively low attitudes and correspondingly rich in fruit bearing plants and trees, such as wild durians and wild nutmeg.