MAKASSAR

MAKASSAR

Makassar (1,400 kilometers east of Jakarta) is the province capital of South Sulawesi and an important commercial center and the main port of Sulawesi. For a while it was called Ujung Pandang but has since reverted back to its original and more familiar name. Makassar is nice enough as Indonesian cities go and is home to 1.4 million people and has a beautiful harbor filled with Bugi prahus, small 'lombok boats," bamboo fishing platforms as well as regualr commercial ships. Makassar sprawls out over a large area. The port is in the northeast part of the city. Fort Rotterdam lies at the center of the old commercial hub. The beachfront is developed with modern buildings. Website: mymakassar.com

Fort Rotterdam is an old Dutch fort and one of the best examples of Dutch colonial architecture in Indonesia. Originally built in 1667, it contains the fine La Galigo Museum with ethnic costumes, ceramics and ornaments; and the private residence of Mr. Bundt who has a fine collection of sea shells and coral as well as a spacious garden with rare Indonesian orchids. There is a monument to the rebel leader Prince Diponegoro, who was imprisoned at Fort Rotterdam for 26 years.

Located on the busy trading route along the deep Straits of Makassar, Makassar is a bustling cosmopolitan town dominated by Makasaar people, Bugis and Javanese but also home to many Chinese, Europeans, Balinese, Ambonese and other ethnic group. Local and international cargo ships to call at the busy port. While at its traditional port of Paotere, Bugis pinisi schooners can be seen lining the quay to unload goods from near and far away islands, and various types of fishing prahus, such as the pantorani, the lepa-lepa and the sandeq unload the day’s catch. Improvements in the harbor have expanded the export trade which includes gums, resins, coffee, and rattan. Today Makassar is also a university town, where youth from all over the islands, especially from the eastern archipelagos gather to gain higher education.

Makassar lies almost at the midpoint of the Indonesian archipelago. It has traditionally been an important port : the key to controlling trade between Sumatra, Java, Bali and Kalimantan in the west and the Moluccas and Papua in the east.. Today it is now a stop on some cruises and is well connected by air to other cities and serves as a hub for flights all across Indonesia.

History of Makassar

In the heyday of the Makassar-based kingdom of Gowa in the 16th and 17th centuries, Makassar flourished as a spice trade center flourished as the entrepot for pepper, nutmegs and gold. Merchant ships from India, China, Java and distant Arabia and later from Portugal, Britain, Spain and Holland called on this port in part because it was easier going then than to places that were the sources of the spices and gold. Many foreigners stayed and settled here. During the colonial period, the Dutch turned Makassar into a fortified trading post, making it into one of the most important cities of the colonial government.

Since the 14th. century Makassar was known as a thriving sea port where merchant vessels from China, India and Cambodia called regularly to trade in silks, tea and porcelain in exchange for cloves, nutmeg and pearls from the Moluccas and gold and forest products from Makassar and its hinterland. In this southern peninsula of Sulawesi, the Bugis, Makassar and Mandar ethnic groups, known for their seafaring prowess and boat building skills, had already developed powerful kingdoms based on trade, fishing, rice cultivation as well as literature and the arts. The Bugis epic poem I la Galigo is a recognized masterpiece in Bugis literature, as are the graceful dances and bright silk costumes of court dancers.

Makassar was a principal port for the Gowa Kingdom when the Portuguese arrived in the 16th century, followed by the Dutch. The fall of the kingdom in 1667 came with the conquest of the old benteng, or fort, which was rebuilt as Amsterdam Castle. This now is considered an excellent example of 17th-century Dutch fortress construction. Through the 1667 Treaty of Bungaya, Dutch merchants succeeded to oust the Portuguese and Spanish from Makasssar to make this port their stronghold, banning other Europeans from trading in Makassar.

The Dutch destroyed the fort of Ujung Pandang built by the king of Gowa in 1545, and fortified this into Fort Rotterdam, which today still stands prominently on the waterfront of Makassar, while the king of Gowa was allowed to stay at Fort Somba Opu. Many Makassar aristocrats who refused to be dominated by the Dutch, left the city and settled in Kalimantan, the Riau Islands and present-day Malaysia. The sultans of Selangor and Johore are Bugis descendents as are the sultans of Kutai Kartanegara in east Kalimantan.

Accommodation in Makassar

There are various accommodation options spread out in Makassar. Below are some of the top end hotels that are associated with or have convention facilities, followed by some hotels in the Fort Rotterdam and Losari Beach areas:

Near the airport::
Hotel Darma Nusantara, Jl. Bandara Baru, Makassar
Tel. +62 411 481 3377 / 405 8777, fax: +62 411 481 3477, hotel-darma.nusantara2@yahoo.co.id
5 minutes from airport, AC, minimalist interior, cold and hot shower, twin / double bed, living room (family room only) price rangesfrom IDR 320.000 to IDR 800.000

Clarion Hotel & Convention Makassar Address: Jl. A.P. Pettarani No. 3, Makassar Tel: 0411 833888,, fax: 0411 833777, E mail: reservation@clarionhotelmakassar.com, Website: clarionhotelmakassar.com/

Makassar Mercure Regency Hotel is the only hotel under the management of Accor International Hotel in Makassar. It is located along the shores of Losari Beach, close to the heart of the city’s shopping and business district. city for 350 persons.
Address: Jl. Daeng Tompo 8, MakassarTel: +62 411 3650099, fax: +62 411 3650098, Website: mercureregencymakassar.com

Horison Makassar Hotel is located strategically in the heart of the city, the Horison Makassar Hotel provides 129 rooms with splendid city views.
Address, Jl. Jend. Sudirman No. 24, Makassar Tel: 0411 311555, fax: 0411 311444, E mail: reservation@horisonmakassar.com, Website: horisonmakassar.com

Singgasana Hotel ia Located just a 30 minutes drive from the Hasanuddin International Airport and close to the city's commercial, entertainment and shopping areas. Adress: Jl. Kajalaliddo No.16, Makassar Tel: +62 411 327051, fax: +62 411 321821, E mail: makassar@singgasanahotels.com, Website: makassar.singgasanahotels.com

Hotel Imperial Aryaduta Makassar
Jl. Somba Opu No 297 Makassar 90111 South Sulawesi, Tel. +62 411 870555, fax: +62 411 870222 web: aryaduta.com

Hotel pantai Gapura Makassar
Jl. Pasar Ikan No 10 Makassar - South Sulawesi, Tel. +62 411 3680222, fax: +62 411 3616303 web: pantaigapura.com

Makassar Golden Hotel (Hotel Makassar Golden)
J1. Pasar Ikan 50-52 Makassar 90111 South Sulawesi, Tel. +62 411 3633000, fax: +62 411 3620951, web: makassargolden.com

d'Bugis Ocean Hotel Makassar
Jl Penghibur No 51 Pantai Losari Makassar - South Sulawesi Tel: +62 411 3636433

Losari Beach Hotel Makassar
Jl. Penghibur No 10 Makassar 90111 Indonesia Tel: +62 411 3626062 Faximile: +62 411 3613978 web: losarihotels.co.id

Losari Beach Inn Makassar
Jl. Penghibur No 3 Makasar 90111 South Sulawesi Indonesia Tel: +62 411 3622115 / +62 411 3623609, fax: +62 411 3613978 web: losarihotels.co.id

Restaurants and Seafood in Makassar

Makassar is famous for it seafood. There are many food stalls at night on Jl Metro Tanjung Bunga. There are also some food stalls on the foreshore opposite Fort Rotterdam. Makassar has a fairly active nightlife scene. Many nightspots on the foreshore around the harbor.

Freshly caught seafood served in a variety of ways, Chinese or local, is the highlight of any visit to Makassar. Surya Super Crab seafood restaurant at Jalan Nusakambangan 16 is most popular for its delicious crabs and squids. Many visitors from Jakarta buy crabs to bring home as “oleh-oleh” presents — an Indonesian tradition to bdring back a small gift from one’s journey for those who stayed home.

Other renowned seafood restaurants are the Bahari, the Ratu Gurih, the Turi, the Imperial Star. While for local style seafood try the Lae-lae. There are a large number of small restaurants serving Makassar special barbecued, steamed or fried seafood and Coto Makassar, a Makassar specialty, which is a rich curry soup filled with thick slices of meat and offal.

Getting to and Around Makassar

As a large cosmopolitan city, Makassar has a plenty of taxis. They line up at hotels and shopping centers. Local transportation is provided by bemos (small minibuses known locally as “mikrolets” and “pete pete”) and KIJANG (a sort of cross between a station wagon and a jeep) For slow sightseeing, try a becak, a three-wheel pedicab known here as a “roda tiga”

Makassar is now a stop on for some cruise lines and is well connected by air to other cities and serves as a hub for flights all across Indonesia. The roads around Makassar are generally pretty good and comfortable buses services many destinations.

As an important airline hub, Makassar is served by many Indonesian airlines flying from busy cities like Jakarta, Surabaya and Bali, using Makassar both as final destination or transit airport. Most airlines continue to Manado, the Moluccas or onward to Papua to the airports of Biak, Jayapura, Manokwari, Sorong and Merauke. Airlines serving Makassar include: Garuda Indonesia, Air Asia, Batavia Air, Lion Air, Merpati and Sriwijaya Air. Other small airlines like Express Air serve flights between Makassar and Ternate, and to Jayapura. Makassar’s Sultan Hassanuddin airport is one of Indonesia’s most modern airport.

Sights in Makassar

In Makassar one finds remains of the early history of Dutch conquest in Fort Rotterdam and a handful of other Dutch colonial period buildings. There is little evidence of 16th and 17th century presence of the Spanish, Portuguese and English. In the center of town is the grave of the national hero, Prince Diponegoro of Yogyakarta (1785-1855). He was a Javanese leader in the war against the Dutch in the late 1820s. The dungeon where the Dutch held him for 27 years is still standing; Indonesians make pilgrimages to both sites. Also worth visiting is the busy fish market.

Al-Markas Al-Islam mosque is one of grandest mosques in Indonesia, and the largest in the eastern part of the archipelago. Located in the center of town, the mosque is built on 10 hectares of land. Its architecture is a blend featuring Islamic values, local culture and modern design which together reflect the pride and identity of today’s inhabitants of Makassar.

The Losari Beach prides itself as Indonesia’s longest Esplanade, followed only by the Boulevard in Manado. Here are Makassar’s top class hotels offering a splendid view over the sea, the islands fronting Makassar, and the spectacular sunsets for which Losari Beach is famous. Past the esplanade’s most northern end is the Paotere port for traditional vessels and fishing boats, where one can see Bugis pinisi schooners, and local prahus like the pantorani, the lepa-lepa and the Mandarese Sandeq tied along the quay. Further north is the Sukarno-Hatta harbor where large ships load and unload their cargo.

Fronting Makassar are beautiful islands to swim, snorkel or dive, while not far from the city are waterfalls and prehistoric caves. In the Chinese area one finds four old temples, most important of which is the Tian Hou Gong temple, or the Temple of the Heavenly Queen, built in the early 18th century on Jl. Sulawesi and Jl. Serui. Also on Jl. Sulawesi is the Long Sian Gong temple, or the Temple of the Apparition of the Dragon, built in 1868.

Trans Studio(in Tanjung Bunga) is Makassar’s newest attraction. Inaugurated in 2009 and touted as the third largest indoor theme park in the world, it covers the 20,000 square meters wide and is 20 meters high. Among the 22 features and rides are Central Studio, the Lost City, Magic Corner, Tsunami Island and Cartoon City. Many of the rides are adopted from TransTV's and Trans7's shows such as Dunia Lain, Si Bolang, Jelajah, Ayun Ombak, and Angin Beliung; others are modeled after Universal Studio and Disneyland rides. There are simulations of several television stations such as TransTV, Trans7. The "Dunia Lain" is pretty unique. "Another World" is an Indonesian style haunted house with different kinds of Indonesian ghosts such as the kuntilanak and jailangkung. The Trans Studio World project will ultimately include Trans Walk and Rodeo Drive, Trans Studio, and Trans hotels. For details see: ctcorpora.com/tsm.php

Fort Rotterdam

Fort Rotterdam stands prominently on the waterfront of Makassar along the Losari Beach, a must for visitors to see. Originally called the Fort of Ujung Pandang, it was built by the 9th King of Gowa, Imanurung Daeng Bonto Karaeng Lakiung in 1545. However, after the defeat of Gowa which was followed by the signing of the Treaty of Bungaya in 1667, Fort Ujung Pandang was surrendered to the Dutch, who under Admiral Speelman rebuilt and strengthened the fort, renaming it Fort Rotterdam, after his own birthplace.

The Fort takes the shape of a turtle ready to go out to sea, symbol of Gowa, which described the kingdom as being on land but powerful at sea. Prince Diponegoro of Yogyakarta who rebelled against the Dutch in the Java War of 1825-1830, was imprisoned in the dungeons of Fort Rotterdam after he was treacherously captured and deported first to Manado and then to Makassar, where he died in 1855. Diponegoro’s tomb is here in Makassar.

Today, Fort Rotterdam houses the La Galigo museum, dedicated to the history of South Sulawesi and Makassar.

Standing majestically at the western coast of Makassar, Fort Rotterdam is recognized as the city’s most iconic landmark. With historical traces dating back to the Kingom of Gowa from the 16thth century to colonization by the Dutch, this Fort has silently witnessed many episodes in Makassar’s — and Indonesia’s — history, playing a most essential role in its development. In the New York Times, Barbara Crossette described it as “the best preserved Dutch Fort in Asia”.

Getting There: Located right in the heart of Makassar, it is not difficult to get to Fort Rotterdam. You can take the local public transportation or pete-pete, or taxi to get to the fort. If you are happen to be in Losari Beach, you can simply stroll down the boulevard and enjoy the scenery before you reach Fort Rotterdam.

History of Fort Rotterdam

Originally called Benteng or Fort Jumpandang or Ujung Pandang, the huge complex was first built in 1545 in the era of Imanrigau Daeng Bonto Karaeng Lakiung or Karaeng Tunipalangga Ulaweng, the tenth King of Gowa. Initially, the fort was made from a mixture of Stone and burnt clay, and took the shape of a typical square Portuguese architectural style.

During the reign of Sultan Alauddin, the 14th king of Gowa, the fort’s construction material was replaced with black Karst, rocks from the mountain sides of the district of Maros. The fort was also expanded and took on a new shape resembling a sea turtle, thus the fort gained a new name, namely : Benteng Pannyua (Penyu) or Fort Sea turtle. The shape is not only unique, but also contains deep meaning. For just as a sea turtle lives both on land and at sea, the glory of the Gowa Kingdom also stretched on land as well as over the seas.

Between 1655 to 1669, Dutch forces attacked the Gowa Sultanate, which at the time was under the rule of Sultan Hasanuddin. The city’s strategic location made it an ideal place to fully control the spice trade passage, and to become the starting point that would eventually open up the route to the seas of Banda and Maluku, the original Spice Islands.

Led by Dutch Governor General Admiral Cornelis Janszoon Speelman, Dutch forces launched a massive attack on Makassar for a full year. At this time, major parts of the Fort were devastated as the Dutch began to occupy the land. As a result of the defeat, the Sultan of Gowa was forced to sign the Bongaya treaty that gave the Dutch authorities full control over Makassar’s trade.

Governor General Speelman subsequently rebuilt parts of the fort that were destroyed. Not only applying Dutch distinct style to the structure, but Speelman added another bastion at its west side. The fort was later renamed after Speelman’s hometown: Rotterdam. The fort grew to be the center for stockpiling of spices and an important Entrepot. Eventually this led to Makassar becoming the center of the Dutch Colonial government in Eastern Indonesia.

In 1938 Dutch authorities established the first ever Museum in South Sulawesi, namely the Celebes Museum, located within the complex of Fort Rotterdam itself. Initially the museum occupied building no. 2 only, which was once the residence of Admiral Speelman. Its collection came from various excavations that included ceramics, currencies, gold and jewelries, and others. By the time of the Japanese occupied Makassar during World War II, the Celebes Museum already occupied three buildings of the complex. To its collection were added wooden tools, several types of ships, farming equipment, house ware, musical instruments, weaponry, and many others.

I La Galigo Museum

Museum La Galigo (inside Fort Rotterdam) is Sulawesi’s premier museum and one of the best — if not the best — museum in Indonesia. It contains numerous collection related to the the history of Makassar and ancient kingdoms of South Sulawesi as well as the ethnic groups that reside there today: the Bugis, the Makassar, the Toraja and others.

In Building no.2 (Speelman’s residence) are: Room 1: Fort Rotterdam scaled model, Fort building materials, Gowa Kingdom location map, and pictures of the fort’s Renovation. Room 2: Prehistoric paintings, Prehistoric rock tools, Archeological collection. Room 3: Various Prehistoric collections, paintings, Megalithic era burial system. Room 4: Warehouse, Room 5: Numismatic and archaeological Collection, Room 6: Ethnographic Collections.

Room 7: Sawitto, Wajo, Mandar, and Tana Toraja Kingdom’s collection, National heroes images. Room 8: Luwu Kingdom Collection. Room 9: Bone Kingdom Collection. Room 10: Gowa Kingdom Collection Room 11 dan Room 12: Foreign ceramics and the map to the location of the discovery of the foreign ceramics.

Building No.10, a three-storey building located at the southern part of the complex: Room 1 (Marine): Topographical map, Ethnic groups in South Sulawesi; Phinisi Schooner Miniatures, patorani, palari, Ship’s materials, etc. Room 2: bagang, roppong, fishing equipments, lambo boats, palari, bendi, etc. Room 3 (Traditional Technologies): Traditional farming equipment, traditional houseware, traditional music instruments, etc. Room 4 (Traditional Weaving Equipments): Iron works tools and produce, Cotton processing equipment, traditional weaving set, various woven products and traditional Bugis costumes. Room 5 (Traditional Wedding Accessories Collectiom): traditional wedding costumes of South Sulawesi, altars and decorations. Room 6 (Indonesia Overview): traditional costumes of several provinces of Indonesia, crafts and artworks from all over the archipelago, etc.

After the War, the museum was officially re-established in 1970, bearing the name by which it is known today, namely: Museum La Galigo. La Galigo was the Pajung Lolo or Prince of the Luwu Kingdom in the 14th century who was also the son of Sawerigading Opunna Ware, a legendary Bugis hero. The name also refers to the famous I La Galigo, the world’s longest epic poem. Exhibiting various collections from the early Celebes Museum as well as other additions including the collection of the kingdom of Sawito, Wajo, Mandar, Luwu, Bone and others, the present Museum occupies building no.2 and no.10 within the Fort Rotterdam complex.

For Information contact: Fort Rotterdam and Museum La Galigo, Jl. Ujung Pandang no.2 Makassar, Tel. 0411-321305. The Museum is open Sunday to Monday from 8.00am to 15.00pm local time. Admission fee is IDR 3.000. Please consult the officer in charge if you wish to take pictures of some of the museum collection, since some are delicate and rare. Please do not touch the collection of the museum for some of them are delicate and fragile.

Sights Near Makassar

Makassar is the Gateway to East Indonesia, as well as the entry point to visiting the Tana Toraja highlands, where awesome mountain scenery are combined with the unique rituals of the Toraja people. The islands off Makassar have some good spots for diving. In Old Gowa (seven kilometers south of Makassar) are tombs that date back to the 16th century and a palace occupied by the Sultan of Gowa. Fort Somba Opu at the mouth of the Jeneberang river is the site of ruins the kingdom of Gowa. Next to the ruins is a park where various style houses of all South Sulawesi’s ethnic groups are displayed. The annual South Sulawesi Cultural Festival usually held in October, is staged at this site.

Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park (50 kilometers north of Makassar) is famous for its stunning waterfalls and swarms of butterflies. Traveling north of Makassar before arriving at the Bantimurung waterfalls is the archeological park of Leang-leang. Here are caves where prehistoric man lived some 8,000 to 3,000 years ago, Inside one finds prehistoric drawings of babirusa, which early man used to hunt.

Bantimurang Waterfall (40 kilometers from Makassar) is a popular get-away for locals. In the moist air around the waterfall butterflies take wing, including the rare brightly colored ornithoid butterflies. The waterfall is wide and drops 12 meters to rocks and a deep pool below. At weekends the waterfall is crowded with locals, so the best time to visit is during week days. By the side of the waterfall are iron stairs that lead up to the river above it, which one can wade through during the dry season. Here is a second falls, home to many species of colorful butterflies. The British naturalist Alfred Wallace found the Papilio Androcles, one of the largest and rarest swallow-tailed butterflies, here.In this area there are some impressive limestone karst formations

Also worth a look are traditional ship building dockyards at Bulukumba, where Bugi ships are crafted, and pristine beach at Bira Sungguminasa (14 kilometers from Makassar) is an old palace built on stilts which now houses a museum with weapons, costumes and jewel studded gold crown weighing two kilograms. Malino (65 kilometers from Makassar ) is a cool hill station. There is a large cave called Goa Mampu (135 kilometers form Makassar). Soppeng (200 kilometers the northwest of Makassar) is the center of the silk industry on Sulawesi. Bantaeng is a center for Makassatese boaing building. Taka Bome Rate is the world’s third largest attoll.

The Islands: Near Makasar

The Island refers to 13 islands, easily accessible by boat and visible from Makassar. The most visited are Kayangan Island, Gusung Island, and Samalona Island. The sea surrounding these islands is home to diverse marine wildlife and a popular spot for snorkeling or diving.

The nearer islands are ideal for a safe, one-day get away on an island, for swimming, walking, relaxing or spending time your family. The islands further away like at Samalona and Kodengareng Keke, have clearer water and plenty of fish and marine life and are ideal for diving and snorkeling. It is possible to diving with hammerhead sharks and manta rays around the reefs of Kapuposang.

Accommodation-wise, Kayangan island offers simple rooms. On Kodengareng Keke is the Dolphin Resort which has 4 cottages, while divers may find a small resort on Kapuposang island. Most of the food on the islands is simple. On the more inhabited islands, villagers may sell barbequed fish and rice. It is a good idea to bring your own food and drink if you plan to visit the uninhabited islands. Bring water to avoid dehydration.

Best time to visit the islands is during the east-monsoon which is between May through September. This is also the perfect time to go sailing around the islands. There are plenty of boats available for hire at the wharf in Makassar. Make sure you agree on the return trip. At Lae-Lae there are fishermen who rent out their boats for the return journey to Makassar or on to other islands, but these may not be available on other islands. Make sure you have enough sunscreen and wear sturdy shoes of you plan to walk around the islands. Reef shoes are good to avoid cutting and bruising yourself on the coral. A first aid kit is a good idea especially if you are traveling with kids.

The islands nearest to Makassar, such as Lae-lae and Kayangan, can be reached within 15 minutes by speedboat. These are popular weekend getaways. Others have fishing villages, while the furthest away such as Kapuposang island, face the deep sea and are therefore ideal for diving and snorkeling. Kayangan, two kilometers from Makassar, has several simple restaurants and has rooms for rent. Lae-Lae is situated 1.5 kilometers from Makassar and is the closest to the city. The island has been extended with a long breakwater at its north side to protect the harbor of Makassar against waves. Lae-Lae today is densely populated. Many locals here are fishermen. Others are involved in tourism, with many renting out boats to take tourists back to Makassar or to other islands. The trip to Lae-Lae takes only 10 to15 minutes.

The island of Samalona, seven kilometers. from Makassar, lies further away and is therefore quieter. During colonial days the island was open exclusively to the Dutch elite. Indonesians were not allowed to enter the island. Samalona has a beautiful white beach, surrounded by healthy coral reefs. The on its northern side is best for snorkeling. A number of cottages are available for rent, but meals are simple, though pricy.

Diving at The Islands Off Makassar

There are 55 islands off of Makassar if you include the large sand bars and exposed reefs that disappear at high tide. This cluster of islands is known as the Spermonde Archipelago, but locals know them only by their individual names. On the Kodengareng Keke island, 12 kilometers from Makassar, is the Dolphin Resort. On the island one can go snorkeling and diving. The water is clear and a variety of marine life can be seen. Dolphin Resort offers four 2-room bungalows, and meals at extra cost. They also have dive equipment for rent. But for diving arrangements it is best to organize this with one of the many dive operators in Makassar. For information contact: Dolphin Resort, P.O. Box 1543, Makassar 90000, South Sulawesi — Indonesia. Tel. +62 411 5063596

Lanyukan and Kapuposang are the furthest islands from Makassar. They face the deep sea and are known as places where one can go diving with sharks. Located 37 kilometers from Makassar, Lanyukan is surrounded by reefs and steep drop offs. Here one finds bigger fish like mantas, barracudas and plenty of sharks. At a 100 meter shelf, the reef suddenly plunges to 600 meters. Therefore, only experienced divers should dive these waters. There is a small village on Lanyukan but there are no overnight facilities.

Further away at some 70 kilometers. from Makassar is the island of Kapuposang. This is a beautiful green island covered with casuarinas trees and coconut palms. Kapuposang is right at the edge of the continental shelf that separates Australia from Asia. This is shark paradise, where the blue-and-white tip reef shark are fairly plentiful and hammerheads occasionally show up. At one place deep water plunges from 300 meters near the island to 800 meters. Here you can find giant groupers, schools of tuna, stingray and turtles There is a resort for divers and non-divers at the south-east part of the island.

Getting There: Although quite far from Makassar, a speedboat will get you to these outermost islands in about an hour and half. It is best to make arrangements with an experienced dive operator in Makassar, who will rent diving and snorkeling equipment, and make arrangements for your boat to take you to and from the islands. They can also supply you with food, drinks, and whatever else you will need.

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons

Text Sources: Indonesia Tourism website ( indonesia.travel ), Indonesia government websites, UNESCO, Wikipedia, Lonely Planet guides, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Bloomberg, Reuters, Associated Press, AFP, Japan News, Yomiuri Shimbun, Compton's Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.

Updated in August 2020

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