Thursday, October 19, 2017

MAKASSAR CITY AT A GLIMPSE - UPON ARRIVING


I arrived in Makassar on Friday, 13th October 2017 in the afternoon. This should be my 9th city visited in Indonesia after Batam, Tanjung Pinang, Bali, Lombok, Jakarta, Bandung, Medan and Jogjakarta. True to my expectation, life here seemed more relaxed and even the traffic jam was more bearable if compared to other big cities in the nation. Makassar is the fifth biggest city in Indonesia.


After taking the bus from Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport, I was dropped at the last stop in the city and I quickly hopped on a trishaw (known as "beca" among the locals) which should be the first experience of my life. I asked for the price before the ride and was told that should cost me Rp20 000 (which was about RM6). It was not an easy task carrying other (heavy) people on a three-wheeler bicycle and one had to be a really skillful person to maneuver the trishaw in between speeding cars and motorcyclists and vehicles parked on the sides of the road.

my trishaw ride #1




my trishaw ride #2
Makassar is a historical city, famous for its spices trade back in the 16th century. It is also called Ujung Pandang (from 1971-1999) and the names are used interchangeably. One famous English writer/literary figure who had been here was Jospeh Conrad when he was a sailor/mariner. I tried to google for more information of his life spent in Makassar but found only it was just a mere mention of his stay here. Joseph Conrad was quoted to say Makassar as "the most beautiful, and maybe the most clean cities of all cities on these islands."










The pics taken were at the spots mainly around the hotel area, along the road beside Losari Beach and Fort Rotterdam. The congestion could be bad at certain times of the day. I could see that Makassar is still fast developing and this could be observed opposite the Losari Beach area where there was some sort of a mega project going on.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

UPG 101 - INTRODUCTION TO MAKASSAR, SULAWESI


WHERE? First thing first, let's get some Geography facts right about Makassar and Sulawesi. Sulawesi Island, the 11th largest island in the world to the east of Borneo, south of Philippines and east of Maluku. Makassar is located in the South Sulawesi region and is the capital city of the island, is also known as Ujung Pandang. Thanks to AirAsia, now everyone can fly to many new places all around Asia.


WHY MAKASSAR? After the long research done on the internet, I was quite confident that I could survive on my own at this place. Unlike other busy cities in Indonesia like Jakarta and Bandung, Makassar seemed more relaxed and there were places I could reach on foot.








HOW TO MOVE AROUND? Everything is quite convenient. From the airport, I took a shuttle bus which cost me only Rp27 000. The bus was air-conditioned and comfortable but would have to go through the traffic jam if you were unlucky. If you want to get to the city faster, then you should get a cab at one of the counters and ask the driver to get into the toll highway. (You have to pay for the toll ticket). I chose the bus as I was not in a hurry.



When in the city, you could always walk from one place to another, if you don't mind the hot weather (but that should be better than walking in the rain). I was on the trishaws twice and each ride cost me about Rp20 000. That sounds expensive but I did not do any  bargaining and I thought the operators deserved that amount of money for cycling me to my destinations. And I got this guilty feeling for being heavy and the cyclists would have to do extra hard work for me. Other than that, taxis are also in abundance and the good news is that, Uber (and Grab) is here on the island. If you are adventurous enough, you could hop on the "pete pete" with the locals, which is a van converted into a minibus, to move around.



WHAT TO DO? Frankly speaking, I did not set a high expectation of Makassar before going. This place is not a popular holiday destination among Malaysians as for one thing, it is not a place for shopping. I just wanted to see new places and people and as the city comprises of Muslim community, to try its local delicacies. And I was not disappointed. In fact, I was glad I chose this place to travel solo this time.


If you are still thinking of where to go and if you are travelling on your own and have a relaxing time, try Makassar. There are actually other scenic and exciting places for you to consider which are further away and require longer time to travel.

Don't forget to come back and read more of my adventure in Makassar, Sulawesi, Indonesia real soon.

OTHER RELATED LINKS:

Makassar at a Glimpse Upon Arriving

Sunday, October 15, 2017

BLOGGING FROM MAKASSAR, SULAWESI, INDONESIA

I am now blogging from Ujung Pandang, Makassar, Sulawesi, Indonesia - to be specific. This is a plan which has been finally executed during the one week break for the one-week Deepavali school holiday.

arriving at Sultan Hassanuddin International Airport
This is already my third day here and I am glad that I have chosen Makassar. Great place, great people and great food so far. I will still have a few more hours tomorrow before catching my plane back to Malaysia late in the afternoon. Guess there will be shopping activities, especially at the real market in the morning and would try to visit the museum too. Let's pray for a sunny weather for the island tomorrow.



Friday, October 13, 2017

NINOY AQUINO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, MANILA


Ninoy Aquino International Airport is the entry and exit point for most international flights to and from Manila. It was spacious and modern, and it looked quite new to me. There were not many people at the terminal when we were there.
































We finally bade farewell to Manila and the people of the Philippines on the 31st August 2017. I had made the right choice and had learned a lot of new things about the country. I would love to come back again, perhaps to other parts of the smaller islands like Cebu and Palawan. One day, one day....

Thursday, October 12, 2017

"OUR MELTING POT HOSTEL" IN MAKATI


We stayed in a private room at a hostel named "Our Melting Pot". There were people of many nationalities when we were there. Located in Makati, it is actually near to the red light district of the city but we did not even have the time to go and see. We were more concerned of what to eat and to get to bed as early as possible.
















There is another hostel just across the door but it is still under the same management and the kitchen/dining area was actually located at that hostel.




With a reasonable rate at a commercial area, this should be a good place to stay. I don't mind coming back here if I were to make a return trip to Manila.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

MY MANILA GASTRONOMIC ADVENTURE - HALO HALO


We managed to find a restaurant in Makati's Greenbelt to try a very famous dessert in Manila. Its basic ingredients are shaved ice and evaporated milk mixed with fruits like coconut flesh and banana - like the one I was having. It was similar to our local ABC but this one contained more milk and fruits.






It was good until the last drop, especially if you like something milky and cold.