Indonesia’s most northern city in the province of North Sulawesi, Manado is fast becoming a choice destination for the China market. Already from July to December this year more than 50 scheduled charter flights are expected to bring in a wave of passengers from a number of cities in China, said Deputy Minister for Overseas Marketing, I Gede Pitana at a Workshop held here recently especially to prepare the destination for this sudden influx of tourists. Already since January to mid August, an estimated 10,000 tourists from China have spent their holidays in Manado .Today Manado is fast becoming the second preferred destination in Indonesia after Bali, because Manado is indeed closer to China and for that reason also cheaper.
The three airlines operating scheduled charters between China and Manado’s Sam Ratulangi International Airport are Lion Air, Citilink and Sriwijaya Air. Lion Air flies from Macau, Shenzen, Chongqing, Wuhan, Shanghai and Changsa, while Sriwijaya Air serves the Guangzhou- Manado route and Citilink flies Hong Kong – Manado. Many attractive reasonably priced packages are already on sale.
Manado’s white beaches, picturesque islands, beautiful mountainous countryside, friendly people and the underwater paradise of Bunaken have long been renowned. Moreover, Manado’s cuisine is absolutely unforgettable and really “to die for”.
Although its infrastructure and hotels are adequate, nonetheless, its services still need to be improved urgently, reminded Pitana. Mandarin guides are also instantly needed, and service to visitors needs to be upgraded. Pitana stressed the need for closer cooperation between stakeholders, most particularly between the National government and the local government, the Industry and the local residents so as to make tourists feel welcome and enjoy their holidays here.
Facing the South China Sea, North Sulawesi’s population is predominantly Christian. A large statue of Jesus Christ blesses the city of Manado from atop a hill. Along the shore, the seaside Boulevard is a favorite romantic spot to watch the sun slowly set beyond the horizon providing a splash of colors in the sky. While along the road, stalls offering all kinds of mouthwatering dishes of fresh fish, crabs prawns and other seafood are being prepared to serve the hundreds of diners. Besides the many churches that you can find around almost every corner, there is also an old Chinese temple that is still very much in use.
Today, the Minahasa district has also become popular for its wonderful fragrant Tomohon Flower Festival held annually and participated by many countries including China, Japan, Singapore and Australia.
For those who love extreme cuisine, Tomohon is also where its market sells unusual meats like bats, field rats, snakes and more.
Here is also the Prayers Hill, where different religious communities come to pray and meditate. For Tomohon is also a center for religioius learning in the many seminaries. Actually, close by is the towon of Woloan where you can buy ready-to-ship wooden houses, to be packed and sent anywhere in the world.
Snorkelers love to dive in the divine seas of Bunaken and Manado Tua or in the Lembeh Strait, a haven for avid photographers to shoot underwater macros. While nature lovers can trek to the Tangkoko Nature Reserve to watch the rare Tarsius, the smallest primates in the world distinguished by their saucer eyes, and the black tailless macaque monkeys.
Make Manado your next destination.