The once mighty port city of Makassar in south Sulawesi has seen its fair share of Dutch in the past. A central point for the trading routes for transporting spices and good around the world, Makassar still bears lots of resemblance to these times of prosperity. Food plays a very important part of Indonesia’s sixth largest city where the abundance of seafood Warungs (local street stalls) along the main streets and alleys brighten up the mood almost 24 hours. The social interaction with its very friendly residents and the historical sites that are spread around within easy distance and the blend of various nationalities makes Makassar a city not to skip on your Sulawesi travel endeavours.
Ready for a half day of seeing the historical and cultural sites of Makassar, your guide and driver will be waiting for you at around 09:00 hrs to get exploring. Formerly known as Ujung Pandang and still bearing the prestigious title as the capital city of South Sulawesi, the Dutch have left some truly remarkable buildings behind that remain intact. We commence our morning tour heading towards Fort Rotterdam and the enclosed Lagaligo Museum (closed on Mondays). The remains of the ancient Gowanese fort and typical Dutch architecture are striking examples of the influence of this sea-faring nation centuries ago. The Lagaligo Museum has a nice collection of ethnological and historical artefacts spread around two buildings so we highly recommend trying to avoid making reservations on Mondays when this suits your interest!
A visit to Makassar requires a visit to the old harbour; the main gateway for centuries, Makassar Harbour has been the focal point for all trading between the East and West for centuries. A collection of traditional, wooden schooners, called Phinisi or Bugis are used, in a more modern version, for sailing the waters. Excellent photo opportunities await, once you follow your guide as he explains how these boats played an essential role in Indonesian maritime history. We end the morning with a stop at the Clara Bundts where a nice collection of shells and orchids can be admired before heading back to your Makassar overnight address.