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North Sulawesi--how safe is it?

New York City, New...
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North Sulawesi--how safe is it?

I'm thinking about going to North Sulawesi with a friend/relative for a snorkelling/eco-tourism vacation (especially want to see the tarsiers in Tangkoko!), but I have a few concerns about safety there. My main concerns are 1) dangerous reef animals (stonefish, lionfish, sharks, stingrays, sea snakes, etc.); 2) strong currents (I have snorkelled before in Bali and the Caribbean, but am still a relative beginner at snorkeling, and not the world's strongest swimmer); 3) crime/terrorism (is this area safe for women travellers? My travel companion is a guy). We plan to fly directly to Manado, then stay at Bunaken Cha Cha for snorkelling, and later at another lodge to visit Tangkoko for wildlife. My question is, how serious are these concerns for the area we plan to visit? Anyone have any tips on how best to avoid them? Thanx...

Paris, France
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1. Re: North Sulawesi--how safe is it?

Hi Aquablu,

for the last 5 years I have dived Manado/Lemebh (so Bunaken, Gangga, Lembeh straits) each year once to two times a year. I typically land in Manado and the dive resort send someone to pick me up at the airport. Never had any problem at the hotels/resorts or travelling through North Sulawesi. I think if you plan to do some snorkelling (why not try diving?) and eco-tourism you should be just fine as e.g. you will be accompanied by local guides and they are used to tourists there.

Just check the State Department website for an update of the situation in Indonesia though.

Hope it helps

Enjoy you trip


Edmonton, Canada
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2. Re: North Sulawesi--how safe is it?

We were there 18 months ago and had no concerns whatsoever regarding our safety. And the tarsiers are awesome.

Enjoy your trip

Tweed Heads...
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3. Re: North Sulawesi--how safe is it?

Hi there AquaBlu, I got excited reading your post. Exactly what I want to do!!!! Don't know when though :-(. We saw a tarsier in Borneo, they are amazing :-). From what I have read, the ones in Sulawesi are the smallest. I will keep an eye on this post as it will help me with my planning in the future.

Sorry, I can't help with information but I just wanted to say I am excited for you. Don't forget to post on TA when you return, so you can pass on all you have seen, done and experienced to others!!

Sanur Bali
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4. Re: North Sulawesi--how safe is it?

Most of the violence that did overrun the Poso region of Sulawesi has settled down. Luckily the bad conditions of the roads make travel arduous and the violence basically stayed within that area.

It was very bad around 2000-2001 with a large number of murders. It did flair again in 2006-2007 but has been reasonably good since then.

Most of this is religion based with Muslim and Christian groups being behind various murders. Generally westerners are left out of it. An Italian man on his honeymoon did did get killed by a random shooting.however as far as I can recall he was the only westerner killed in the incidents.

5. Re: North Sulawesi--how safe is it?

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