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a VirtualTourist member from Saint-Tropez asked on Nov 3, 2016

Indonesia

Is Sulawesi safe for travellers?

Hello!

I'm interested for a long time to visit the island of Sulawesi. I know it's a diving paradise but I've heard there are apparently many social/racial/religious tenses. And I'd like to avoid any troubles. So is there any kind of problems I should be afraid of or is Sulawesi a nice spot to visit, despite some remote tensions that are not tourists concern?

Plus I'd like to rent a car there if it's possible, because I know it's easier plus the island is huge. Is that possible? I mean the main roads look pretty fine so...

About the infrastructures, is that easy to go on islands with ferries or to hike in some national parks, with maybe some agencies for example?

Thank you in advance :)Hello!

I'm interested for a long time to visit the island of Sulawesi. I know it's a diving paradise but I've heard there are apparently many social/racial/religious tenses. And I'd like to avoid any troubles. So is there any kind of problems I should be afraid of or is Sulawesi a nice spot to visit, despite some remote tensions that are not tourists concern?

Plus I'd like to rent a car there if it's possible, because I know it's easier plus the island is huge. Is that possible? I mean the main roads look pretty fine so...

About the infrastructures, is that easy to go on islands with ferries or to hike in some national parks, with maybe some agencies for example?

Thank you in advance :)



5 Answers


answered on 11/3/16 by
a VT member from Melbourne

There was tension in central Sulawesi for some time, but nothing to speak of recently. Sulawesi is a beautiful island with lots to see and do. I'm not sure about hiring a car - while the roads look good, they are not the easiest for travelling on - Sulawesi is very hilly and travel can be quite slow. The road from Makassar to Pare Pare is good. After that it winds through the hills to Makale and Rantepeo. I travelled overland from Rantepeo to Ampana to go to the Togian Islands. What looked like a day by distance took two days.
Bus transport is slow but good.
Recommended places include: Toraja area, Togian Islands, Batu Putih in north east Sulawesi, Bunaken in north west, Tomohon in the north, Danau Tempe in the central south. But many, many beautiful areas.
When you have more of an idea about what you want to do, maybe post again and ask for specific advice.
You will definitely enjoy Sulawesi.




answered on 11/3/16 by
a VT member from Puerto Princesa

Good advice above, and also i think the roads are not as good as you imagine. It is many years since i have been there and the roads were not that great. I can really recommend Tomohon (climbing volcanoes), Tongoko (black beach , national park and tarsius) , Bunakan (good diving). We stayed 2 months in Sulawesi and found that the people were really friendly, but i cannot comment on the present day situation.




answered on 11/4/16 by
a VT member from Saint-Tropez

Hello! First thanks for your advices :) So to summarize:

- I checked a bit the roads on Google Street View and it was ok. BUT indeed the north and the south ones were ok, but in the center of the island it turned to be far more tricky! So I'll see a bit if I should or not rent a car (plus as far as I know it's very expensive in Indonesia compared to the neighbouring countries like Thailand or Malaysia...).

- I was wondering BTW if it could not be easier just to land in Manado because most of the sites I'd like to visit are in the north such as the Lembeh Strait, Bunaken NP, Tangkoko NP, etc... On the other hand I've heard the only way to get to the Togian Islands, is from Ampana. Is it true?

- Or should I cross all the island from Makassar to Manado and maybe book a flight back Manado-Jakarta?

Thank you a lot for your motivating messages cause I'm a bit lost, Indonesia is so big and scattered ^^
XXX




answered on 11/4/16 by
a VT member from Melbourne

Most flights will go Jakarta - Makassar or Surabaya - Makassar or Denpasar - Makassar before heading further north to Manado. But if you are coming from Singapore, you can catch a flight directly to Manado from Singapore.
You can reach the Togians from the north - go to Gorontolo. The ferry trip is longer than from Ampana but if you are coming from the north, easier than making your way all the way around to Ampana.
Just in terms of the car hire - I'm not sure how easy it will be in Sulawesi. In Indonesia a motor bike is easy to hire but cars less so in the outer islands.




answered on 11/5/16 by
a VT member from Saint-Tropez

I definitely think about renting a car for Java because the road looks bigger and well-maintained, at least on the main sites. But yes maybe I could rend a motorbike in Sulawesi. I'll see.

Ok I feel a bit more organized with all your informations about how going to Togian Islands :)
I'll check a bit the price for all those flights ^^

Thank you :)





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