Manado is a city located in the Northern Sulawesi, Indonesia. The city is famous for it’s diving site Bunaken. There are bunch of stuffs that you can do see in the city. Check out these things to do in Manado.

Karombosan Market

My first day was started with the craziness and cruelest scene ever I’ve seen in my real life. I went to Karombosan Market, near to Leon’s house. This market sells everything starts from vegetables and meats which are unusual. Can you imagine they sell bats, dogs, and rats?! Euhh..Thinking of it made me lost my appetite.

I saw the process on how the dog was beaten by stick till death, and burnt! The dogs were burnt so cleaning the fur was not needed anymore. Then the man rubbed and cleaned the burnt part. Next process was cutting and took the organs out. The term Manado or Minahasan used for dog is RW, and for the bat is Paniki. Dare to try?


the bats in karombosan market

Pagoda Ekayana

I continued to Tomohon by illegal cab. Illegal cab is an owned-private car such as Avanza and took passengers to Tomohon. Slight difference on the price compared to local bus. Tomohon is located on higher land, about 30-45 minutes ride from Manado.

The view up to Tomohon is so beautiful. We can see mountains, sea, and Manado city. Many florists sell beautiful flowers along the road side in Tomohon.  My first destination was Pagoda Ekayana. Just asked the driver to drop you in the front of small path to Pagoda Ekayana.

Pagoda Ekayana Tomohon


Linow Lake

Next plan was Bukit Kasih. It is a hill where there are chapels for people to pray. I thought it was near from Pagoda Ekayana. I was wrong. There is a place similar to Bukit Kasih near Pagoda but it’s different. It’s called Bukit Doa. I wanted to go to Bukit Kasih and actually it’s far from where I was. Luckily I talked to a guy who was going out from his house with his motorcycle.

I asked him where he wanted to go, and dropped me in main road. I ended up going to Bukit Kasih with him, he agreed to take me there. Of course I paid him. The funny thing he didn’t know where’s Bukit Kasih and he didn’t know it’s far. So I paid him cheap based on the first price agreement.

We stopped at Linow Lake for a while. Entrance fee to Linow Lake is Rp 25,000 which you can exchange with drink and snacks. If you only want to take pictures, you can go to the other side so you don’t have to pay. Linow Lake has that greenish surface. It looks amazing with all the hills surrounding the lake. Perfect time when the fog comes down and passed by the lake. Bukit Kasih was built in 2002.

Linow Lake Tomohon things to do manado
Linow Lake

Bukit Kasih

Bukit Kasih is located above the sulfur area. A monument standing high in the middle was the symbol of 5 religions in Indonesia. There are some worship house at the top such as church, temple, and mosque.

It’s exhausted to climb all the stairs in Bukit Kasih to reach the top. You won’t regret after reaching the top because amazing beautiful view awaits you up there. Series of hills and mountains will spoil your eyes. Entrance fee for each person is Rp 2,500.


Bukit Kasih Tomohon
Bukit Kasih

Toar Statue Bukit Kasih things to do manado

Ratatotok Island

On next day, me and Bang Leon’s family had a trip to Ratatotok. Ratatotok was located about 250 km to southeast. It took around 3-4 hours with not a very good road condition to Ratatotok. We went up hills and down, it was a long ride. The corals were awesome!

First time I jumped to the water and I saw these huge coral reefs, I was totally blown. The corals were still healthy, fishes swam everywhere. Amazing! There are some spots near Batu Tiga Island, and Hogow Island. From information I got, these are the spots for diving. Many divers from Lembeh were transferred by the dive resorts to dive in some spots around islands in Ratatotok.


corals in hogow island
The corals in Hogow Island
Snorkeling batu tiga island
Batu Tiga Island

Corals Ratatotok things to do manado

Some useful tips

  • Price for the boat is Rp 500,000 fit to 15 people to explore around Batu Tiga Island and Hogow Island per day.
  • No snorkeling gear rental in this place, make sure you bring your own.
  • There are some homestays available for 50,000-150,000 per night

My story traveling in Manado

I woke up lazily on my bed and the first thing I looked for was my phone. Looked at all new updates and notifications from all social media, then when I opened my twitter account I saw a tweet from my friend telling that he’s selling AirAsia ticket from Makassar to Manado Rp 135,000 for return flights!

I knew this promotion before, last time I saw it and wanted to buy it, but was cancelled due to the uncertainty about my life in Makassar. I haven’t moved to Makassar at that time, I still didn’t have any pictures on how my life was going to be in Makassar.

Moreover, I wanted to focus on my internship, and literally I quit the company where I had my internship after a month! So, I had nothing to do, I was free like a bird and I could go anywhere anytime.

The flight was on 5.30 p.m. on that day. So sudden, Ya I know! I quickly surfed internet and found out where I wanted to visit. Not much time to analyze all destinations. I called a CSer from Manado and he’s willing to host me for few days.

Problem with AirAsia and all airline companies was the identity card. My friend told me” It’s easy, I would make a id card for you, just send me your photo” Tadaa…My new identity card or what we called “KTP” was done. Ready for my flight!

I had no idea it took quite long time from Makassar to Manado. One and a half hour?? Wow. They are still in the same island and I just realized they’re far separated. I took public transportation which is called micro to Paal 2, then continued to Karombosan where my friend lived.

I love micros in Manado. LCD back and front, cool electro music, and disco lamp! I didn’t have to go to night club in Manado. I could just experienced it inside the Micro haha.

All micro’s price, near or far cost only Rp 2,000. I met Leon and his family, time to rest. So these are some things you can do in Manado.

I was planing to go to Siladen Island for my last two days. I wasted my money if I went there because of the public boat schedule. It would be better to spend two nights in Siladen since I didn’t have interest to visit Bunaken. Anyway, there are a beautiful island called Lihaga, I will go there for sure when I’m back to Manado =))


Thanks to Seran family for the warm host

Traveled in 4-9 April 2013

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2 Replies to “Sudden Escape to Manado”

  1. I am from Manado..that is why this article interested me so much…hehhehe.. makes me wanna go back there..its been ages… thanks for sharing 🙂

    The picture on dogs..OMG… speechless.. everytime I went to Manado I love to eat the fish and vegetables and chicken ..and those Manadonese Ibu-Ibu really know how to cook …but thats all i can eat… not sure though if I wanna try the other protein type of cuisine

    Manado is rock… 🙂

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