Manado is famous for its preserved nature and local attractions. The name Manado means ‘on the far coast’ in the local Minahasan language, referring to the view of two islands from the main island. Manado was previously under the Spanish and Dutch occupation until Japan took over in World War II. Now, Manado has become an attractive destination, especially for nature lovers.
Sam Ratulangi International Airport is located 13 kilometers northeast of Manado. The airport was named after a local Minahasan educator and independence hero. Originally, the airport was built during World War II by the Japanese army. After its upgrading works, Sam Ratulangi Airport now can cater up to 2 million passengers annually, with more than 2800 passengers being served simultaneously. The airlines operating in the airport mainly serves domestic flights with limited international destinations. Visitors from Malaysia will require to take transit flights to reach Manado. Restaurants are available in the airport only before the immigration point. You can reach Manado city center from the airport in 30 minutes by either taxi or mikrolets, which costs Rp 70,000 (RM 20.54) and Rp 4000 (RM 1.17) respectively. Kindly also be informed that you will require to pay Rp 100,000 (RM 29.35) departure tax for international flight and Rp 30,000 (RM 8.80) for a domestic flight.
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Manado experiences a tropical wet climate. The annual average temperature of Manado is 27 degrees centigrade and can reach up to 32 degrees centigrade on the hottest day. Manado is abundant with sunshine with an average of 2570 hours of sunshine in a year. Rainfall is equivalently frequent. The rainy season usually begins in September and will last until April the latest.
The local ethnic group in Manado is Minahasan people who are predominantly Christians in contrast to the dominant Muslims in the whole of Indonesia. Their language and culture are strongly influenced by the Dutch during the Netherlands' occupancy in Manado. The Minahasan traditional dances such as Kabasaran Dance, Cakalele Dance and Katrili Dance are performed in specific ceremonies and festivals. Their native music uses percussion instruments along with instruments influenced by western music instruments made out of bamboo. To those who want to experience the local culture, you may block your dates in December and January. Christmas celebration in Manado begins from 1st December until Christmas Day. After Christmas and before the New Year's Eve, they practice the tradition of visiting the graveyards. This celebration ends on the first Sunday in January where the locals parade in various costumes as part of their kunci taon tradition.
Manado is one of the most visited cities in the world. Many attractions can be found in Manado.
1. Bunaken National Park – Bunaken National Park is regarded as one of the magnificent marine parks in the world which was established in the year 1991. 97% of the park area is rich with marine species, with about 390 coral species, fish, marine mammals and more. There are accommodation facilities provided if you are interested in tour in the Bunaken National Park. Apart from exploring the national park, you can also enjoy snorkeling and diving activities.
2. Tunan Waterfall – For the avid adventure seeker, you can consider visiting the Tunan Waterfall located in the Talawaan village, 25 minutes from the airport. You have the option to engage a local tour to guide you along the trek and explain about the place, but the tour can make your journey more extensive. You can otherwise trek without engaging the tour to reach the spectacular view of the waterfall much faster. There are food stalls located onsite for a quick drink or meal.
3. Tangkoko Batuangus Nature Reserve – Also referred to as Tangkoko-Batuangus Dua Saudara, this nature reserve is located two hours away from Manado city. The reserve consists of three mountains with the highest at 1361 meters above sea level. IUCN classified it as a strict nature reserve. This reserve is the habitat for threatened species such as Celebes crested macaque, Sulawesi bear cuscus, Sulawesi dwarf cuscus and more, in addition to various other animal species. The entrance fee to Tangkoko Batuangus Nature Reserve is Rp 100,000 (RM 29.40) for foreigners. For your convenience, there are local guides or rangers available for Rp 200,000 (RM 58.80) per person for 4 hours morning hike and Rp 100,000 (RM 29.40) for 2 hours evening hike.