Sept. 14, 2011
-- A perfect gateway to some of the best hidden gems of Indonesia lies deep in the heart of the South Sulawesi territory. Formerly known as Ujung Pandang, the vibrant provincial capital of Makassar has for centuries made its mark in Indonesian history as a bustling port. Today it’s a sprawling metropolis, still rich in history and culture.
For those staying in town, a Makassar city tour (http://www.makassar-
City_Tour) takes visitors to see the most important cultural and historical icons, such as Fort Rotterdam, which was built during the Gowa/Makassar Kingdom in the 15th century and taken over by the Dutch in 17th century, Katangka Mosque, the oldest in the city, and Paotere Harbour, where you will find the traditional Pinisi sailboats.
Outdoor enthusiasts will savor an excursion to the nature reserve of Bantimurung (http://www.makassar-hotels.com/makassar-guide#11475
), just out of town, for a glimpse of Sulawesi’s captivating natural beauty, while a trip to the Leang-Leang Caves, opens a window into the lives of some of mankind’s ancient ancestors. Alternatively, sun-seekers can opt for an escape to Samalona Island, one of several neighbouring isles where guests can spend a day toasting under the sun on a powdery white-sand beach or go skin diving amongst thriving coral reefs. These are just a few of the many things to see and do in Makassar (http://www.makassar-hotels.com/makassar-guide
Further afield, no traveler should skip a trip to Tana Toraja (http://www.makassar-hotels.com/makassar-guide#2841
), or “Torajaland,”
a highland region that sits peacefully in the mountains more than 300 kilometres north of Makassar. This “Land of Heavenly Kings” is home to the indigenous Toraja people, who are known for their unique funeral rites, traditional houses with high-peaked roofs called tongkonan and their friendly and hospitable nature. Various Tana Toraja tours allow travellers to immerse themselves in the traditional village life of the Toraja people and trek through the region’s extensive, photogenic rice paddies.
The new portal to Makassar and Toraja is now proudly owned by Ng Sebastian and the rest of his team at Incito Tours, also the local connection in nearby Komodo and the Lesser Sunda Islands. The launch of http://www.makassar-
hotels.com gives travellers direct access to Makassar and Toraja hotels for every budget (http://www.makassar-
, as well as insight into the best places for shopping and eating, all of which contribute to an ideal getaway experience.
“Makassar and Toraja are destinations I know well as I live in Makassar and I started my tourism involvement here back in 1987 as a tour guide,” Sebastian gladly shares. “Makassar is my home base and my involvement in tourism at the destination is far more extensive than what I started 24 years ago. My whole life since then seems to be devoted to tourism, not only as a field where I earn my living, but also where I share my passion with others to make the destination better developed through my participation in various tourism activities. Operating the Makassar & Toraja portal, I talk about tourism but also take action in serving would-be visitors through the latest tourism trend: the use of information technology in planning the trips. whl.travel provides a great platform to work with, and there is always someone to help us out.”
Makassar is whl.travel’s newest travel portal in Indonesia, following the websites for Aceh (http://www.aceh-
hotels.com/), Manado (http://www.thetravelword.com/
and Komodo & Lesser Sunda Islands (http://www.komodo-
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The Travel Word is the online mouthpiece of the WHL Group and draws on a vast pool of ideas generated by local tour operators, partners, suppliers and more. Our blog - http://www.thetravelword.com - showcases responsible, sustainable and local travel. We are committed to inspiring mindful and independent travellers headed off the beaten path with local businesses making responsible and sustainable decisions about their destinations. Through anecdotes, articles, profiles, opinion pieces and news, our local voices aim to inform travellers about unique and ethical ways to experience a destination, travel responsibly and help sustain the distinctive qualities of a place.