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Makasar Sights and Landmarks Guide, Indonesia

Makasar is a truly modern city but care has been taken to preserve its rich past. No wonder that Makasar city is one of the most hot tourist destinations in Indonesia. You will need to note, however, that although there are a number of historic and religious monuments in Makasar, it is not just a city of buildings and monuments. Being a part of an island-nation surrounded by water, Makasar promises lots to see and do.

You can opt for organized tours of various Makasar sights or go exploring them on your own. Rental cars are available, but public transportation will be cheaper.

Makasar Sights – Historical and Cultural Attractions

Speaking of Makasar’s historical attractions, the first to be named is Fort Rotterdam. Built in the 16th century, the fort is a good exemplar of Dutch architecture. Of the total 13 buildings within the fort, 11 were built by the Dutch and 2 by the Japanese. The fort houses one art center, one museum (La Galigo Museum) and the tomb of the exiled Javanese royal, Prince Diponegoro of Yogyakarta.

Makasar, like Bandung, Medan and Pontianak, has a sizeable Chinese population and the Chinese temples dating back to the 1650s are an indication that these people have been living here for quite a long time. Besides these four temples, the historic district of ‘Kampung Belanda’ is another must-see attraction in Makasar. It is the site where the Chinese and the Europeans had settled; many buildings have been razed down, but a few still remained.

Makasar Sights – Natural Attractions

Makasar’s unspoiled/virgin beaches are undoubtedly its greatest natural lures. Take for example the Losari beach; the sunset scene is simply spell-bounding and locals gather here every day to catch a glimpse of the crimson skies as the sun seemingly disappears into the water-bed. You can, of course, stay back to gorge on the delicious seafood being sold on the beach.

You can engage in snorkeling and diving in the waters for some adventure or leisurely stroll in the Paotere harbor to catch the hustle and bustle. (The Paotere harbor is the chief commercial port of Makasar and has connecting commercial marine transport to other major cities like Jakarta.)

Among Makasar’s other natural attractions is Clara Bundt's orchid nursery on Jl. Mochtar Lutfi. Built in the 1930s, the garden now has over 100 kinds of orchids. The orchids bloom in March and September and then the place looks nothing less than heaven. When you are here, you can also check Miss Clara’s seashell collection.

These are, more or less, among the chief Makasar sights within the present city limits. But there is a lot to be seen – cultural sights, historical and ecclesiastical sights and more if you just venture outside the city.

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