Makassar city, also known as Ujung Pandang, is the capital of South Sulawesi and serve as an important hub with the Makassar airport serving international and domestic flights. This port is the springboard to exploring southern Sulawesi and beyond. Mostly travelers come here for shopping and eating before heading off to remote places in Sulawesi or to various beautiful diving sites.
Where is it
Makassar is located at South Sulawesi. It is the largest city in Sulawesi and serves as capital in the south.
What to see
Losari Beach – nice waterfront in the middle of the city for sunset view and night eating at food stalls.
Fort Rotterdam – old Dutch fortress from colonial days with 10,00 Rp mandatory donation.
FlightsMakassar airport is the Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport, located 20km away from town and has domestic flights from various points in Indonesia – Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Denpasar, Banjarmasin, Balikpapan, Kendari, Palu, Manado, Gorontalo, Ambon, Ternate, Manokwari, Sorong and Jayapura. It also have international flights from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Singapore. From the airport, a taxi to the city is about 70,000 Rp if you get your own while an official airport taxi would be 100,000 Rp. For cheaper alternatives, you may take a bemo (minibus) into town for 4,000 Rp and would stop at Makassar Mall.
Take note of domestic departures which require 40,000 Rp tax while international departures are 100, 000 Rp tax.
Makassar is also a major port for Pelni boat, it can be an alternatives to flights via the sea and if you are keen to try out for experience purposes as it is not that much cheaper and the hours are long. For example a boat ride to Makassar takes 16 hours from Balikpapan, 24 hours from Surabaya and 30 hours from Tanjung Priok.
Where to go nearby
From here you can get to the famous Tana Toraja by bus which is 300 km away with at least 8-10 hours drive. It would cost 80,000 Rp for an air-conditioned bus from Makassar to Rantepao, with choice of morning or overnight bus. To get to the bus terminal, you may hop on the frequent bemo (minibus) and would take about 40 minutes.
If just nearby you can try the Pulau Khayangan, a small island 20 minutes away by boat or Pulau Samalona, about 30-45 minutes away, with sandy white beach and good enough for diving.