As i said in my previous post, i had a month vacation to my parents hometown Manado, located in north part of Sulawesi island. It was my forth visit and my longest one, last time i went there was about 4 years ago and it was a short stay, so i barely remember the place.
In a month i visited most of the tourist destination there, mostly beaches ^^
My first impression of manado was, it got a hell lot of coconut trees!! Believe me, you'll be amaze! The trees cover the land anywhere you go, from beaches, hills, mountains, and even at the side of the road... unbelievable!
Here are some great places that i visited when i'm there, maybe it could be your choice for your next vacation destination ;)
1. Tangkoko beach
This beach has pretty black sand. Located in the area of Tangkoko Nature Reserve, home of the smallest and the only carnivorous primates in the world tarsier/tarsius.
2. Benteng beach
Its a white sandy beach with clear turquoise colored water. Though the sand was very white, but it wasn't very soft. There's big rocks that put squared around the beach, so that people could swim safely without feel afraid got swept away by the strong tide.
3. Love hill (bukit kasih)
Its a hill where they have five house of worship from five official religions in Indonesia on top of it. People have to climbed about 2000 stairs to reach the top. FIY, i did reached the top of the hill! I was so tired when i got to the top and my heart beating like crazy, that i seriously think i'm gonna die of heart attack! It was a bloody accomplishment!
4. Linow lake
The lake water have a pretty emerald green color. There's a coffee house by the lake side, where you could enjoy the beauty of the lake while chit-chatting with friends and sipping coffee or tea. The place defines the word tranquility, it was so peaceful and beautiful there.
It's a small town outside manado city. The town is surrounded by hills, mountains and rice fields. The air is so clean, i think i breathed too much clear oxygen.. as i live in the polluted city like Jakarta, my lungs was not used to it!
6. Kora kora beach
It takes more than 2 hours ride by car from Tondano town to this beach, but it was totally worth it. The beach was undeveloped but clean... such a perfect laid back beach! I felt like i could hang out there whole day, it was like my own private beach. The only problem was that they don't have shower to clean up there, so you must endure the salty water lingering on your body for the whole 2 hours way back home.
7. Lembeh strait
This place is rrreally famous for its diving spots, its one of the top 5 greatest diving spots in the world! But since i don't have diving license so i cannot dive there.. it's too bad:( Even so, me and my friends got a chance to ride on coastal police speed boat and beach-hopping around lembeh strait and even go to restricted areas with 2 coastal police as our guide.. luckyyy (^_^)v I got the most amazing experience there, it was my first time swim in open sea! it was a thrilling experience, since the depth was more than 10 meter (i was not brave enough to look down for a long time), and i feel like some wild shark might show up anytime and drag me under water, so scary..! (i blame JAWS for my scary imagination of sea).
8. Lihaga island
I swear on Jay Chou (believe me, Jay Chou means everything to me!) that it was the most beautiful beach i have ever visited in my whole 23 years of life! Lihaga is a very small uninhabited island, that have soft white sand beach and crystal clear water. Beautiful is an understatement! What makes the place more special was that we were the only visitor, it felt like our very own paradise island. We spend a whole day there, and it wasn't enough. They said that the owner was foreigner, and in the near future they will make the island private so that public is not allowed to go there anymore.
What i get from the whole vacation (besides a completely tanned body of course..) was that Indonesia is a REALLY beautiful country, most of the beautiful places here is undeveloped and unknown. I mean this country got 17,000 freaking islands! and how many islands have u ever been to in your life? maybe two, Java and Bali? You can see my point here, eh! I am so sure that this country could get rich by tourism industry alone if the government and people know how to take care and develop their land.