Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A day in Makassar

Makassar is the provincial capital of South Sulawesi, Indonesia, and the largest city on Sulawesi Island. From 1971 to 1999, the city was formally named Ujung Pandang.
A good choice of hotel in the budget category is Pondok Suada Indah, according to Lonely Planet the closest you get to a boutique hotel in Makassar, and it is kinda cute, with a slight air of times gone by. This was our base from which to explore the city.

We started the day with “nasi goreng” (fried rice with egg) for breakfast (breakfast included), and soon we were on our way to Fort Rotterdam, which is one of the best-preserved examples of Dutch architecture in Indonesia. A Gowanese (The Kingdom of Gowa) fort dating back to 1545 once stood here, first built in clay and later on upgraded to stone. Still it couldn’t keep out the Dutch, and their cannon balls, who took over the fort and rebuilt it in Dutch style in 1667.

It really was a nice place to walk around, the gardens around the buildings were nicely laid out with palm trees and pink flowers, the Dutch architectural style reminded us of Danish buildings from that period, but the baking sun, the lush palm trees and the Indonesian flag waving in the hot air above still made the place seem pretty exotic.

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