Indonesia is the 4th most populated country in the world with more than 250.000.000 people --- There are 316 ethnic groups which speak 670 dialects in Indonesia --- There are 17.508 islands in Indonesia, which is the largest Archipelago in the world and only 6.000 of them have a name with only 1.000 are inhabited --- If you could spend only 1 day on each island of Indonesia, you would need 48 years to see all of them? (Transportation between islands not counted) --- Indonesia has the longest coastline in the world, with 100.000 kms long --- Indonesia is probably the last country in the world, which has still unexplored territories, and is not completly mapped? (specially around Irian Jaya) --- There are about 400 volcanoes in Indonesia, and 150 out of them are active, which represents 75% of all active volcano on the planet


All About Makassar at Celebes

Growing by Leaps and Bounds

Visiting Makassar means experiencing the pulse of development that characterizes the city and the Eastern part of Indonesia; yet the city still preserves the traces of its past.

Makassar's Impressive Growth
Makassar makes a tremendous impression on first sight. You see its new face immediately upon landing at Sultan Hasanuddin Airport: it's much nicer than its previous dingy and chaotic manifestation. The new airport, which began full operation on 15 August 2008, serves as a symbol of the rapid improvement of Makassar's infrastructure.

Combining futuristic elements with South Sulawesi ornamentation, the airport's progressive design does not neglect the traditional local spirit. Waves, representing the spirit of the Bugis and Makassar ethnic groups – known as great seafarers – are translated into the curves of the roof. Their vessel, the traditional phinisi sailing ship, is portrayed in the main support pillars, while the terminal ceilings employ motifs from Mandar embroidery. The rest is in tasteful modern style.

Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport has grown to five times its previous size: 51,000 square meters, with a capacity of seven to eight million passengers per year. It has 78,800 m2 of apron space, with 33 parking stands for aircraft of various sizes, such as Casa, Boeing 737, Airbus 330, and even Boeing 747.

Since the airport has high transit traffic, its interior is equipped with 60 concession stands and wi-fi hotspots in the departure area. The check-in system is now multi-user, so long queues are a thing of the past. Further improvements will be made through the year 2020 in line with developments in the aviation industry.

From the airport into town, you have a choice between two toll roads – Mandai and Reformasi. Rapid growth is evident in the city center as well; the skyline is now adorned with tall buildings. If you haven't visited in the past two years, you will be amazed by the Tanjung Bunga integrated zone, which includes the large Celebes Convention Center. Future plans for the zone include a theme park along the lines of Disneyland.

The city's icon, Losari Beach, famed for its sunsets, is now looking much sharper, with very attractive d├ęcor. Improvements to tourism infrastructure can also be seen at the Karebosi soccer stadium, which will soon become a complete "sportainment" complex. This is not to mention the five star-rated hotels – there are now more than ten star-class hotels in Makassar – there to accommodate visitors to the city, a paradise for culinary adventurers. The many

restaurants that are old favorites with loyal customers are increasingly crowded with newcomers, stimulating the emergence of new players in the city's restaurant industry.

Fort Rotterdam and Paotere
Makassar is clearly working hard to modernize, and this is certainly necessary. Yet at the same time, Makassar has not lost its old charm and the evidence of its glorious history. One prominent example is a large structure right opposite Pantai Losari – Fort Rotterdam (Benteng Ujung Pandang), a must-visit spot for tourists who want to learn about South Sulawesi's history. It has unique turtle-like shapes in each corner and the main gate, which the Dutch referred to as the bastions, or jails. There are five such bastions: Bone (which was the prison for people from Bone), Bacan, Amboina, Mandarsyah, and Buton. One section of the fort was occupied by Prince

Diponegoro, who led a war of resistance against the Dutch (1825-1830) but was captured and exiled to Makassar, where he died.

Built by Gowa IX (1545), Daeng Matanre Karaeng Tumaparisi Kallona, the former residence of Admiral C. Speelman – who won the Makassar war – is one of the dozen or so forts along the Makassar Coast, stretching from Barombong to Tallo. In 1667, it was seized and rebuilt by the Dutch as one condition of a peace treaty. After being totally demolished in 1673, it was rebuilt along the lines of a contemporary (17th century) European fortress.

Within the fort area is the La Galigo museum – also the former office of the Dutch Governor in Makassar – which displays items relating to history and community life in South Sulawesi. The name La Galigo refers to a phenomenal classical literary work that encompasses the social and cultural life of South Sulawesi, which has more recently been performed as a dance/opera in several countries.

The museum has a collection of roughly four thousand antique items, categorized into Geology, Biology, Ethnography, Archeology, History, Numismatics and Heraldry, Philology, Ceramology, Art, and Technology.

One very interesting part of the museum is its numismatic collection, which includes 1664 coins and currency items, made from gold, other metals, paper, and even cloth. Both domestic and foreign visitors are fascinated by this collection, as they can learn the history of the types of money that have circulated in Indonesia.

Both the fortress and the museum are considered cultural and tourism icons of South Sulawesi and specifically Makassar.

If you want to feel the city's economic pulse, visit the port of Paotere in the morning. At the fish auction site, you can see thousands of boats from all over the archipelago unloading their catches, as well as old phinisi, the symbol of the Bugis and Makassar seafarers.

Paotere plays an important role in helping the Makassar Seaport to supply daily needs to the people of Makassar itself, and to distribute goods by sea throughout Eastern Indonesia. As well as fish and seafood, incoming vessels also bring in heavy items, such as industrial equipment.

The 4.56-hectare Paotere basin can accommodate 400 to 500 boats and ships from the 40 shipping companies that use the harbor. Paotere, as well as being an important arrival/departure point for ships and boats, also allows tourists to capture the genuine human interest of the local community, who work hard conquering Indonesia's seas in their struggle to survive.

Fort Rotterdam and Paotere are strongly recommended to anyone planning to visit Makassar for a holiday. But of course, the busiest city in Eastern Indonesia has much more to offer; for example, the Spermonde islands are a great place to sample marine tourism activities.

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