Dream and Dine - - Story Of Makassar -

As one of In­done­sia's most prom­i­nent and busiest port cities, Makas­sar is a melt­ing pot of mul­ti­ple cul­tures and lan­guages brought to­gether through com­merce and trade. Lo­cal Makas­sarese, Bugis and Chi­nese res­i­dents call this sprawl­ing city home.

In the colo­nial era, Makas­sar was the pri­mary gate­way to eastern In­done­sia, and for cen­turies, the Dutch took ad­van­tage of its strate­gic lo­ca­tion to con­trol much of the trade that passed be­tween the West and the East. You can in­ves­ti­gate the city's his­tor­i­cal core, which re­tains con­sid­er­able colo­nial charm, around Fort Rotterdam, which in­cludes the re­mains of an an­cient Gowanese fort and some strik­ing Dutch build­ings.

The locals are a hos­pitable and so­cia­ble bunch: mix with them in the city's fa­mous seafood warung (food stalls) or join them for a stroll along Pan­tai Losari. This kilo­me­tre-long prom­e­nade stretches south to the float­ing mosque Masjid Amirul Muk­minin. It's a good place to catch some sea air and min­gle with snack­ing fam­i­lies.

The city is ex­pand­ing with new sub­urbs in ev­ery di­rec­tion. Tan­jung Bunga looms to the south­west of the city and may be­come the cen­tre one day, while Panukkukang to the east is chock-a-block with mighty, modern shop­ping malls.

His­tor­i­cal Sites

One of the best-pre­served ex­am­ples of Dutch architecture in In­done­sia, Fort Rotterdam con­tin­ues to guard the har­bour of Makas­sar. A Gowanese fort dat­ing back to 1545 once stood here, but failed to keep out the Dutch. The orig­i­nal fort was re­built in Dutch style, and in­cludes many fine, well-re­stored colo­nial struc­tures. You can walk the en­clave's ram­parts and see sections of the orig­i­nal walls.

The Mu­seum Negeri La Galigo, found inside across two sections, houses an as­sort­ment of ex­hibits, in­clud­ing sail­ing boats, rice bowls from Tanah To­raja, kitchen tools, mu­si­cal in­stru­ments and eth­nic cos­tumes.

Seven kilo­me­tres from town to the south­east­ern out­skirts of Makas­sar you'll find rem­nants of the for­mer king­dom of Gowa, which in­cludes the tomb Sul­tan Hasanud­din, the strong­est ruler of Gowa from the mid-17th cen­tury. Out­side the tomb com­pound is the Pe­lan­tikan Stone, on which the kings of Gowa were crowned.

Ben­teng Sung­gu­mi­nasa, a fort that was once the seat of the sul­tan of Gowa, is five kilo­me­tres fur­ther south at Sung­gu­mi­nasa. The for­mer royal res­i­dence, now known as Mu­seum Balla Lom­poa, houses a col­lec­tion of arte­facts, in­clud­ing gifts from the in­dige­nous Aus­tralians of El­cho Is­land, who have a history of trade with the Bugis. Al­though the royal re­galia can be seen only on re­quest, the wooden Bugis-style palace it­self is the real at­trac­tion.

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