Quality Plaza Hotel – 500 000R – 04113633111 – www.qualityplazahotelmakassar.com – jl somba opu no 235
Car/driver from Quality Plaza Hotel to airport - 175 000R
On my way to Makassar by car. We stopped at a few places along the way for photos. Reneken had nice views and places to stay. Pare Pare looked okay with hotels and boardwalk. Puta Beach was pretty but not good for swimming but it had a nice hotel on beach. There also an offshore island which was supposed to be good for snorkelling. Towards Makassar, the rain bucketed down and the wipers on the car worked very poorly. We drove at a snail’s pace and even stopped a number of times until the rain eased off.
We finally arrived at Makassar and I settled into Quality Plaza Hotel. It had a nice view, big bed, aircon and TV. The hotel had heaps of facilities – massage, Botol Club in basement, karaoke, gym, spa, sauna and restaurant.
It was late so I caught the elevator down to the Botol Café. It had a live band that played good music but the drinks were expensive.
The next day, I walked to the Lion Air office to get a refund on my old ticket (Manado to Denpasar) and buy a new ticket (Makassar to Denpasar). It took a long time to sort that out!
I then walked to Fort Rotterdam and watched the traditional music festival. It was so good! The traditional dance clothing was colourful with different styles depending on the origin of the dance in Sulawesi. The dances were varied and very skilful as they used all the body to communicate the expression of the dance. At one stage, they had one representative from each group come on the stage for a mass dance. They didn’t know the music until it started. They played rock and roll and the girls were laughing and the crowd roaring as they tried to outdo each other dancing western-like in traditional costumes. It was very funny and I couldn’t help myself laughing out very loud with them.
Later, I walked around the fort and met many of the dancers and of course many photos and videos. It was such a great afternoon!
Back at the hotel, I had a massage which was good.
Later, I watched the sunset on the boardwalk and met a lovely Christian girl, Mina. She explained a lot to me about the street kids of the boardwalk whom she helps at times with English lessons.
The next morning, I woke up to loud music. A band was playing directly below my window in front of the hotel. I went down to have a look. I was invited to sing on the stage. I was tempted but ah well. My only regret of my whole trip, was not taking up the invitation… it would have been fun!
The road in front of the waterfront was closed and was turned into a walkway. There were heaps of stalls and people and music playing. Nice!
Back at the hotel I had a spa and sauna.
Later, I caught up with Mina briefly on the waterfront. The weather was uncomfortably hot to do anything and she needed to get back to the church. Surprisingly, she bought me lunch and a cake. I was amazed! We became FB friends.
The next day, it was time to leave this city and island of so many fond memories. I said my goodbyes to the staff and manager. They were all very friendly and helpful. I caught a car from the hotel to the airport,
I met Icha at airport. She lives near Bira and was going to Bali to meet up with boyfriend.
The plane was delayed an hour but soon enough I was in a plane departing Sulawesi and bounded for Bali.