In a country like Indonesia, where the territorial waters cover more than the entire land area, Manado was necessarily a town overlooking the sea. And yet, very few of those traveling to discover Indonesian beauties decide to stop by this beautiful city.
Most travelers who come to the capital of North Sulawesi don’t pay attention to Manado as much as it deserves. Usually, they just make a quick stop at its airport and depart to nearby islands. That’s probably the reason why Manado has been preserved as a non-touristic city. Even though there are no significant tourist attractions, the friendliness of its inhabitants is not just a pose to please the tourists and keep them in the city.
This city of Manado is also famous for its incredibly pleasant climate. Except for the months of December and January, when heavy rains conquer the place, the weather here is warm and humid, ideal for a delightful stroll in short sleeves throughout the entire year.
Manado has some important religious features that make it different from the rest of Indonesia. Islam here is residual, with 80% of Protestants and only 20% of Catholics. However, people of Manado built the statue of Christ the Redeemer, a huge figure made of stone and metal located in a residential neighborhood of Citraland, and it is the building they are most proud of, since it is the second highest building of its type in Asia.
Tour of the city
Like many Asian cities, Manado is not a place that can be easily toured by walking, since sidewalks are often interrupted by changes of altitudes, low walls, rocks, etc. At some point, you may get the feeling that you are transforming into Super Mario, but it is not a thing that cannot be solved by wearing light and comfortable shoes. Or getting any type of transportation.
For example, there are air-conditioned taxis; but the best way to get around the city are the thousands of blue microlets, small vans, which work on the basis of collective taxis, taking you wherever you want for about 2,000 rupees (about 20 cents).
The side door of the van remains always open, to facilitate entry and exit of travelers. That is a much easier way to go through the city, especially if you suddenly decide to jump out and visit the colorful shopping center or the market nearby.
That’s right – if Manado is presumed to be something, then it’s a great place for shopping. Travelers here can find a wide variety of technological gadgets, but also handicrafts and traditional clothing, and their prices are usually pretty low. Especially interesting places for shopping can be found in the Merciful Building, which works non-stop.