100 Things to Do and See in Makassar

We woke up early yesterday morning and went to Denpassar’s (Bali) Ngurah Rai Airport with return tickets to Timika. After a typical airport delay, we boarded the plane and began our journey home. After 55-minutes of flight time, our high hopes and wishful plans of returning to jobsite were abruptly aborted when we landed in Makassar, and found ourselves (with 100 other people from jobsite) being carted off to a hotel. The poor air quality in Timika (due to the fires) made it impossible for the plane to safely land, so it was rerouted to Sulawesi, an island northeast of Bali.

Ironically, this happens to be my 100th post. So, in recognition of it, and, in the event you ever find yourself in Makassar, I have prepared a list of 100 things to do and see in Makassar.

The City of Makassar

The City of Makassar from our hotel window.

100 Things to Do and See in Makassar
1. See the Great Mosque
2. Run your fingers through Parangloe Waterfall
3. Sing a song at a karaoke bar
4. Eat pisang epe (pressed grilled banana, served with melted brown sugar)
5. Tour a tea planation
6. Shop for jewelry
7. Research the island’s Dutch history
8. Eat coto Makassar (a stew made of beef, innards, nuts, and spices)
9. Listen to the call of prayer (done 5 times a day)
10. Get a cheap massage
11. Explore Chinatown
12. Enjoy a ride in a roda tiga
13. See the city from the top floor of the Aston
14. Hold and pet a rooster
15. Learn about the elaborate funeral customs of the Toraja people
16. Watch a Hollywood movie with Indonesian subtitles
17. Get wet at Bugis Waterpark
18. Join the locals in one of their favorite past-times, people watching
19. Visit Trans Studio (the third largest indoor theme park in the world)
20. Record butterfly sightings
21. Buy “oleh-oleh” (small gifts) for friends
22. Swim
23. Snorkel
24. Dive
25. Spot turtles and shark
26. Tour the city in a taxi
27. Try eating bat and/or rat
28. Witness a bloody sacrifice of a buffalo, goat, or pig
29. Trek through the Sulawesi mountains
30. Take a multi-day tour
31. Visit a museum
32. Drink bubble tea
33. Admire stalactites and stalagmites in the Cave of Dreams
34. Watch ships berth at Paotere Harbor
35. Snack on pisang goreng (fried banana) at Central Market
36. Read a book about Makassar’s sea gypsys
37. Go to Fort Rotterdam to see Dutch architecture
38. Visit a native village
39. Walk through the fish market
40. Buy a bottled drink from a road vendor
41. Watch the sunrise on a beach
42. Watch the sunset on a beach
43. Practice Bahasa Indonesia
44. Challenge your heat tolerance with the regional food (described as being exceptionally fiery and bold)
45. See the remains of a 9,500 kg cannon from the Gowa-Tallo Kingdom era
46. Walk along Losari Beach
47. Try on and buy silk scarves
48. Watch airplanes cross the sky
49. Join a hash run
50. Eat fried chicken with a side of rice at KFC
51. Get lost in the city
52. Enjoy a cappuccino at Starbucks Makassar
53. Take a nap
54. Buy a souvenir
55. Touch the Floating Temple
56. Cool off with a fan purchased from a beach vendor
57. Eat fresh grilled fish and prawns at a seaside restaurant
58. Swim in the hotel pool
59. Explore the local markets
60. Interact with the local people
61. Visit Xian Ma Temple
62. Watch the local news
63. Let a local take your picture (they think Americans are like movie stars)
64. Have a picnic in the mountains
65. Run through a rice field
66. Look at the city on Google Map
67. Be entertained by a medicine man and/or a snake charmer
68. Watch the chaos of cars and motorcycles moving around the city streets
69. Eat chocolate (Makassar is the third largest cocoa producer in the world)
70. Play games at one of the city’s many arcades
71. Take photographs of the unique mountains
72. See a cuscus (a tree-dwelling marsupial) at the zoo
73. Eat nasi kunig (flavored yellow rice)
74. Weave through the chaotic streets to reach the other side
75. Rent a motorcycle and see the city on you own
76. Try a piece of durian from a local market
78. Take advantage of the fast internet connection
79. Eat a Big Mac with a side of rice at McDonalds
80. Go to a sport’s game
81. Put your foot in the Celebes Sea
82. Eat a Whopper with a side of rice at Burger King
83. Look at the city lights
84. Take porta-potty ambush photos (a Rose family tradition)
85. Check out the hotel’s gift store
86. Buy a Makassar T-Shirt
87. Check the earthquake status for Makassar
88. Visit the Graveyard of King Tallo
89. Visit the Graveyard of Prince Diponegoro
90. Wander around Losari Beach’s boardwalk
91. Visit Museum Balla Lompoa, and dress up in royal Gowanese costumes
92. Explore the small islands that make up the Spermonde Archipelago
93. Take photos of cave paintings in Leang-Leang
94. Buy a glazed Dunkin’ Donut at the airport
95. Spend money in western boutiques
96. Watch and listen to K-Pop on MTV Asia
97. Buy gigantic bottles and jugs of passion fruit juice
98. Admire women dressed in beautiful sarongs and kebayas
99. Take a boat ride to a neighboring island.
100. Smile at the local children (they love it!)

We are back at the Makassar airport, waiting at Gate 6 for our plane to arrive. During the short 18-hours that we spent in Makassar, we accomplished 13 of the 100 things on the list (numbers 9, 48, 53, 54, 63, 66, 68, 83, 86, 87, 94, 98, and 100). In our case, I think it’s okay to add more more thing to the list.

101. Get the hell out of Makassar!

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