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The province Sulawesi Selatan or South-Sulawesi (often named Sulsel), with 82,768, is as large as England, is geographically and culturally very varied. Sulsel has a fertile, low rice area, high rising mountains, a dry southern zone and an exeptionally long coastal area scattered with fishing boats. Along the coast are thousands of boats, among them the beautifull sande from M (...)

Makassar is the biggest city and center of communications east of Surabaya. It's not only the center of the densely populated province of South-Sulawesi, but also that of thousands of islands and hundreds of ethnical groups, which form the social structure of eastern Indonesia. People from this region come to Makassar to trade, to study, to buy provisions or just to escape the limitations of the v (...)

Generations of travellers have gone to Makassar (formerly Ujung Pandang) over sea, and that's still the best way go get to this attractive city. Makassar, the only Indonesian city which truly hugs the sea, it built along several small stretches of coastal plains, which look towards the west over Selat Makassar (Makassar Strait). For the English sea captain and novellist Joseph Conrad it was (...)

Just off the coast of Makassar is one of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world. Beautiful formations of cora, around which colorfull fish swim; curious sharks look from a distance while marine life finds it's way. The threathened reef In the last decades the coral reefs around the scattered islands off the coast of Makassar has been severely damaged, partially by (...)

The capitals of the three former Bugis kingdoms in the central and eastern parts of the peninsula can be reached from Makassar in a few hours by bus. Watansopeng (Sopeng) is in the middle of low hills, Watampone (Bone) has old Dutch houses and spaceous squares, Singkang (Wajo) is a crowded market place with a view over Danau Tempe. From Makassar the road to Bone and Sopeng first goes no (...)

The only thing that nowadays remind of the lost greatness of the 17th century Makassar are the royal graves, ruins and holy places of Gowa and Tallo. In the 16th century two small kingdoms united into the powerfull Makassarese kingdom which dominated a biog portion of the peninsula until it was beaten by the Dutch and Buginese in 1669. Gowa and Tallo had their own spiritual center, where king (...)

At the border of Siwa to kabupaten Luwu, a sign announces that this is 'the land of Sawerigading'. In the vicinity of the Cerekang river, between the current places of Wotu and Malili, the gods once descended, according to Buginese cronics. On this place, their descendant Sawerigading performed his legendaric deeds. Maybe the first Buginese kingdom, that could have been situated here in the (...)

Mandar is a little known and little visited area of fishermen, sailors and shipbuilders. The traveller has to overcome bad roads, sand and rocks on the road from Parepare to the north to get there. Stalls with kapok and coconut trees, dusty villages, and every once in a while a shiny look at Selat Makassar, and lightly colored houses in Buginese style decorate the trip. The Mandarese culture (...)

The four big ethnic groups (Buginese, Makasarese, Toraja and Mandarese) speak related languages, but can't understand eachother. The Buginese and Toraja languages are closely related and have many words incomon, while Mandarese and Makasarese are less closely related. Each language has dozens of dialects, of which many of them are connected to the old kingdoms. Main groups (...)

The location of Selayar as a long, narrow barrier on the trade route to Maluku, has given the island a little place in the history books, besides it's rocky look. The island should have been a center of trade on it's own in the 14th century, because it's named in the Javanese poem Nagarakertagama. There also is a remarkable abundancy of ceramics from China and Sawankhalok (Thailand) excavat (...)

Ship building and other traditional crafts can best be observed along the southern coast, the central area of Makassar. There are very good beaches, beautiful nature and a good main road. Modest hotels and restaurants can be found in Bantaeng, Sinjai, Bira and Benteng (on Pulau Selayar). Over the main road the trip from Makassar, along the coast to Sinjai via Tskalar, Jeneponto, Bulukumba and (...)

The epicenter of traditional shipbuilding industry in South-Sulawesi is in Tana Beru. However fast modernisations are strong, this village is still an ideal place to see skilled workers. In the bantilang (boathouses) at the beach, you can find hundreds of boats. Several different types of boats are build: pajala, fishing boats with a length of nine to ten meters; patorani (...)

The trip to the north from Makassar takes you along a small, fertile coastal area, dominated by spectacular mountain ranges and shadowy, cool lagunes and inlets. Most travellers take this route to Parepare, and then inland towards the mountains. The western coast is the place of origin for several of the earliest known kingdoms in South-Sulawesi and several of the oldest traditiona. Segeri, halfwa (...)

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