"The town of Manado", wrote the well-known English zoologist Alfred Russel Wallace after a visit to the area in 1859, "is one of the most beautiful places in the East. It looks like a big garden in which rows of villas are built. Wide paths in between are streets, which are usually squared. Good roads split up in several directions to the hinterlands, with some rural houses, nice little gardens and rich plantations, jungle and fruit trees. In the west and south the area is mountainous, with groups of volcanic peaks with a height between 1800 and 2100 meters, which form high and picturesque backgrounds in the landscape... I had heard a lot about the beauty of this country, but reality has surpassed my expectations by far."
Tomohon is a tourist city located some 22 kilometers east of Manado, the capital city of North Sulawesi province. In 2000, Tomohon was declared an autonomous region, which was officially inaugurated by the Minister of Home Affairs on 4 August 2003. At present, Tomohon consists of 35 villages in five sub-districts, namely West, East, Central, South and North Tomohon.
Its land contours, cool weather and fertile soils encourages the local community to cultivate various types of flowers and vegetables. This causes the city to be known as a city of flowers and during blossom season, flower gardens of local inhabitants look very beautiful.
The government holds annual Tomohon Flower Festival in June-July. During this event, you can see parades of private and government cars full with flowers. A flower tournament is also held during this festival where participants from 94 cities in Indonesia take part at 'Inspirasi Hill'.
Tomohon is accessible from Manado. It will take only about one hours drive. If you arrive from Tondano, it will take less time because the distance between Tomohon and Tondano is only 15 kilometers. You can also take public transport from the Karombasan bus station, plying the Manado-Tomohon route for Rp 6.000. After arriving at the Tomohon bus station, you can take city transportation such as the blue mikrolet (minibus) to take you to flower sellers along main roads in the city.
Tomohon has a mountainous and hilly topography stretching out from north to south. There are four volcanoes in Tomohon and two of them are still active, namely Mount Lokon and Mount Mahawu. Mount Lokon is 1,580 meters high and it is the highest mountain in Tomohon. If you visit this city during blossom season, you will see amazing scenery of colorful flours by the foot of a beautiful mountain. This panorama looks perfect when the sun rises and fog disappears.
Local people's flower gardens are usually located at the foot of Mount Lokon. During blossom season, which is in December, January or April, these flowers look very beautiful with Mount Lokon as their background. In addition, you can also walk along main roads in the city with florist shops on their left and right sides. Some shops have their own flower gardens behind it, enabling you to pick and choose your favorite flowers.
You can travel around using bendi (traditional horse cart) at main roads in Tomohon. Another interesting thing you can also enjoy is a cultivation center for horticultural plants such as vegetables in this mountainous area. On your journey, you will find farmers collecting their flowers and take them to markets by motorcycle or public transportation.
If you like to spend a longer time in this cool town, you don't have to worry about your accommodation because guest houses are widely available in the city center. The most favorite guest houses are those located within settlement areas where the flower gardens are located as well. Prices for guest houses vary depending on their facilities.
Please come to Tomohon Traditional Market before Christmas. You will get a unique experience here by trying various types of meats such as pork, bat (paniki), dog (RW), monkey (yaki), wild boar, snake, forest rat and many others.
If you like flowers, you can buy various types of flowers from Tomohon as souvenirs. In addition, you can also visit markets near Tomohon, which open every other day. It is suggested that you take a rented car if you like to see flower gardens by mountain sides because the roads are steep and far from main roads. It is also suggested that you visit this city during blossom season.
Location map of Flower City of Tomohon
Last revised on January 20, 2010
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