The mikrolets of Manado. Sulawesi, Indonesia.
In Manado, everyone moves in "mikrolet".

The "mikrolets" of Manado

  Indonesia: Sulawesi - July 2007

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 


It is with regret that I leave today my nice bungalow with view of Divers Lodge. At the same time, I am not angry to break with the isolation of the resort, to find "real life and real people". Back to Manado, so, for a day stopover, time to book my plane tickets to Toraja country and to organize my trip to the Togian Islands.

Tomorrow, I go to cool in the nearby mountains, Tomohonat the foot of the volcano Lokon.

The mikrolets of Manado. Sulawesi, Indonesia.
In Manado, everyone moves in "mikrolet".

I moved to the hotel Minahasa, on the big Sam Ratulangi Boulevard, trusting me Lonely Planet. I was wrong... The "standard" rooms, which are still worth 135 000 Rp (a little more than 10€) without counting the 10% government tax, are old, sad and noisy.

The "deluxe" rooms, small bungalows located in a nice garden at the back, seem much more pleasant, but hey, it's still going to look in the 215 000 Rp (+ the famous 10%) and moreover, they are doing some work in their new building above. Well, well.

Never mind, for one night, I keep my rupees and go for "standard". They kindly invite me to enjoy the brand new swimming pool, except that I don't feel like swimming under the workers' gaze. And then I have much more urgent things to do: go to the travel agency. Star Express, recommended by Christiane, for my airline tickets.

View of Manado from the Minahasa Hotel. At the bottom, the blue triangle of Manado Tua, the volcano island located just next to Bunaken.
View of Manado from the Minahasa Hotel. At the bottom, the blue triangle of Manado Tua, the volcano island located just next to Bunaken.

This is where it gets harder. To move to Manado, as everywhere in Indonesia, besides, there are the mikrolets (also called bemos in other corners). Light blue minibuses crisscrossing the streets in an incessant ballet, where you stop where you want with a wave of your hand and you go down where you want.

The trick is to know what mikrolet to take, when we have a very vague idea of the geography of the city ...

The young woman at the hotel reception has written me down on a piece of paper the names of the directions I must take, but I am a little lost. If I understand correctly, I have to go down to a junction, at the end of the boulevard, to the north, to take another mikrolet bound for the terminal. Paal 2... With that, you have to fend for yourself.

Fortunately, passers-by are more than helpful and help me stop a mikrolet going in the right direction. The driver calls shortly after one of his colleagues through the window at a junction invaded by blue minibuses. Wavers me down and up the other.

All right! A few minutes later, this one drops me off right in front of my agency. It's great, the Mikrolets! And cheap: Rp 1700 per race in Manado... not even 15 cents.

  Indonesia: Sulawesi - July 2007

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  1. Back from Montpellier ... Great, you updated your blog !!! I'm looking forward to reading you again !!! I hope your earache is just an old story, take care of yourself !!! All your photos are beautiful; I have not really had time to follow you on a map, but I will do it as soon as possible!

    I came back from Montpellier yesterday. It was very good, especially since Mom was there! The shows went well, and I'm relieved that this stage is over, it was a big piece! We left Geneva, it was raining and cold ... We find Geneva; and it is still raining and still cold ... To believe that Montpellier is in Asia so the weather difference is great!

    Montpellier, it's over, but it's not yet the holidays so much ... Another month of toil ...

    Good continuation! Pay attention to yourself! Say hello from me to the many critters that you will meet !! I hug you strongly!!!

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