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

The "mikrolets" of Manado

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic Google translation from a post originally written in French. My apologies for the strange sentences and the funny mistakes that could gave been generated during the process. If you can read French, the original and correct version can be found here PetitesBullesdAilleurs.fr

  Indonesia: Sulawesi - July 2007

It is with regret that I leave today my nice bungalow with view of Divers Lodge. At the same time, I am not sorry to break with the isolation of the resort, to find "real life and real people". Back to Manado, so for a day trip, the time to book my plane tickets to Toraja and 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 over 10 €) not counting the 10% government tax, are old, sad and noisy.

The rooms "deluxe", small bungalows in a nice garden in the back, seem much more pleasant, but hey, it's still looking in the 215 000 Rp (+ the famous 10%) and in addition, they are doing work in their new building above. Bad.

Too bad, for one night, I keep my rupees and I opt for the "standard". I am kindly invited to enjoy the brand new pool, except that it does not tell me anything to swim under the eyes of the workers. And then I have a lot more urgent 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.

Impec! A few minutes later, it drops me right in front of my agency. It's great, mikrolets! And not expensive: 1 700 Rp the race in Manado ... not even 15 cents.

  Indonesia: Sulawesi - July 2007

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