Monday, January 4, 2016

Highland Resort Tomohon in North Sulawesi

executive summary by darmansjah

Many people think of North Sulawesi as mainly being a place for diving and snorkeling. There is a lot more though! Visiting Manado and not spending some time exploring the beautiful Minahasa Highlands means that you miss a good part of this area's wonderful attractions.


Tomohon is one of Minahasa Tribe region. Therefore, the Tomohoners are Minahasans. However, Minahasa Tribe is divided into several sub tribes, Tomohon belongs to a sub tribe called Tombulu. Pakasaan Tombulu spreads from Tombuluan in the east of Pineleng and Tombariri in the west and from Tomohon in the sourth to Manado in the north. Pakasaan Tombulu speaks Tombulu Language, Manado Malay, and Bahasa Indonesia. It is believed that Tomohon is the center of Pakasaan Tombulu. Pakasaan Tombulu in Tomohon, especially those who lives in the region of Kakaskasen has special customs that is still maintained up until today.

Bakerah Tradition

This is a tradition of steam bath to a woman in several weeks after giving birth to a child. This is a traditional body cleansing process. The process of bakerah will be started by a special woman who has ability to arrange the process. She will boil a pail of water and while in the process, she will also put several special herbs such as leaves of agati tree (sesbania grandiflora) or leaves of hummingbird tree, lemon grass (cymbopogon nardus), kajuputih oil, and several other herbs into the boiling water. After the water boils, she will prepare a bucket or pail and pour the water and the herbs in side the container. The new mother will be asked to seat on special chair where under it where the bucket is placed. She will be sitting and having steam bath for around one hour. She will repeat it the process for 7 days in a row.


This is a tradition of working together in the farm. Long time ago when modern technology of cultivating was still a dream and rare to be found, people in the highlands of Minahasa especially in Tomohon created a system of working the land togehter called mapalus. Mapalus is a group of male and female farmers who were associated in a system, bounded with their own or the village regulation to cultivate their farm lands. The farmers usually were divided into a timer and the workers. The timer had function to watch the time while working, carrying the drum and hitting the drum or another instrument called tetengkoren. The process starts at the dawn around 04.30 AM by the sound of the drum. As the timer hit drums with special pattern of hitting, the other member of the group would come to the appointed time that could be at a house of one member, at the intersection, at street corner or anywhere possible for the meeting. And then by the guiding of the drum carrier, they would go to one member's farm. They would work as the sun ray started showing up. While working, the worker usually sang songs either with group or repeating one person to the other.


This is a first or second sunday of mourn after funeral. Kumawus derives from kawus means finish. I kawus ola, means just finish it, which means the mourn shall be finished. Kumawus means an activity to finish the mourning and all things or issues regarding to the late person. The other point also is that the left family will not have any more customs debt of those who have gone. Also with kumawus, the family was relieved, comforted and strengthened through meetings, fellowship with even more devotions.

The name of this activity at first was 'muntep remdem' or 'Maso Itang' the meaning 'enter in black'. The point is the family by wearing black clothing entered the worship in the church at 09.00. Another custom in Kumawus is the people will eat on the table covered with banana leaves by hands.

Get in

By plane

Tomohon is reachable from any place in Indonesia. The nearest airport is Sam Ratulangi in Manado about 33 km and can be reach in 1 hour via Ring road or 1,5 hour via Manado. There are many airlines destination in this airport are from Jakarta, Makassar, Bali, Gorontalo, Tahuna, Ternate, Sorong, Singapore, Balikpapan and several other minor cities. The airlines with route to Sam Ratulangi airport are Garuda Indonesia, Silk Air, Lion Air, Batavia Air, Sriwijawa Air, Merpati Air, Wings Air, and several chartered air lines.

By Ship

Tomohon is also reachable by ship and the nearest harbor is Manado harbor for provincial area, and Bitung Harbor national and international service. There are several ship route by PELNI harboring at Bitung Harbor.


KM. DOBONSOLO : MAKASSAR (South Sulawesi) - BAUBAU (South East Sulawesi) - BITUNG (North Sulawesi) - SORONG (Irian Jaya) - MANOKWARI (PAPUA) - JAYAPURA (PAPUA)

KM. LAMBELU :  MAKASSAR (South Sulawesi) - BAUBAU (Buton Island, S.E Sulawesi) - AMBON (Maluku) - NAMLEA (Maluku) - TERNATE N.Maluku) - BITUNG (North Sulawesi)

KM. DOROLONDA: BALIKPAPAN (East Kalimantan) - PANTOLAN (Central Sulawesi) - BITUNG (North Sulawesi) - TERNATE (North Maluku) - SORONG (Irian Jaya) - MONOKOWARI (West Papua) - NABIRE (West Papua) - SERUI (West Papua) - JAYAPURA (West Papua)

KM. TILONGKABILA : BENOA (Bali) - LEMBAR (Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara) - BIMA (West Nusa Tenggara) - LABUAN BAJO (Flores, East Nusa Tenggara - MAKASSAR (South Sulawesi) - BAUBAU (Buton Island, S.E Sulawesi) - RAHA (Muna Island, S.E Sulawesi) - BITUNG (North Sulawesi)

By Bus

Tomohon is reachable also by BUS or Car from cities in Sulawesi or Celebes Island such as Makassar, Pare-Pare, Toraja, Poso, Tentena, Palu, Toli-Toli, Ampana, Gorontalo, Bitung, Kotamobagu, Manado and other minor cities.

Bus Terminals to Tomohon is from Tondano, Kawangkoan, and Manado and destined to Terminal Beriman, Tomohon.

Rental Car

Get a rental car direct from the airport on arrival. Cost around $50 day Included Driver, or Self Drive aproximately Rp.300,000.- per day, can be used for around minahasa. For Central Information tel +62-852-4022-0620 or +62-431-892-979

Bluebird Taxi (Bluebird), (Manado to Tomohon, Airport to Tomohon and other areas), +62-431-861234

Mikrolet Tomohon Tondano (AB), Terminal Tondano (Tondano-Tomohon-Tondano). 06.00-20.00.  

Mikrolet Tomohon Sonder (AC), Terminal Sonder (Sonder-Tomohon-Sonder). 07.00-19.00.  

Mikrolet Tomohon Tanawangko (AF), Terminal Tanawangko (Tanawangko-Tomohon-Tanawangko). 07.00-15.00. 

Bus Tomohon Manado, Terminal Karombasan, Manado - Terminal Beriman Tomohon (Manado-Tomohon-Manado). 05.00-20.00. Rp. 6.000.  edit

Get around

Bendi Local Transportation in Tomohon

By mikrolet

There are several ways to get around Tomohon area. The first one is by Mikrolet. Mikrolet is the light blue Mitsubishi Colts and can be found everywhere with various destinations. They operate on set routes with established fares but also can be chartered when it is empty. The passenger seats in a Mikrolet face forward with maximum 9 passengers. Some mikrolets are fully furnished with a small LCD TV, CD Player or music player, comfortable seats and so on. All regular routes begin and end in the main terminal called Terminal Beriman.

By cart

Bendi is a local name for horse cart and can be a second option to go around Tomohon. Just like Mikrolet, Bendi also operates on set limited routes. Only from downtown to Areas such as Matani, Walian, Kamasi, and Kolongan. This bendi is the old transportation along with cow cart called Roda Sapi. While bendi served for public transportation in town, roda sapi served the route to the farm or rice fields. Nowadays, the fare for a trip by bendi is Rp. 2.000. And can be chartered up into 4 hours to go around downtown Tomohon.

By ojek

Ojek is an Indonesian term for Public Motorbike. The fares are various depend on the distance of a particular destination but it usually starts from $0.3  This Ojek can also be chartered daily. The chartered fare is around Rp. 50.000 / per day without Fuel. By ojek, we can reach the places unreachable by Mikrolet or Bendi, even by Rental cars.

By taxi

Daily in front of Bethesda Hospital, at downtown, you can find many cars lining up. They are called black taxi or Rental Cars. The cars can be hired daily, weekly, monthly and even annually. The rate is various between Rp. 250.000,- up to Rp. 500.000/day. The service can be include driver and fuel or without them as well.

Out of Town

You also can reach other destination in Main Land of North Sulawesi from Tomohon.

To Tangkoko National Park, in Bitung, (Via Tondano or Manado), +62-897-1636659 (, starts from 8 AM. Tangkoko National Park is reachable from Tomohon also. It is two hours driving by rental car. You can ask the service from hotel but also from the address mentioned in the listing. €35 - €40/day (max 8 hours). 
Lake Tondano, Rental Car Service | Kakaskasen - Tomohon Utara (Via Kawangkoan and Langowan), +62-819-4047804. Lake Tondano is more or less 15 km from Tomohon. To reach the lake, someone can hire a motorbike starting from $ 5.00-$ 7.50 a day, or chartered a Mikrolet about $ 1.25 -$150 a day, or if preferred extra privacy and comfortable someone can rent a car for $ 25.00-$35.00 a day. You can call the phone number above or send text message for more information. 

Mt. Soputan (Gunung Soputan), Tombatu (Via ''Langowan''), +62-431-3488659 (, [3]. Start from 8 AM. Mt. Soputan is also reachable from Tomohon, it is about 2 hours of driving to the southern area of Minahasa. If you are interested to go to Mt. Soputan you have to plan the trip very carefully. It is better to hire a guide who know the area very well. Mt. Soputan is one of the most active volcano in the region, even in Indonesia. € 50 per pax.  

Bentenan Beach-Nimanga River-Bukit Kasih (Hill of Love), in Kawangkoan-Batu Pinabetengan. 

For tangkoko nature reserve youvisit this weblog by guide jotje lala 00:56, 10 February 2012 (EST)

As a cool highland, Tomohon has some very pleasant hiking and walking.

    Lake Linow (Danau Linow)
    Mount Mahawu (Gunung Mahawu)
    Mt. Lokon
    Mt. Masarang
    Tintingon Hill
    Via Dolorosa at Mahawu (Jalan Salib Mahawu)
    Tumimperas Waterfall
    Wawo Hill
    Knockdown House Industry
    Ancient Site and Amphitheater Woloan
    Tinoor View Point
    Inspiration Hill (Bukit Inspirasi)
    Tinoor Waterfall
    Tomohon Traditional Market
    Temboan Hill, Rurukan
    Geothermal Lahendong
    Palm Sugar Industry
    Pagoda and Buddhayana Temple
    Sony Art Gallery (Painting Gallery)

Bukit Doa Mahawu (Jalan Salib Mahawu), Jl. Lingkar Timur, Kakaskasen Dua, (+62) 431 3358833. A quiet area made for Christian pilgrim to remember the sacrifice of Jesus until He died on the cross. Inside the area is a Chapel of Virgin Mary, amphitheater Mahawu and man made grotto. All welcome Rp.2500 per person. 
Buddhayana Monastery, Sunge, Kakaskasen tiga, (+62) 431 3360881. a Buddhist religious and meditation complex. Chinese culture preserved in architecture of statues, Kwan Im goddess palace and pagoda. Religious service every Sunday 15.30. Free. 
Sightseeing Around Tomohon, Flowers Lane Vacation | Jl. Kel. Tangkawarow No. 2 Kakaskasen, +62-431-3488659, [5]. 08.00. When you stays in one of the resorts in Tomohon, having nothing to do, one of the option is go around Tomohon. FLV can arrange your sightseeing trip. starts from USD 30 / per pax. 
Bird Watching, Flowers Lane Vacation (Jl. Kel. Tangkawarow. No. 2 Kakakaskasen), +62-431-3488659. 05.00 - finish. There are several and special as well as incredible birds can be found in Mt. Mahawu and Mt. Lokon in Tomohon as well as the other part of North Sulawesi such as Rufus Bellied Eagle; Brown Cuckoo Dove; Mountain White Eye; Dark Fronted White Eye; Scarlet Honey-eater; Crimson Crowned Flowerpecker; Sulawesi Spotted Goshawk; Sulawesi Serpent Eagle; Bay Coucal; Yellow Bellied Malkoha; Superb Fruit Dove; Citrine Flycatcher; Streaky Headed White Eye; Grey Sided Flowerpecker; Island Verditer; Sulawesi Dwarf Woodpecker; Mountain Tailorbird; White Browed Crake; Cinnamon Bittern; Scaly Breasted Munia; Cinnamon Munia; Little Egret; Wandering Whistling Duck; Ziting Cisticola; Lesser Coucal; Glamorous Reed Warbler; Javan Pond Heron; Black Kite; Bhraminy Kite; Blue Breasted Quail. Start from USD 30 / person. 

Horse Riding, Flowers Lane Vacation (Jl. Kel. Tangkawarow. No. 2 Kakakaskasen), +62-431-3488659. 9 am - 2 pm. There is a very interesting activity can be done in Tomohon, Horse Riding. The 4 hours trip is to Wawo hill. Start from US$40.


Tomohon is very famous for Minahasan cuisine. Minahasan food or Manadonese food is usually very spicy. Among Indonesian Cuisine, Minahasan Cuisine is one of the spiciest cuisines. Traveler must pay attention to what they are asking in the restaurant. If you are not accustomed to spicy food, you will have to communicate with the waiter or waitress.


Sup Ubi / Bete - is a very tasty home-cooking for appetizer. It's made by Xanthosoma root with edible hibiscus leaves and or Water Spinach leaves.
Braunebonen - literally red bean soup. Cooked either with cow bones or pig legs with herbs such as clove, nutmeg, white pepper. The minahasan likes to eat this together with rice.
Sup Kacang Ijo - literally green bean soup. The preparation is very similar with braunebonen.
Kua Asam / Kua trang - Sour soup or Clear Soup. The local people has a riddle about this food. "Salt from the sea and Sour from the Mountains meets together in a pan, what is that?" - and the answer is Sour Soup, because it's made by several herbs such as spring onion, lemon leaves, lemon basil, tomatoes, a little bit chilli, red ginger and fish with little bit salt and lime. Very tasty.
Sup kentang - Potato Soup cooked in Pasta such as macaroni or rice vermicelli.
Tinorangsak, pork cooked with herbs such as spring onion, lemon leaves, lemon grass, chilli, and other kinds of herbs; it is cooked in bamboo. Several prepare it using frying pan.
RW /err weh/, dog meat cooked with chilli, lemon grass, lemon leaves, spring onion and other kinds of herbs.
Paniki, bat cooked in coconut milk with spicy herbs.
Paku Popaya Bulu, Vegetables of Edible Fern and Papaya leaves (sometimes with flowers too), cooked in bamboo with spices and herbs. Some people likes to add the salty pork fat.
Ayam Bulu, Chicken cooked in bamboo.
Ayam Bumbu RW, Chicken cooked with spices for RW.
Bebek Bumbu RW, Duck cooked with spices for RW.
Bebek Bulu, Duck cooked in bamboo.
Ayam Garo, literally means scratching chicken, because the preparation is a fast mixing of the herbs and spices on the frying pan similar to scratching it. This food is categorized to spicy food because of the amount of chilli.
Babi Garo, literally means scratching pork, the process is similar to Ayam Garo.
Babi Tore, literally means crisp pork.
Kapala Babi, literally means Pig Head. It is pig head boiled in spiced soup.
Acar, made of young bamboo, carrots, cucumber, peanut, herbs and other spices such as turmeric and onion.
Ikan Woku Blanga, any fish cooked in Main Minahasan Spices: chilli, turmeric, ginger, lemon grass, lemon leaves, lime, candle nut, lemon basil, turmeric leaf. It's called blanga because it's prepared by using frying pan.
Ikan Woku Daong, any fish cooked in Main Minahasan Spices: chilli, turmeric, ginger, lemon grass, lemon leaves, lime, candle nut, lemon basil, turmeric leaf. It's called daong because it's prepared by using palm leaves called woka.
Ikan Woku Kring, any fish cooked in Main Minahasan Spices: chilli, turmeric, ginger, lemon grass, lemon leaves, lime, candle nut, lemon basil, turmeric leaf. It's called kring because it's prepared with less of water and when it's cooked, we can barely see any soup in it.
Rica Rodo, made of corn, aubergine (egg plant), long bean with spicy herbs, chilli, and smoked fish.
Sayor Pusu' made of florescent or banana heart, cooked with entrails of animals, normally chicken or pork, such as intestine, heart, and liver.

Galilea, (+62)431352841. The best pig ribs in town. A full meal of white rice, 3 pig ribs (costellata), braunebonen (red beans) soup and vegetable only cost Rp 15.000 (US$ 1.5) 
Kobong Cafe, Jl. Raya Tomohon.  edit
Kit Sang Restaurant, Jl. Raya Tomohon. 
Restaurant Sineleyan, Jl. Raya Tomohon. 
Risoma Restaruant (Restoran Risoma), Jl. Raya Tomohon - Manado, Tinoor (On the way to Manado). 11 AM - 9 PM. The best Minahasan Cuisine. It locates out of town and unfortunately the restaurant is hard to achieve just by microlet service. The menu includes Pangi, Acar, Tinorangsak (pork cooked in Bambu), RW (dogmeat), Paniki (Fruit Bat meat), Braunebonen (Red bean soup), Sayor pait (bitter vegetable) and many more. $0.2 Person.
Heng Mien Restaurant (Restoran Heng Mien), Jl. Raya Tomohon Manado, Tinoor (On the way to Manado). 10 AM - 10 PM. The famous Minahasan Cuisine Restaurant in town. Unfortunaley, this restaurant also locates out of town on the road to Manado. The menu are almost all the famous of the Minahasan cuisine such as RW, Paniki, Pangi, Sayor Pait, Acar, and so on. To get here, you can charter a mikrolet the fare starts from $7.5 per trip, or ask the hotel to arrange the Dinner here. $0.2 / Person.


Cap Tikus and Saguer are two kinds of famous drink in Tomohon. Cap Tikus is distilled beverage from Zap. While Saguer is the Zap harvested from palm tree. Saguer has several tastes that are sweet, sour, bitter, sweet and sour, sweet and bitter, bitter and sour, all the tastes comes out depend on the technique of the farmers harvesting the zap.

There is also a certain kind of drink called Sukur, made of red ginger cooked with traditionally made of brown sugar in a clay pot. This drink is very good for health. Often time used when somebody get cold or cough.


The Highland Resort and Spa is the ideal place to base yourself, whether it might be just for several days or for several weeks. Our unique resort offers a cool respite from the tropical heat of the town, and a quiet venue to relax and enjoy the lush vegetation and birdlife found in the Highlands.

Located in Kinilow, a small village situated between Manado and Tomohon, the resort itself is set 300 metres away from the main road and the bustle of the traffic. The cottages face the hills and down a ravine. However, it is only 20 kms to Manado and 5 kms to Tomohon.

At an altitude of 700 metres above sea level, The Highland Resort's cooling mountain climate will suit those still aclimatising to the tropical heat of Indonesia. Tomohon is the nearest town with small local shops and an interesting traditional market which is well worth a visit early in the morning. All manner of fruit, vegetables, spices and household items are on sale. Keep an eye out for the skinned bats or rats, a local delicacy.

A dramatic feature of the Resort's location is the towering volcanoes of Lokon and Mahawu. The volcanic soil of the area provides the lush vegetation surrounding the resort and the region produces most of the vegetables and flowers supplied to Manado.

Traditional Indonesian architecture has been used in the construction of the cottages. Artistically designed furniture made of coconut wood is a feature of each room. Beauty and privacy has been achieved by terracing the front of all the units with exotic plants and flowers.

Highland Suitee

There are four types of rooms: Standard, Superior, Deluxe and our Highland Suites. All have private bathrooms with hot and cold water shower. Other amenities that are provided for your comfort in all our rooms are satellite tv's and comfortable, large beds.

For the Standard and Superior category there are units of two rooms under one roof, while the more spacious Deluxe Rooms and our Suites are private cottages. Superior, Deluxe and Suites have coffee and tea making facilities and a minibar. Additionally the Suites have a water dispenser and a bathroom with bath tub/shower.

Gardenia Country Inn Tomohon. About 30 minutes from downtown Manado, this countryside inn has bungalows, chalets, and standard rooms. Rates start at $88 for a single bed in the chalet, including free breakfast, welcome drink, a fruit basket, mineral water, tea and coffee in your room, afternoon tea and coffee with traditional snacks, and free Wi-Fi. It has a garden with fishponds, tropical flowers and plants, along with unique birds and butterflies give it the feel of an environmental sanctuary. In another part of the garden, you will find different organic crops like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, carrot, tropical exotic fruits, and local herbs like basil, chilies, lemongrass, ginger, turmeric and so on which is used by the kitchen there.
Highland Resort Tomohon (Highland Resort and Spa), Kinilow Jaga VI, (+62) 431 353333/353888. checkin: 12.00; checkout: 12.00. Right outside of town and a 400 meter walk from the main road. Newer and sleeker bungalows than the Happy Flower and Volcano Resorts with hot showers and TV. The rate is per room per night, with it's luxurious facilities. The resort gives free internet WiFi service and free massage. €30 - €60. 
Mountain View Homestay, Jl. Raya Tomohon, Walian Tomohon Selatan (In front of Cool Supermarket), +62-431-353423. It locates fifteen minutes ride on a public Microlet from Terminal Beriman Tomohon, and in front of Cool Supermarket. The homestay or inn have hot and cold shower. Mobile contact +62-81340363553 $10.00
Onong Palace, Kinilow. A ten minute walk from the Highland Resort. The bungalows are spaced further apart from each other than the Highland Resort and are also quite new. 250,000 Rp. per night  edit
Volcano Resort. Five minute ride on a public mikrolet from the Terminal, and a 5 minute walk off the main street. Or you can charter a mikrolet for about 15,000 Rp. Wooden bungalows with attached cold showers cost 200,000 Rp per night. Economy double rooms are 100,000Rp. Includes breakfast. $10.00

Get out

There are daily flight from Manado to several cities in Indonesia, and several days a week of Silk Air from Singapore. And Tomohon is only 33 Km from the Sam Ratulangi International Airport, if you need a flight 1.5 hour from the check in time is the best time to go.
Terminal Malalayang to go to Gorontalo, Palu, Poso, Makassar. Manado harbor to Bunaken, Siladen, Sangihe, Talaud.
Sam Ratulangi International Airport to Jakarta, Bali, Makassar, Singapore, Balikpapan, Raja Ampat, Ternate

Bitung Via Tondano or Manado and to Bitung Harbor and Lembeh Island
Bitung Harbor travel by ship to Eastern Indonesia such as Maluku and Papua, also to Central Sulawesi and South East Sulawesi

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