Tomohon is a mountain village in the North of Sulawesi about 25 km from Manado. The city of Tomohon has a cool mountain climate which will suit those still aclimatising to the tropical heat of Indonesia. The city is known for it’s flowers, volcano’s and his macabre market. Gladiolus and dahlias are solt at the market next to the snakes, bats and dogs..
We travelled on from the Togian islands to Gorontalo, leaving Kadidiri Beach behind with a small fisher boat at 1.30 pm to the little city of Wakai. From there the ferry left to Gorontalo at 5 pm and arrived in Gorontalo at 6 am the next morning.
We rented a cabin for 4 persons and some cockroaches for 500.000 Rupiah besides the ticket for the ferry which is 60.000 Rupiah p.p. If you don’t want to spent this extra money, you can either sleep on the chairs or wooden floor. You can make it a bit more comfortable by renting a leather matras for 10.000 Rupiah.
Jemi, our private driver, waited for us at Gorontalo Harbor from where we left for a 9 hour busdrive of 400 km to Tomohon. 9 hours became 12 because of car problems and we arrived at 7 pm. in Tomohon. During the time we had to wait for the van to be fixed, we were the local stars in town and especially the children wanted to play with us and take photos.
The food at the Mountainview Resort and Spa in Tomohon is quite good but we wanted to try something else as well. We went to Bali’s House. A really nice looking restaurant in Balinese sphere. The staff is friendly and they all wanted to see the white people who came to eat. After some photos we could enjoy our cocktails, beers and food. One tip: don’t order the steak if you really want steak. You’ll get a thin piece of meat that doesn’t even taste like steak. The chicken steak however is tasteful.
We stayed in a family bungalow at the Mountainview Resort and Spa. A nice place but the walls are paper thin. Not only on the inside, but you can also hear your neighbors alarm clock in the morning. We don't remember exactly how much we paid, but the price was fair. But be aware that the owners are German.
** You can find them on booking.com
We started our first day here with a walk/climb up to Lokon Volcano. The walk is about 2,5 kilometers one way up a volcano stream and takes about an hour. It isn’t an easy walk because you have to climb over rocks, slide through mud and avoid the loose rocks rolling down from people walking ahead of you. The view from the volcano is nice but after visiting Mount Bromo a couple of weeks ago, we weren’t that impressed. However, it is nice to go there when visiting Tomohon.
In the afternoon we went to the Tumimperas Waterfall (45 meters high), where you can notice while walking down the steps, not a lot of people come here. The plants are overgrowing the path but that makes it nice to go there. We also visited Danau Linow (3 color lake) but didn’t think it was that special. The same for the wood house factory street.
One of the things that Tomohon is known for, is the market. We skipped this one however. The Tomohon Day Market is known for selling exotic species, including bats, birds, monkeys, dogs and snakes. The selling (and explicitly killing) of dogs and cats is pretty standard here. The sight of a dog being clubbed to death and then burned is normal but not something we wanted to witness. It is however part of daily life and a cultural aspect for hundreds of years.