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Malino - Rammang Rammang - Makassar

View South East Asia Grand Tour 2023 on Grete Howard's travel map.


Despite the hard bed, I had a reasonable sleep last night – better than anticipated, but not as good as I have been enjoying on this trip.


Acho, our trusted driver, picks us up from the hotel room to drive us to the restaurant for breakfast, the best part of a mile further up the hill. Perched on a hilltop, the panoramic windows and outdoor terrace offer stunning views of the tea plantation-covered slopes of Mount Malino.



The restaurant offers the same three choices of goreng (fried rice) as it did for dinner last night. I give the ‘smashed chicken’ a miss this morning and opt for the nasi goreng instead. It is marginally more enjoyable.



Located at 1300 metres above sea level, the temperature this morning is a cool 16 °C with a chilly breeze. Initially rather cautious about launching the drone in this wind, I am impressed with how well it copes with the gusts.



The panoramic restaurant

Malino Highlands

Tea plantations

Tea pickers

The Malino Highlands Hotel is part of an estate complete with tea plantations, greenhouses, cafés, a menagerie, and a mini zoo. We take a different route back to the hotel through the sprawling grounds.



Tea plantations

Amazing tree roots

Beautiful hydrangea

After settling the bill at the hotel, we start our drive back to Makassar, passing through pine forests in an area popular as a weekend retreat for workers from the capital. It’s an up and coming area, with lots of new-builds and restaurants.

Malino town is a low-key place, with no high rise buildings, and full of street stalls selling fruit such as strawberries and passion fruits, which this area is known for.

Malino Mosque


We stop for lunch in Maros in another empty restaurant. Empty other than us, staff, and two playful kittens, that is.




No goreng this lunchtime, although there is rice, of course (no Indonesian meal would be complete without rice), as well as a lime and tomato salad and a dish of spinach.

Pumpkin soup to start

Tuna – a lovely meaty and creamy fillet, with no bones (a definite bonus!)

The prawns taste better than they look.

In one of the towns we pass through, we meet a cavalcade of mourners on their way to a Muslim funeral. There must be well over a hundred cars with flashing lights, and motorbikes carrying white flags. Unfortunately, it is impossible to photograph the procession as they are passing quickly in the opposite direction. It is quite a spectacle though.

Rammang Rammang

The best way to explore this UNESCO Global Geopark and World Heritage Site is by a small wooden boat known as a jolloro along the genteel Pute River.



Concerned about my agility, I am delighted when I manage to climb the steep steps on the side of the jetty down into the boat. I will worry about getting out later.



Surrounded by tall palms and sugar-loaf hilltops, and passing through narrow gorges created from the erosion of the local limestone, it’s a relaxing way of spending the next hour or so.


The name Rammang Rammang means ‘a set of clouds or mist’, referring to the fact that the area is often shrouded in mist, especially early in the mornings. Today, however, is a nice clear day.


The boat trip finishes at a different jetty to the one we started out from, and here the steps are even higher. There is no way my knee will allow me to haul myself up from the boat onto that lower step.


After a few minutes of discussion, the boatmen have a solution: they take out one of the seats by removing the rope lashings that secure it to the boat and fetch a small ladder for me to climb up. That is what I call special service!


It works a treat, and I tip them generously before we meet up with Acho and the car again.

Karst Formations

Formed by limestone erosion over the last 30 million years or so, Rammang Rammang is the third largest karst area in the world after Tsingy in Madagascar and Shilin in China.


Back in Makassar, we return to the same hotel and the same procedure: with no restaurant on site, we resort to another burger and apple pie from MacDonalds. We also indulge in an ice cream tonight.

Waiting to check in to Santika Hotel in Makassar - travel light? Never heard of it!


This evening it is David’s turn to feel unwell.

Thank you to Undiscovered Destinations for arranging this amazing Gran Tour of South East Asia for us.


Posted by Grete Howard 13:08 Archived in Indonesia Tagged mosque indonesia sulawesi kittens boat_trip ladder tea_plantations makassar hydrangea drone undiscovered_destinations nasi_goreng macdonalds malini malino_highlans_resort tea_pickers playful_kittens rammang_rammang

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Looks like a real nice area! Never heard of it, thanks for sharing!

by Ils1976

I had not heard of it before either, Ils - there are so many interesting places in the world to explore. ♥

by Grete Howard

yes, this is really the case ... when I come back from a trip I am already looking forward to the next! I sure have to remember this one! :)

by Ils1976

I am the same Ils, and I often find if we chat with other travellers while we are away, I end up adding more places to my wish list. I need to live until I am 120 in order to fit it all in!

by Grete Howard

Wonderful scenery, especially the boat ride and karst landscape, and the kittens look like great fun!

by ToonSarah

I could have watched those kittens for hours - in fact I would happily have taken them home ♥

by Grete Howard

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