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Bitung is the chief regional port and home to many factories. Despite its spectacular setting, the town is unattractive, so most travellers make for Manado) or beyond as soon as possible.
Regardless of what time you arrive by boat in Bitung, there will be buses going to Manado, but if you need to leave Bitung by boat early in the morning, it may be prudent to stay overnight. Be vigilant around the docks, as plenty of pickpockets turn up to greet the Pelni liners.
Wisma Pelaut is the best place to stay if you get stuck here and there are plenty of basic rumah makan in the town centre and near the port.