Tukangbesi Islands

Tukangbesi Islands

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According to Jacques Cousteau, the Tukangbesi Islands offered ‘possibly the finest diving in the world’ when he surveyed the area in the 1980s. Most of the islands are now part of Wakatobi Marine National Park (Taman Laut Wakatobi) and although the corals aren’t in the same shape as when Cousteau visited, few divers leave disappointed. Positioned remotely off the far southeast coast, the islands are difficult to reach, but they do offer superb snorkelling and diving, a blaze of corals and marine life, isolated beaches and stunning landscapes.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/indonesia/southeast-sulawesi/tukangbesi-islands

Bau Bau

Bau Bau

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With comfortable accommodation, great views from the well-preserved citadel walls and some decent beaches within easy ojek range, Pulau Buton’s prosperous main town of Bau Bau is a great place to await a boat connection to Maluku, North Sulawesi, or the diving paradise of Tukangbesi.

The terminal, main mosque and market are about 500m west of the main Pelni port, along Jl Kartini, which diverges from the seafront esplanade, Jl Yos Sudarso. Jl Kartini crosses a bridge then curves south past the post office towards the kraton (walled city palace).

Kendari

Kendari

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The capital of Southeast Sulawesi province has long been the key port for trade between the inland Tolaki people and seafaring Bugis and Bajau traders. The town’s isolation continues to cushion it from dramatic developments elsewhere. Kendari is a bustling town with little to recommend it except the range of decent accommodation.

Kendari begins in a tangle of lanes in the old kota (city) precinct adjacent to the original port in the east, and becomes progressively more modern as each era has added another suburb to the west. The one very, very long main road has most of the facilities, except the bus terminals.

Festival Teluk Kendari (Kendari Bay Festival) is held each April and is the highlight of the social calendar, with dragon-boat races, traditional music and plenty of partying.

– Southeast Sulawesi

Southeast Sulawesi

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Few visitors make it to Southeast Sulawesi, but the handful of travellers that are prepared to venture a little off the beaten track will find themselves rewarded with some striking scenery and hospitable cultures, as well as surprisingly good transport links. The top attraction here is Wakatobi Marine National Park, located in the remote Tukangbesi Islands off the southern tip, offering some of Indonesia’s best snorkelling and diving.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/indonesia/southeast-sulawesi