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Sulawesi Tenggara (Southeast Sulawesi,) is on one of the world’s most uniquely shaped islands, often referred to as the “Orchid Shaped Island.” Today, Sulawesi is divided into six provinces, one of them being Southeast Sulawesi, covering the lower eastern “petal” of this beautiful island. The city of Kendari is its capital which lies on the east coast of the peninsula and is the starting point to any adventure into this fascinating province.
In Southeast Sulawesi are found the 7-tiers Moramo Waterfalls, the Giant Clam Marine Park, and also the Wakatobi National Park, dclared a UNESCO Biosphere Park.
Kendari city, was formerly named Kandai, and also sometimes referred to among the locals as Kantahi. Translated literally, this means, the coastal region.
Kendari is the tourist center of the province of Sulawesi Tenggara, which offers wonderful attractions both on land and seas. It lies along the sloping hills and seaside of Kendari Bay, and is residence to some 100,000 people. Kendari boasts the manufacture of numerous fine, artistic handicrafts, for both home and office use. They are reproduced by skilled craftsmen, from original designs and handed down through the generations, using indigenous roots and ironwood.
Visitors will find frequent, colorful ceremonial events in and around Kendari. To be present at any one of these occasions is to be invited to participate. For the closing of any ceremonial event in Kendari it will be highlighted by the local “Lulo Dance”, performed by local men and women. And all on-lookers are invited to join the dance, as part of the conclusion and harmonious farewell.
Most the of the land area of Southeast Sulawesi, Kendari included, is covered by natural jungle. There are extensive plantations of teak and ironwood, which are used for local handicrafts and contribute to the local economy. For those who like challenging adventures and ecotourism, this part of Sulawesi is ideal. There are several dive and snorkel spots which you may wish to try in and around Kendari, before you venture further into the deep-sea waterworld around Wakatobi.