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On the north eastern peninsula of the island of Sulawesi that forms the Province of North Sulawesi ,  lies the port of  Bitung facing the Moluccas Strait. This is  the harbour of Manado that has lately made rapid strides in development. The name Bitung refers to the lines of vegetation decorating its coastline but another source says that  the name Bitung, in fact, is  derived from the word Balisung,  which means : the place for magical recovery. Together they spell a picturesque, peaceful and prosperous harbor.


The administrative region of  Bitung covers the foothills of Mt. Dua Sudara and a stretch of sea that  includes the  island of Lembeh, whose clear waters are a paradise for divers.  Meanwhile, the port of Bitung is kept busy  with the loading and unloading of cargo, trading and as well as  education. The language most used here is  the Manadonese dialect.


Bitung is a conglomeration of many ethnic groups  from around the region, comprising  the Minahasa, and the Sangir –Talaud ethnic groups, who are mostly Protestants, but there are also those from Java and Gorontalo who embrace  Islam, while Chinese descendents mostly follow Confucianism or the Buddhist religion. .


Not far beyond the town of Bitung lies an amazing array of exotic fauna and flora .  Nearby, the Tangkoko Nature Reserve  is habitat of the rare tiny tarsiers, cute little monkeys  with big saucer eyes  that are now the icon of Bitung.  While at sea, the diving spots around  the Lembeh Strait contain some of the most stunning tropical ocean life.


And because of the abundance of tuna fish caught here , Bitung is also known as “Kota Cakalang” the Tuna City,  As a matter of fact, Bitung contributes the largest tuna catch in the whole of Indonesia. It will, therefore come as no surpirse that you will find a huge statue of a Tuna fish right in the center of town at Jalan Sam Ratulangi.   


 It is this cosmopolitan fusion of  Bitung,  its wealth in sea produce, flora and fauna on land and in the sea that have made Bitung a flourishing  international port for trade and shipping, eco-friendly  in tourism  development  and in step with the rhythms of today’s globalized world.


To Eat, To Buy, To Stay, To Do

Bitung has three star-rated hotels., these are  Hotel Fatamorgana ( +62 438-21227), Kungkungan Bay Resort ( +62 438-30300) and Hotel Nalendra (+62 438-30403).


There are also a number of smaller hotels, they include:  Hotel Melati Krista (+62 438-32483), Hotel Nice Bambu (+62 438-31507) or Hotel Phoenix (+62 438-30255).


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Getting There and Around

Get There

The distance between Manado, capital of North Sulawesi and the port of Bitung is approximately  44 km.  If you do not  wish to travel by private car, there are public buses available that serve the Manado-Bitung route, starting from  Terminal Paal Dua or  the  Karombasan Bus Terminal. Non airconditioned buses charge Rp7,500 for the trip while the fare for airconditioned buses  is Rp8, 500, for the two hours’ ride.


A  taxi will cost you around  Rp200 thousand. To call a taxi you can contact the following companies: Blue Bird  (+62431- 86 1234), Trust Taxi ( +62431-824000) and Celebrity Taxi (+62 431-851010).

You can also rent a car in Manado  with varying costs starting from Rp300 thousand.

Here are a number of car rental companies:
CV Central
Address    :    Jl. Sungai Musi, Singkil
Phone     :     +62 431 3335011

CV Kenalan
Address    :    Jl. 21 Mei, Teling
Phone    :    0431 3323293, 0811 437793
Mawar Sharon
Address    :    Jl. Sugiono No. 5
Phone    :    0431 855193
Mobil Rental Mitra
Address    :    Jl. Jambore, Winangun
Phone    :     +62 431 3366442

Bitung is also accessible by ferry. These ply the following routes:  Bitung-Pananaru, Bitung-Siau, Bitung-Melanguane and  Bitung-Ternate.