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Places to visit: Makassar - Islands near Makassar · Majene / Pambusuang
White sand beach
Tanjung (Cape) Bira lies at the south-eastern tip of South Sulawesi (click here for chart). Coming from Makassar the 190 kilometers going there will take about four hours by car.
Tanjung Bira and surroundings are famous for their white beaches with powder-like sand and shipbuilding. Tourism is slowly developing in this area, resulting in better access to the villages and some reasonable quality places to stay. Bira is suitable for relaxing on the beach, swimming, snorkeling, diving and walks in the area. Please be aware of the very strong currents around cape Bira.
The rainfall pattern in Bira (and as well Bulukumba and Sinjai) is different from Makassar and many other areas in Sulawesi, Bali and Java. While Makassar has heavy rains in the period December - February, Bira and surroundings are dry, though an occasional shower from the west will be possible. In Bira most rain falls during the months April, May and June.
Please note: it is not always high tide in Bira!
The most visited part of the peninsula is around the very end of the tar road. This area is called Kapongkolang. Unfortunately this place has in the past been cleared of trees before the building of restaurants and small hotels started. Because of the dry limestone soil, trees only slowly come back again. It takes just a short walk from here to visit greener beaches in the area.
Bira's harbour you will find at the south-east side of the peninsula. This is the place from where the ferries to Selayar and Labuan Bajo (Flores) leave. During the west monsoon many classical style boats that usually are operated for dive cruises moor here for shelter and repairs.
Places to stay:
Jl. Kapongkolang No. 6
Phone: (0413) 82125
Bira Beach Hotel
Jl. Kapongkolang No. 2
Phone: (0413) 81515 - 81579
Fax: (0413) 81515
Bira View Inn
Phone: (0413) 82043 - 81763
Representative in Makassar:
Phone: (0411) 867336
Bira View Inn
About two kilometers north of the Bira harbour (at the east coast) you will find the pleasant village of Panrang Luhuk. Here a few cottages have been build for receiving guests. There is a nice beach that is good for swimming and snorkeling. Though the coral reef has been damaged at several places the are still some good spots left. The reefs harbor a wide variety of fish. As currents is this area can be strong it is advised not to go to far out. Next to this it might be good to be aware of Panrang Luwuk being a rather traditional village where topless sunbathing is not acceptable.
A few hundred meters outside the village you will find some pinisiq boats being build on the beach.
Panrang Luhuk beach
Panrang Luhuk boat building
Places to stay:
(two cottages available)
"Sinar Bira" cottages in Panrang Luhuk
Pulau Kambing, Pasi Tanete and Selayar
South of the Bira peninsula lies the 80 km long, long-stretched island of Selayar. The 16 km wide strait between Bira and Selayar is well know for its attractive diving spots. The most popular dive locations here are around the islands "Pulau Kambing" and "Pasi Tanete". It is strongly advised to be accompanied by a dive guide that knows this area well, as currents can be dangerous.
"Anda Diving Centre" (next to "Anda Bungalows" in Bira) organises dive trips around Bira.
The best dive area near the coast of Selayar is the southern part of its east coast. This is the area where Selayar Dive Resort is located.
The coast of the island "Pasi Tanete"
North-eastern side of the island "Pasi Tanete" (with light house)
The southern part of the east coast of Selayar seen from the live-aboard "The Duyung"
On the road from Bulukumba to Tanjung Bira you will pass after about 25 km Tanah Beru, a village full of boat builders. In the past many boat builders from around Bira moved here, resulting in an interesting concentration of boats under construction. If you are in the village, just go off the main road at the point it makes a sharp curve, and spend some time to visit the building sites.
Most boats are of the type "Finisi" (Pinisiq). Many of these boats still are built without the use of technical drawings. Still many wood connections are made with wooden pins. Recently the price of boats built here went up drastically due increasing hardwood prices. This did not stop new boats being built. A big part of the boats under construction are ordered by foreigners that operate these "pinisiq" for dive cruises.
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