This pleasant provincial town provides good examples of Dutch colonial architecture
Gorontalo is a surprisingly pleasant town in the north of Sulawesi. Most people will only get here before or after transport to the Togian Islands, Gorontalo being one of two harbours for Togian ferries, but the town does warrant extra time, even though there is nothing spectacular to see.
The relatively small centre contains a variety of old Dutch colonial houses, in different states of maintenance. The Governor’s Mansion, formerly probably the Dutch Resident’s home, is beautifully restored, and if you ask friendly, a policeman will accompany you inside to have a look at the reception rooms. But everywhere else you also find good examples of Dutch colonial architecture – unlike in so many other Indonesian towns. Mostly single story, with fairly large gardens and verandahs, and often wooden windows with stained glass.
Gorontalo also has its obligatory shopping centre – every Indonesian town has at least one, whether there is demand or not -, a covered market, and a whole range of shops and restaurants. A really nice place to spend a few days.