A town located at an important intersection, but that’s all; except for the exceedingly nice and friendly people here.
There is precisely nothing to see in Pare Pare. The smaller sister of Makassar, three hours to the north along the same coast, is somewhat run down, as so many Indonesian provincial towns, and however much we tried, we saw nothing of interest. A night market, the water front, the odd statue. Some nice wooden houses, mostly outside town. Fishing platforms offshore.
And yet, as so often, the sights are not what makes the town. I have been talking about the Indonesian people, and how nice they are, but time and again they do beat expectations. In Makassar, a man stopped his car, came up to us to ask what we were looking for, and then insisted on giving us a ride – no charge, no charge! – to the shopping mall. Here we meet the same kindness. Not being a tourist town, Pare Pare probably doesn’t see a lot of foreigners, which does mean a lot of “how are you, mister” and “where are you from”, but besides, people go out of their way to help, to find something specific in a shop, to choose our food in a restaurant, or direct us to the tourist office (they have that, here, God knows why). There is no socket in the hotel’s restaurant, where I want to write some of this blog up: somebody rushes off to get an extension cable. Somebody else walks me to the shop where I can get a pencil sharpener.
It is almost a pity that there is nothing to do here, we would have loved to stay longer. (If you do visit Pare Pare, our hotel and restaurant suggestion is here))
next: to Sengkang, at the Danau Taube, a lake