Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Manado Trip - Grand Luley, A Hidden Gem in Manado

Initially, I allocated morning of the third day for souvenir shopping and some culinary trips. However, our tour guide, Erland, managed to pushed it into second day itinerary. So, he suggested us to visit Grand Luley Resort & Dive.

Grand Luley Resort & Dive is located in Tongkaina, about 30-45 minutes drive away from city centre. Erland told us that it was newly opened after the taking over from the previous owner and quite a major renovation.

The location of Grand Luley Resort & Dive, far from the city, near Bunaken Marine Park

So, I agreed to Erland's offer to bring us to this place.

Let's start the journey!

Bf and I again opted not to have breakfast in the hotel. We planned to eat tinutuan, i.e. the traditional Manado porridge at the famous Jalan Wakeke Tinutuan Culinary Street. When we told the rest where we were going, some of them wanted to follow us. And voila, suddenly there were six of us.

We walked about 15 minutes to the area. It was not a tough walk because Manado was generally cleaner than Palembang or Jakarta. Smaller roads, less vehicles, less dust, less sweat.

The gate.  Imagine the whole road of restaurants selling the same things?

Erland recommended Cafe Dego Dego or Rumah Makan Pelangi. He told me that these two served the nicest tinutuan along the road but Cafe Dego Dego would have better interior. So I decided to bring them to Cafe Dego-Dego.

When we stepped in, we were greeted by wooden interiors: the tables, the chairs, the pillars, and the beams. The place was busy. So we sat down and ordered three portion of tinutuan, three portion of mie kuah cakalang (skipjack tuna noodle soup), and six pieces of perkedel nike (nike fish fricadel). So we ate in pairs to experience everything!

Tinutuan is traditional porridge of Manado. Rice porridge mixed with spinach, water morning glory, basil, and starches like pumpkin, cassava, and sweet potato. It tastes sweet because of the starches, but when you add the chili sauce, it turns damn tasty. The mixture of sweetness, saltiness, and spiciness in your mouth. Yummy!

Mie kuah cakalang. A noodle soup with chunks of skipjack tuna and vegetables. The soup broth is tasty especially when you add the chili sauce.

Perkedel nike. Nike is a kind of tiny transparent fish that can only be found in North Sulawesi during new moon. It was crispy and tasty at the same time. You can dip it into tinutuan or mie cakalang. They are perfect match!

Out of the three, the dish that I liked the least (I can't say what I liked the most) was the noodle. I found it not so special as compared to the other two dishes. And the price is reasonable too. We paid IDR 12000 (SGD1.3) for a portion of tinutuan, IDR 16000 (SGD1.8) for a bowl of mie cakalang, and IDR 5000 (SGD 0.55) for a piece of perkedel nike. With the quality of the food, they were cheap!

One more special thing about Cafe Dego-Dego was the live music. We had our breakfast while enjoying the traditional band playing a lot of songs. And they played modern songs too! Can you imagine how cool it was?

Of course I took a picture! But actually I should take a video!!!

After we finished eating, we had the car picked us and we dashed to our first destination of the day: Grand Luley Resort & Dive!

When we reached there, it was about 11 am. Grand Luley is actually a private resort and outsiders are not supposed to enter the premises.

However, we tried our luck.

We reported to the guard house when we entered. After we stated our intention, the guard referred us to go into the lobby to ask for permission. Then again, we stated our intention to the receptionist at the lobby, she could not give us permission. So she went in to talk to her manager.

At this point of time, I thought we would be going out of this place empty-handed.

But, well, Manado people are really nice people. He allowed us to roam his resort FOR FREE even though he gave us one hour time frame.

The first thing we did was going to the toilet. And the toilet surprised us!

We were surprised by the size of the toilet which could actually house a few toilet cubicles and it was equipped with air conditioner!

While we were waiting for the rest at the lobby. 

We walked towards the sea, passing through rooms, a grand lobby/restaurant, and swimming pools. The day was bright and sunny and I really felt like dipping myself into the swimming pool.

The canopy towards the rooms

In front of the grand lobby/restaurant. Taking photo was a must do everywhere!

The heavenly swimming pool.

And after that, we passed through a wooden bridge on top of a swamp. We could see a lot of trees sandwiching the bridge. And along the bridge, there were gazebos. Chacha just stopped at the first gazebo because it was too hot for her.

How I love this photo!

And after a neverending walk under the shining sun, we finally reached the end of the bridge. I initially thought that I would see sand and wave, but eventually it turned out to be a pier. So there we were, standing exactly in front of Manadotua Island.

These wooden bridge and two gazebos at the end of the bridge. I suddenly thought about a wonderful sunset wedding solemnization here, with candles along the bridge. <3

The pier and the clear blue water

Manadotua Island right in front of our faces

Basically we just stood there looking at the wave and taking pictures. No burning sun could stop us from enjoying our time!

Memories and friends are to be kept for life

Can you spot the tiny couple there having their own sweet time?

Ow yeah, I am jumping up high!

Nobody realized that one hour had passed. We walked back with a huge happy feeling for the great view at the pier and the wonderful hospitality of Grand Luley Resort.

We were grateful.

Next Post - Walk, Hike, and Sweat for Tarsier

Love is in the air,
Little Feet

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