AMPANA - the gateway to Togian Islands
Updated: Aug 6, 2019
You are on the road throughout Sulawesi and your way brings you to the Togian Islands? Then you will most probably fumble into small but charming Ampana – the main hub to Togian Islands in the south of the islands.
View from the terrace to the neighborhood, Nebula Cottages.
THERE ARE HOTELS IN THIS SMALL TOWN?
There are several good choices to sleep in Ampana. Here`s a short list of hotels which could be the right pick for a night in Ampana. All places offer WIFI and can be highly recommended:
Nebula Cottages. Jamie and his staff really make you feel like you are at home. Even if you only stay for a night. The very welcoming host and his team are incredibly helpful and serve probably the best breakfast in Ampana. Who can resist some cheese toast and omelet? The rooms are clean, good quality and the prices are fair! The rooms are divided in two different standards. The Superior rooms offer AC and TV. Place to be!
Lawaka Hotel. The probably most professional run hotel in Ampana. Clean, high quality rooms with AC and TV. All rooms are set in a nice garden. You can book your night via www.booking.com. Most incredible: There is a new coffee in the backyard with a barista taking care of your orders. They have four different categories, the lowest one costs 300.000 IDR per night.
Marina Cottages. Marina Cottages is set right on the waterfront. With its clean black-stone-beach and open-air restaurant it always offers a nice breeze from the sea. Rooms in all categories which are clean and high quality. Good place to go! You will also meet EDY there, who is always fun to talk to.
RESTAURANTS IN AMPANA: GO FOR A GRILLED "GARDEN CHICKEN" OR A NICE BAKSO SOUP
There are tons of small restaurants which offer a good selection of local dishes. However, we would like to point out one special place in Ampana: BERINGING – Ayam Kampung! This small, hidden restaurant on the side of the street offers a whole set of grilled chicken (chicken from the garden – might be organic??), maybe the best tempe and tofu in town, kangkung, a chicken soup and egg. Of course, rice is served on the side. The older & charming Ibu ("Mama") of the restaurant runs the place with passion – we love it! For Lunchtime you may prefer a smaller dish and go with a noodle soup. We would recommend you to try out the "D´Bakso corner"
WHERE IS THE CITY CENTER OR THE NEXT BAR?
Well, there is no. However, it is easy to kill some time if you have to wait for your flight or just need a day to settle before you go to, or come back from the Togian Islands. Marina Cottages offers a nice open-air restaurant on their private beach. Even if you do not sleep there it is a grate place to spend some time. There are other lonely beaches around Ampana which are nice and can be easily reached by motorbike or bentor. If you feel like cooling down visit the waterfall (your bentor driver will now how to get there).
If you want to shop a little bit, or just see how the market is like: There is a small morning bazaar ("pasar pagi") only 5 minutes away from the harbor. You can buy clothes as well as vegetables and fruits there. There is also an afternoon market ("pasar sore"), which is easily reached by bentor.
In case you really want to have a night out aaaaand you are ready to sing, ask for the family karaoke. Sometimes there is also a sing- a- long in Lawaka Hotel. Hope you are ready to catch the microfon;-)
IRFAN - OUR FAVORITE BENTOR DRIVER IN TOWN
Irfan and his red Bentor (Indonesian style tuk tuk) is a true angel! He speaks almost only
Indonesian but his charm and reliability are enough to bring you safe around town. Irfan arranges pick ups from the airport, brings you to the harbor or wherever you wish to go. Contact him via: +6282346477075 or fumble into him in Nebula Cottages, the harbor or airport.
LOCAL HEROS: EDY OR DADANG WILL HELP YOU OUT
There are two true local heros in Ampana which work in hospitality service for years and speak perfect and fluent English. Dadang runs an own webpage where he informs about the Togian Islands https://infotogian.weebly.com/, you can ask at Nebula Cottages to contact him as well. Edy is based at Marian Cottages and gives 100% to make things happen.
Enjoy Ampana and some city life before you are off the grid at the Togian Islands!