Year-End Trip: Explore Ternate Part 2

After enjoying coconut water while taking a short break at Sulamadaha, the journey went on. So, here we go!

  1. Tolire Besar

The lake is located at the slope of Mount Gamalama.  God knows how deep the lake is since there has no research conducted to find it out yet. The color was dark green and surprisingly calm, only disturbed by small ripple as the cold wind swept in. Surrounded by a chasm that is approximately 50 meters deep, it is quite hard to access the lake. Hence, we could only observe the lake from afar.

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The mythical yet magical Lake Tolire Besar and Mount Gamalama

At the view point of the lake, I saw a group of small white birds flying around in the distance. As it was too far and unclear, my travel mate mistook it as somebody having a relax time on the lakeside. However, based on my small research nobody has the courage to do any activities there as it is rumored to be sacred and haunted by a white giant crocodile.

Aside from the giant croc, there is a legend surrounding the lake’s creation. Formerly a prosperous village, it was cursed after one of its resident impregnated his own daughter. Both tried to flee the village. However, something unfortunate happened and the place where the father stand turned to Tolire Besar (Great Tolire), while the daughter’s turned to Tolire Kecil (Small Tolire).

Now come the more interesting part. There is a myth that if you throw a stone no matter how hard, it won’t reach the water. Triggered by this myth, we were challenged to give it a try. A group of 4 ladies and a gentleman failed miserably. As we threw the stones into the lake, it was suddenly gone or fell on to the trees by the water. Some men with strong arms tried, the stones indeed reached the water but not as far as we predicted. Anyway, it was fun trying to figure out what kind of force was with this lake.

  1. Fort Kastela

I was surprised to find out that this site is located behind a mosque where we had another short break for praying. The fort was completely ruined. None will expect that this place had witnessed a tragic history for the people of Ternate. A monument with a unique statue of a clove, one of the most important riches of Ternate, is built here added with relief that tell the story of Sultan Babullah war against Portuguese.

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The entrance gate of Fort Kastela. There is a Goheba (two headed birds with one heart), the symbol of Ternate Sultanate at the top. Jou Se Ngofa Ngare means me and you.

Fort Kastela, also known as Fort Gam Lamo was built by Portuguese in 1522-40. In 1570, Sultan Khairun was slaughtered in this exact location which set fire at the heart of Ternate people that they began to take action against Portuguese.  Sultan Babullah rose as a hero by defeating and driving the colonialist out the island in 1575. Later, Spanish conquistadors came to the island and let the fort burned to the ground as they left in 1660.

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A sign board describing history of the fort.
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The remains of Fort Kastela, Frangipani could be spotted here and there.

The description board near the gate is appreciated but better care for this site is much more needed. The site is neglected despite its great significance to the history of Ternate and its people. I wish local government will take more notice of the importance of historical sites for educating future generation.

  1. Fitu

One cannot say to have visited Ternate without going to Fitu Village and taking photos of a landscape that is depicted on the back side of 2013 series of IDR 1000 banknote. This spot was the highlight of the whole tour in Ternate Island. We had anticipated the hype right from Jakarta by looking for the currently almost rare banknote as it is already replaced by new design.

The exact same location of the picture was at the backyard of the village, where some small boats of local fishermen are anchored during the day.  The spot presented us with the landscape of Maitara Island and Tidore as displayed on the said banknote.

Without further ado, here’s my own version of the picture.

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Not bad, right?
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Always have a thing for boats.
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Not only did the location have the perfect spot for recreating the banknote, the sun also painted a wonderful color should you point your camera on its direction.
  1. Ngade Lake

Time flies when you have fun. How I hate this quote but what can I do? The sun was almost set when we reached our last destination for the day. We were rushing here before it got dark and lost its magical view.

On a sign board outside the view point, the lake was called Laguna Lake, yet since it is also located at Ngade Village, it is also known as Ngade Lake. I prefer the latter as it gives more sense of identity to the greenish looking lake.

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Where the lake and mountain meet the sea.

Surrounded by lush green trees, from up here, the lake looked close to the sea. It gave some sort of connection between the two. With Maitara and Tidore Island joining in the background, it created a magnificent complete package of a landscape. One cannot be grateful enough having such view before one’s own eyes.

Locals installed some sort of decorated wooden bridge where visitors can have a closer look of the lake or, more importantly, take pictures and some selfies.

Time passed by too quickly while we spent our time here trying to capture the beauty and suddenly the sun began its own journey to the other part of the earth. Sadly, we were on the wrong side of the island. As a sunset person, it was a let-down not to get the chance to see how it went. We could only catch a small glimpse at it. However, the sight on its opposite side was equally majestic. All thanks to the Laguna Lake in Ngade, first day of our journey in this beautiful small island ended perfectly.


On our last day in Ternate, before going back to the airport, we took our time to visit one last fort  on our list that we had no chance to before, namely Fort Kalamata. Located near Bastiong Port, we went straight there after we got off ferryboat that took us from Tidore Island.


I was happy with this fort since its construction was almost intact and well-preserved. The fort is located on a seaside, so the view was, again, fantastic. Description board is located a bit far from the gate, near the fort.

IMG_5865Based on the board, the fort was built on 1540 by Portuguese in order to gain more power on this island, but it was taken over by Spain and used as trading post. During Dutch era, the fort got its function back as it was intended in the beginning, for military purpose. Later, Dutch, Spain, and England as well as Tidore Sultan, took turns to claim the ownership of the fort until it was neglected in 1843. The name Kalamata was taken from Kaicil Kalamata, brother of Sultan Madarsjah of Ternate.

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The fort will look great should you fly a drone and take picture from above.

If any of you are interested to visit Ternate, I might have some useful information to share.

  1. Take early morning flight from Jakarta, preferably using Lion Air departs at around 3AM. Thus, you can have more flexible time to explore the city and save some cash for accommodation. I made a mistake by choosing Sriwijaya Air that supposed to depart at 2AM. The flight got cancelled and I had to take connection flight from Makassar which make the flight time longer, and also practically no sleeping time.
  2. Delicious foods are everywhere. So beware.
  3. Renting a car is advised. We came during Christmas Holiday so the fee was a bit high around IDR 600.000/day.
  4. Accommodation here is quite tricky. You can stay at three-stars hotel and get bad service as I was told in advance. However, locally managed hotel is not a bad choice. We stayed at Surya Pagi Hotel. It has strategic location where you can stop an angkot on the intersection near the hotel if you plan to go to Port Bastiong. The hotel was relatively clean and has good service. Front desk lady was helpful. Breakfast is free and delicious. You can contact +628124305599 for reservation.
  5. Always bring sunblock and aloe vera gel, sunglass is optional, wherever you go in this island. I got a lot darker after just 4 days here, like, a lot.

Psst! Next post will be about my next exploration to the island next to Ternate, Tidore Island. Bear with me.




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