Empung Mountain in Tomohon City, North Sulawesi Province
Perhaps many tourists have heard a famous mountain called Lokon, which is located in Tomohon City. However, not all of them know the presence of Empung Mountain! It is actually the sibling of Lokon, which is only 2.2 km apart. Both of them resides on Tondano Land and are considered as an active volcano. Despite the status, people keep coming to the mountain and conduct trekking to the top of it. It is because these people have both the experience and skills. Plus, they own reliable equipment so they can be safe while trekking. What about regular tourists? Well, they can do the same as long as they come with a professional trekker.
In terms of nuance, Empung Mountain shares a lot of similar characteristics to Lokon without a doubt. However, it resides on 1340 meters above the sea level and has a more challenging trekking route. This explains why beginners should reconsider if they want to reach the top of the mountain. Another difference is related to the Indonesian local legend. Villagers consider Empung as the Mountain of God. This explains why some locals are often seen performing a ritual at night on the crater. The rumor has it. There is even a secret altar placed up there!
Exploring Empung Mountain
The locals call Empung the twin brother of Lokon Mountain. Some others call it the old Lokon, due to the fact that it is the first volcano and the oldest one in Tomohon City. Not only tourists can enjoy trekking, but they may also learn some legends and stories related to the site. For instance, it is said many dwarfs once lived in the mountain. Due to the big eruption back then, these people moved and lived in different parts of Minahasa Land.
Also, as mentioned before, the locals consider Empung Mountain as a sacred place. According to the rumor, there is a worshipping altar located in the top of the mountain. No one has ever found the location, though. It is said only chosen people are able to access the site and perform a ritual there. Do you believe it? Well, regardless of the purpose, people keep coming to the mountain. One of the reasons is to enjoy trekking and witness superb panorama from up there.
In terms of route difficulty, it is considered moderate. For beginners, though, they must consider hiring a guide or experienced trekking if they want to get an efficient trip. Plus, this person may show the direction to nearby sites where tourists can drink delicious Minahasa Whisky. It is made of Aren Tree’s water, processed naturally by villagers. When it comes to taste, it is both sweet and refreshing!
- Lokon Mountain
- Kanderawatu Waterfall
How to Get There
In order to get to Empung Mountain, tourists indeed should head to Tomohon City first. If they come from Manado City, they may spend about 48 minutes to reach the foot of the mountain. After all, the distance is 24.3 km. As for the best route, it is Raya Manado Tomohon Street (which is considered the fastest).
Where to Stay
- Volcano Resort Hotel
- Happy Flower Resort
- Lokon Inn