North Sulawesi: This northern part of Sulawesi covers an area of just over 25,000 square kilometres. The mainland part is about 500 kilometres long and only 60 kilometres wide. There are at least 11 active volcanoes in the area of North Sulawesi. The cones rise up to over 2000 metres into the sky. The area has a small eruption every 3-5 years. It is estimated that almost three million people live in North Sulawesi, but not all of them get along. The four major population groups are divided into a further 25 subgroups with their own dialects. Indonesia does, however, have a standardised official language, Bahasa Indonesia, similar to High German. However, this can only be learnt at school. And not everyone can afford it.

Christianity dominates in North Sulawesi. Buddhism and Hinduism are also represented to a lesser extent. Islamists are an absolute minority and are of no significance in terms of population in this part of Indonesia. The capital of North Sulawesi is Manado with an estimated ¼ million inhabitants. From here there are direct connections to Singapore, Australia and Hong Kong. Manado has one of the highest standards of living in the whole of Indonesia, which is due to its good contacts with European trading partners. Besides Manado, Bitung is the most important trading harbour in North Sulawesi. Traded goods are coconut products, spices, coffee and timber. Raw materials such as gold, coal, iron and copper are also mined, as are oil and natural gas. Fishing plays a not insignificant economic role.