Bitung is a city on the northern coast of the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. It is in the province of North Sulawesi, and faces Lembeh Island and the Lembeh Strait, which is known for its colourful marine life, in particular sea slugs. Bitung has a population of 187,932 at the 2010 Census, making it the second most populated city in the province after the capital Manado.[1] The 2015 Intermediate Census revealed a population of 205,379 and the latest official estimate (as at mid 2019) is 220,700.[2]

City of Bitung
Kota Bitung
Streets of Bitung
Streets of Bitung
Official seal of Bitung
Location within North Sulawesi
Location within North Sulawesi
Bitung is located in Sulawesi
Location in Sulawesi and Indonesia
Bitung is located in Indonesia
Bitung (Indonesia)
Coordinates: 1°26′50″N 125°11′52″E / 1.44722°N 125.19778°E / 1.44722; 125.19778Coordinates: 1°26′50″N 125°11′52″E / 1.44722°N 125.19778°E / 1.44722; 125.19778
Country Indonesia
Province North Sulawesi
Established10 April 1975; 45 years ago (1975-04-10) as Administrative City of Bitung
15 August 1990; 29 years ago (1990-08-15) as Bitung City
 • MayorMax Lomban
 • Vice MayorMaurits Mantiri
 • Total302.89 km2 (116.95 sq mi)
 (mid 2019)[1]
 • Total220,700
 • Density730/km2 (1,900/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+8 (Indonesia Central Time)
Area code(+62) 438
Vehicle registrationDB

At present large numbers of development projects undergoing centering around the city, which include the SEZ, Manado-Bitung toll road, Bitung International Ocean Going Ship Port, and the Makasar-Bitung rail track, which will automatically make the city a gateway to the Pacific region.[3]

Administrative divisionsEdit

The city is divided into eight districts (kecamatan), tabulated below with their 2010 Census population:[4]

Name Area in
Census 2010
Madidir 21.0 33,482
Matuari 18.1 27,180
Girian 10.0 27,862
Lembeh Selatan
(South Lembeh)
29.7 9,120
Lembeh Utara
(North Lembeh)
21.9 8,509
Aertembaga 62.7 28,262
Maesa 12.6 36,007
Ranowulu 141.3 17,230

Nature ReserveEdit

Tangkoko Batuangus Nature Reserve is two hours' drive away from Manado, and one hour from Bitung. Tarsius spectrum can be found easily in the Nature Reserve.[5]


Bitung Special Economic Zone (SEZ)Edit

Bitung was named as one of the country's Special Economic Zones in 2014. Priority sectors in the area are logistics, herbal pharmacy, fish processing and coconut processing. Based on Government Regulation No.32/2014 on Bitung SEZ, it will occupy an area of 534 hectares. The SEZ is divided into three zones, namely industrial zone, logistics zone and Export Processing Zone.[6]


Manado-Bitung Toll RoadEdit

On 16 January 2014 local authorities passed responsibility to acquire land for the Manado–Bitung Toll Road to the Public Works Ministry, although the initiation of works after the formality would take some time.[7] The construction of the 39.9-km toll road is expected to cost Rp 6.7 trillion (US$ 503 million), and the Indonesian Government expects it to be completed by late 2018 and operational on 2019.[8]

Davao-Bitung Roll-On Roll-Off Ferry ServiceEdit

On 28 April 2017, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and Indonesia President Joko Widodo inaugurated the Davao-Bitung Roll-on Roll-Off Ferry Service that will allow journey time of just 3 days between two cities. The original shipping route from Davao City in Mindanao, Philippines took up to 5 weeks because ships first have to sail northwards to Manila, passing through South China Sea and Malaysia waters before it reaches various ports in Indonesia. Under the program, there are 5 to 10 companies who will use the initial voyage of the Cebu-based Asia Marine Transport Corp.’s M/V Super Shuttle RORO 12 with a 500-TEU capacity. Among the goods to be traded include animal feeds, aqua products, charcoal, coffee beans, construction materials, copra, feed ingredients, fertilizers, food and beverages, fresh fruits, ice cream products, meats, peanuts, poultry (halal), soya, sugar, and synthetics.[9][10][11][12]


  1. ^ a b c "Jumlah Penduduk menurut Kabupaten/Kota di Provinsi Sulawesi Utara 2000 - 2016". Badan Pusat Statistik Provinsi Sulawesi Utara (in Indonesian). Statistics Indonesia. Retrieved 9 August 2017.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Badan Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2019.
  3. ^ "Training of manpower necessary for development of Bitung SEZ". Antara News. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  4. ^ Biro Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2011.
  5. ^ "Taman Nasional Tangkoko". Retrieved May 27, 2013.
  6. ^ "Chinese Company Promises Better Development in Bitung". Tempo. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Jalan Tol Manado Bitung di Launching". 16 January 2014.
  8. ^ Sugianto, Danang (2 May 2017). "Proyek Jalan Tol Manado-Bitung Habiskan Dana Hingga Rp 6,7 T" (in Indonesian). Detik. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
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