Thursday, October 30, 2014

10 Amazing Things in Tana Toraja


Indonesia has 17.000 islands or even more and every backpackers that I met mostly know only about Bali. That’s broke my heart. Indonesia is not all about Bali. There are sooooo many beautiful places throughout Indonesia. For example: Tana Toraja. This is the place where my dream to travel the world has began. 

If you want to see a magical land, breathtaking lanscape, unique culture and amazing ceremony, Tana Toraja is the right place. These are the amazing things to do in Tana Toraja based on my experience as a local girl:

Funeral Ceremony 
Torajan people has strong beliefes about life after death. That’s the reason why the funeral is special than any ceremony. After a person death, family will keep the body for a while (often few years) and waiting for the perfect time to do the ceremony. December is the best time to visit Toraja if you want to see the funeral ceremony. The ceremony will be held up to weeks with traditional dance and music, buffalo fight, and slaughter of buffaloes and pigs. The richer the family, the longer the ceremony and more buffaloes slaughtered. It could be the most elaborate and expensive funeral in the world.
Funeral Ceremony in Tana Toraja (photo by Rekomendasi Wisata)

Burial Caves
There are three methods of burial in Tana Toraja: the coffin may be laid in the cave, laid in a carved stone grave or hung on a rocky cliff. One grave can accomodate a whole family. A wooden carved sclupture of the deceasted called Tau-Tau usually placed in front of the grave looking out over the land. In August, there is an event called Ma’nene, the deceast will be washed and groomed in a new dress and then the mummies are walk around the village. Believe it or not, it happen!
Burial Caves in Lemo, Tana Toraja

Bolu Market
This is the place for animal trading, mostly buffalo and pig. Bolu Market is held every 6th day. Don’t be surprise if you ask the seller about an albino buffallo’s price and they say $35000. They are not trying to rip you off. What does make a buffalo that crazy expensive? You can only find albino buffaloes in Toraja land. And it’s about pride. No matter how beautiful your house or how expensive your car, you are not rich if you don’t have the albino buffalo called Tedong Bonga.
Tedong Bonga in Bolu Market

Batutumonga
Batutumonga is a highland village which has scenic panorama. The road uphill is not really nice, but when you see the rice terrain combine with blue mountain and gloomy weather, you would think it all worthed.
Batutumonga

Sesean
Once you are in Batutumonga, don’t miss the beautiful views from the top of Mount Sesean. It’s a bit tricky to find the way up because there is no sign. Just ask the local people and they would be more than happy to show you. If you passing through a house with a loud barking dogs, you are in the right way.
View from Sesean
 
Culinary
If you eat pork, you have to try Pa’piong, pork and vegetables cooked in bamboo tube. If you don’t, you can find Pa’piong with chicken or fish instead of pork. It’s available in some restaurant in Rantepao City. Bakso Babi (pork meatball) also a must try.
Pa'piong (Photo by Thinkholic.com)

Tongkonan
Is the traditional house of Torajan people. It stands high on the wooden piles, topped with a layer split bamboo roof in arch shaped, wooden carving on the exterior wall, and decorated with several buffalo’s horns.
Tongkonan in Ke'te Kesu, Tana Toraja

Toraja Arabica Coffee  
Toraja’s arabica coffee carries high reputation among the coffee lover. It brought from a region called Kalosi in southern Tana Toraja. Buying coffee as souvenir in Toraja probably the best idea because it comes with a nice packages, in a carved bamboo tube or wooden case.
Photo by Pegipegi

Megaliths
Megaliths and menhirs can found in some place in Tana Toraja, but the most popular one is Bori Parinding. It is on the way to Batutumonga, stands in the middle of rice field. That are part of ceremonies and rituals.
Bori' Parinding (Photo by Tribundragon)

Clear Water Rafting
There are plenty of tour organizer in Rantepao that can organise rafting. They will take you down the hill through the muddy road to reach the river. You will see stunning sceneries from the forest, village to the rice fields while floating in the river.
Photo by Initraveling
 
There are so much things to do in Tana Toraja, but I can only recommend 10 things above. The best part of Tana Toraja is: People. You can get joyful smiles and happy greetings wherever you go. If you are foreigner, some children probably staring at you curiously. That was pretty much I’ve done as a kid :)

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