"Rambu Solo, Solo Traveller" Top 5 Page for this destination Rantepao by ukirsari

Rantepao Travel Guide: 167 reviews and 474 photos

Celebrating the people die ....

After you learn about secret of life
You'll be able to know
How beautiful
Life after death

~ Kahlil Gibran, Sand and Foam ~

In more simple words, Gibran's poems can be used to reflecting the Torajan minds in a funeral. It's kinda truely celebration for the soul from the person who's die. How great this man when he still alive, represent by the best buffalos types that have a fight in his funeral. With meaningful shape of their horns. Like "tekken tandi" [opposite 90 degrees left and right horn], big straight horn type and several kind more.

But Jules ~my Torajan friend~ said Tana Toraja [Toraja highland] is not only famous by upacara kematian, Rambu Solo or funeral ceremony. This land also has beautiful scenery and traditional houses called Tongkonan. I do agree 'bout this. And during my stay at Tana Toraja [shorted as Tator], I always searching the beautiful old Tongkonan with rice barns anywhere I go :)

Scary, scary night ....

If Josh Groban sing his song "Starry, starry night" [Vincent] here, might be changed to 'Scary, scary night' :) Why?
After beautiful scenery in front of me whenever doing light trekking along the padi fields and surrounded by lush greenery vegetation, suddenly rocky cliff "come" on the left side. And what is that?!!! The graveyard! People die with or without coffins there. And the 'spectators' starring at us ~ I and Jules ~ with undescribed eyes.
"Who are they, Jules?" my voice whispering close to the ear.
"That's Tau Tau. After we buried the people die at the hole of the rock, we make a puppet as his or her representation. Look at their hands, palm facing to the land. It means they're always blessing the good things for their geniality."
Oh, how nice that symbolizing. And I feel blessed too by seeing them [the Tau Tau] 'hanging' on the rock. But still, I sing "Scary, scary night" when I finish trekking and Jules keep smiling on me. Argggghhh, without Jules ... as a solo traveller I runaway from these burial sites already :)

Kebo bule, cry piggies and Sunday market

Rantepao is small but lively city. From this town, as the most famous town in Toraja Highland, we can go anywhere to the places of interest, such as:
~ Palawa
~ Bolu
~ Ke'te Kesu
~ Batu Tumonga
~ Karassik
~ Lemo

Not to be missed is going to Bolu Sunday Market. There, I found many many types of buffalos which are very important to be used in a funeral ceremony. From black buffalo to "bule" buffalo [kinda pinky-white skin, so called Tedong Bunga in Torajan lingo], from Rp 11,000,000 up to Rp 50,000,000 [what???!!!] since the shape of horns counted as 'special type'. After kerbau or buffalo, the pigs became special pets [no, no, sacred animal for ceremony] also. I had cried whenever hear those piggies 'crying' in the market. Normally, they're black, but several also pinky. If the buffalos has special treatment by tied of a rope so their neck more longer than ordinary [more 'macho' the price will up and up!!], the piggies are tied with rope and lied on the floor :( Oh my piggies ...

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:Mixed scary and beautiful place
  • Last visit to Rantepao: May 2004
  • Intro Updated Jul 24, 2008
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Reviews (46)

Comments (23)

  • storyin's Profile Photo
    Jun 23, 2008 at 4:28 PM

    nice page!

  • Feb 4, 2008 at 6:03 AM

    Great photo!

  • mircaskirca's Profile Photo
    Apr 4, 2007 at 7:22 AM

    Excellent photos and descriptions! It's already quite a long time since I've been to Indonesia and it brings back some good memories... So sorry about your father! Take care!

  • kenHuocj's Profile Photo
    May 22, 2006 at 4:18 AM

    Eiii in Torjan and EH in Canadians ; Fern stems for you and Fiddleheads for us ;--)))

  • jmarkoos's Profile Photo
    Jan 31, 2006 at 2:34 AM

    Hi and thanx for your wishes :-) greetings from Slovenia marko

  • Norali's Profile Photo
    Nov 23, 2005 at 12:17 PM

    Hmm.. in my country, we have the red rice as well (vary mena), special taste indeed, a bit sweet, no ? With those rites related to death, burial, I think this could be a region where my far far ancestors came from... so similar. NIce work, as usual, Arie

  • dfactor's Profile Photo
    Jun 28, 2005 at 9:36 PM

    This photo is really good, I like the sun rays penetrating thru the trees and roof.

  • tpangelinan's Profile Photo
    Mar 6, 2005 at 6:59 AM

    Very nice pages! Pictures are great and tips to match! This looks like an interesting place to visit!

  • masc4s's Profile Photo
    Dec 8, 2004 at 2:08 AM

    Excellent overview of Rantepao. Super photo's, great tips, beautiful scenery. They seem to be big on funerals. Must remember my torch for skeleton viewing! Excellent work, well done!

  • easyoar's Profile Photo
    Dec 3, 2004 at 9:17 AM

    What an impressive looking place! I wasn't quite sure what happened to all the piggies (I wasn't expecting to see so many pigs in a Muslim country!). Great page!


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