"TANAH TORAJA - Sulawesi" Top 5 Page for this destination Rantepao by RoyJava

Rantepao Travel Guide: 125 reviews and 300 photos

Living For The Dead

RANTEPAO, the centre for tourists who visit Tanah Toraja (to ri aja in Buginese), is a market place in the rocky area of Sungai Sa'dan, where the Toraja people are living, and get overrun by swarms of tourists for 6 months a year at least.

Visit Rantepao's market, North-east of the bus Terminal Bolu centre and watch the bargaining of buffalos, buy some palm wine, get Tanah Toraja souvenirs and listen to the many chats ... it's funny, amazing, however my best memories were the visits to the "cave-tombs" villages around, which left very deep impressions about peoples "living for the dead"...

thanks for visiting

Long Kept Secret

I remember when we entered the Tanah Toraja land. The typical saddle-roofed houses (tongkonan) showed a fabulous tradition kept for so long time. And I got overwhelmed by their myths which claim that their ancestors arrived in a storm from the Northern Sea, pulled their splinter boats ashore, and used them as roofs; the principal attraction of Tanah Toraja and its houses, shaped like ships and, all face North, the direction of their origin ... isn't that a magnificent kept secret ?

Water & Mountains

The Toraja saddle-roofed and Bugi stilt-houses are known from art-paintings on Dongson-drums (500 BC), which show similar houses. South Sulawesi is a special link between Asia and Australia. There are some areas with Pleistocene fossils, dating back until 400.000 - 500.000 years ago! There are lakes everywhere, once part of the sea in prehistoric times. Temperature can be very hot, so maybe this remind you to bring a lot of water with you traveling to the Toraja mountain-land, where its people have never seen the ocean ...

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Impressive - Historical - Ecological - Cultural - Traditional - Ceremonial - Ritual -
  • Cons:Touristy - Cross-Country-Wide - Touristy-Priced
  • In a nutshell:Tanah Toraja Magnificent Region Fascinating People
  • Intro Updated Nov 2, 2009
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Reviews (32)

Comments (6)

  • JessH's Profile Photo
    Nov 14, 2007 at 12:58 AM

    Hello Roy and thank you for sharing your great detailed info & stories on this unusual destination! I really enjoyed reading your pages, and my ratings are definitely with you. Greetings from the desert :-) Jess in Dubai

  • mircaskirca's Profile Photo
    Sep 16, 2007 at 7:52 AM

    Fascinating page Roy! It called to memory some wonderful stories and images of Toraja. Loved tongkonan and tau-tau and was even lucky enough to attend the funeral ceremony. Toraja kopi tubruk is delicious and durian, mmmmm :))

  • black_mimi99's Profile Photo
    Dec 23, 2006 at 12:44 AM

    thx for the great info and also great pics u have mas Roy...thx banget yah... it help me much...:) Happy Holiday!!! and wish u the best coming year...:)

  • Sep 7, 2006 at 2:46 AM

    Emerald Indonesia tours & travel, visit www.GO2INDO.com is the best gateway to Indonesia, why this travel agency? Because they are social and suport serveral projects in Indonesia!

  • Feb 22, 2005 at 12:45 PM

    Very good hotel and I booked via Toraja Highland tours & travel in Jakarta.

  • ukirsari's Profile Photo
    Oct 19, 2004 at 8:35 AM

    wowwww, Mas Roy, i want to see more and compared it with my pictures, not about the quality [because you're such a great photographer!!!] but about tana toraja look like, maybe has changed??? :) is this picture taken at lemo?! or kete' kesu?

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