Rantepao Off The Beaten Path Tips by RoyJava Top 5 Page for this destination
Rantepao Off The Beaten Path: 7 reviews and 10 photos
Strange title huh? I've seen a lot of tourists running around snapping their camera's, taking their digitals, video's and, finishing a wonderful trip in the touristy souvenir shops. What a pity!
Go for a walk, trek, and trip in very Indonesian way. Pelahan-pelahan... slowly! You can catch all the beauty of Tanah Toraja in one simple second, out of the right angle ... included the saddle-roofed houses and rice-barns, green paddy rice-fields, overwhelming nature and in the background those mysterious magical mountains ...
Torajans are known for their dwellings. These houses (Tongkonan) are raised on wooden poles, built so they can be moved on runners from one place to another, and look as if they could make the journey by sea - their sweeping dramatic saddle-roofs appear like huge slope-prowed vessels riding in an ocean of tropical foliage.
These roofs of Toraja Tongkonan house are popularly considered the ship prows which brought the original TORAJA across the ocean, and up to Sa'dan river. They decorated their houses with the horns of buffalos which are symbol of fertility, strength and protection from evil. The number of horns show the family's social status and, also style and ornamentation indicate that status ...
Just off the main road South of Rantepao, the village of Ke'te Kesu' has a reputation for wood carving ... There are no TAU-TAU, just coffins, skulls and human bones, similary neglected. One of the houses in the village nearby has several TAU-TAU on display.
On the cliff behind the village are some graves and there are some very old hanging graves. The rotting coffins are suspended on wooden beams under an overhang. If you continue along the vague trail heading uphill you'll come to another grave cave. No one lives here anymore and ... don't know about the dark nights here ...
Rantepao can still be very touristy in the off season, but once you're just a km out of town, you're in tropical Xanadu. Since the roads in Toraja-Land are so bonejarring in vehicles, walking can be a great relief for sure. Get accompanied with a local guide when not speaking any Bahasa Indonesia. Take water with you and follow this trail through sawah, leading from Tilanga to Londa... breathtaking views assured!
The covered bridge crossing the river near Siguntu is well-known. You can head for Londa, or back to Rantepao. From Nanggala you can walk to Paniki and Buntao. A very long walk along a dirt track up and down the Toraja hills. When so take a lot of water, it's very hot! We got as far as this hanging bridge and lost courage ending up in chattering with locals ... very pleasant too. At Paniki the TAU-TAU are quite simple dressed and the colours aren't that lively.
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