Blogs from Tana Toraja, Sulawesi, Indonesia, Asia

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Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja July 9th 2019

If you followed my Midlife Crisis Flashpacking trip two years ago, you may recall that I chose not to travel to Tana Toraja after traveling overland through Flores because I couldn’t handle the prospect of yet more crazy winding mountain roads. So, I opted to chill in Bali instead. Last year, my friends Ryan and Anthony annouced they would be getting married in Bali this July, so I decided to check off another bucket list item - Tana Toraja - before heading to Ubud. As an added bonus, my friend Trixie - you might recall her from my various blogs from Australia two years ago - was going to the wedding as well, and so we planned to spend eight days exploring Bali. Getting to Tana Toraja My initial plan was to arrive in Makassar on ... read more
Eddie and I
At the Bus Station
Scenes From the Bus

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja September 10th 2018

Ranajky fialova ryza a vajicko. Opat si clovek mohol dat kolko len chcel. Nuz napraskany smer pozicovna pri lapagan parku. Parkujem hned pri tej co je na rohu blizsie k rieke. Je mi sympatickejsia ako vedla (tam davaj 80k), tu 100k, zlavu dala na 90k ale po dlhom vahani nakonec 80k. Prilbu si pytam s celnym sklom, ono totiz uz nemam slnecne okuliare, tie ostaly v koreii. Kontrola paliva, polka nadrze, mam donist podobny obsah nazad. Nasadzujem kuklu a smer prva zastavka Ke'te' Kesu'. Premavka je husta ale vodici su ohladlpuny. Odpajam sa z hlavneho tahu, hned to je citit, ziadny kvalitny povrch, vymoly, chybajuci asfalt, prepadnuta cesta. Som pri atrakcii. Plati sa vstup. Na to serem, su to aj tak len domy, ktorych je po ceste kopa. Fotim si to vsetko z parkoviska. Domceky su ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja September 8th 2018

Nieco po druhej hodine rannej sa budim. To uz sme v samych serpentinach, cesta je dost uzka. Pred nami a mozno aj za nami minimalne 5 busov co maju rovnaky ciel. Z makasaru ide kvantum spolocnosti, kazda ma svoj terminal ale zrejme vsetky zastavuju aj na daya terminale. Odchody z makasaru maju skoro rovnake v rozmedzi od 20.00 do 22.00. Na sedadle v buse som mal k dispozicii aj deku, tu samozrejme vyuzivam, bo chuj som isol len v tielku. Kapsicku s fotakom a dokladmi pod deku. Ono ideme v noci a clovek nikdy nevi co za ludi tu cestuje. Mame jednu pispauzu. Skoro az po 7hodinach. V buse este dalsi 4turisti. Ako sa blizime k mestecku rantepao, ludia postupne vystupuju. Bus zastavuju zatlieskanim, to robim i ja. Okolo 7.00 po 10hod jazdy, vystupujem do dost ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja June 5th 2018

Today we are off to see some of the various burial sites used by the Toraja. Their belief system is complex. Most of them are Christian, and their Christianity seems to combine seamlessly with their ancient beliefs. They are not animists by and large; they are not into spirit worship. Christianity came to Toraja when the Dutch came to the area in 1906. Only about 15% of the population are Muslim, unlike the rest of south Sulawesi which is heavily Islamic. However, first we are going to see the twice weekly livestock market in Rantepao. This is where buffalo and pigs are traded. Buffalo are imported from elsewhere in Indonesia to satisfy the almost insatiable demand for buffalo for sacrifice, and the traders bring them here. There are hundreds of beasts in several rings, on the ... read more
Lady in blue
Look into my eyes....
Ploughing with the Japanese buffalo

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja June 4th 2018

It poured with rain all night, but miraculously it’s dry with a glimmer of sunshine in the morning. We meet up with our Toraja guide Enos who tells us he has found a funeral ceremony we can attend. He takes us to a small shop where we can buy a carton of cigarettes as a gift for the mourners, presumably to help them smoke their way to the next world a bit faster. As we drive along, Enos explains that the length of the funeral is dictated by status or, these days, wealth. A budget funeral lasts 2 days and requires the sacrifice of 5-6 buffalo, while a top end ‘complete funeral’ lasts a week and can involve up to 100 buffalo and numerous pigs being slaughtered. It’s a massive cost for families, even with help ... read more
This will end badly for piggy
Senior mourners
Immolating piggy with flamethrower

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja July 10th 2017

We arrived by plane in Sulawesi and the next day we went in the mountains to see the Toraja, people who have different traditions. We were in a 5 star hotel with a pool and a buffet every morning IMAGES. We took a guide and decided to see a Toraja funeral. When we arrived you could hear the noise of pigs being sacrificed and you could smell lots of smoke from the fires that were cooking the meat. There was this traditional house IMAGES and apparently the dead man was at the top of the house with his closest family members staying underneath. But this isn't a normal funeral because it lasts five days and thousands of guests turn up. It takes years to prepare and they sacrifice water buffalos so that their spirit can pull ... read more
The dead body is at the top
Temporary house for the guests
Me with the local people

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja December 14th 2016

Getting to Sulawesi involved a lot of time and patience. It involved a twenty hour journey across the Sulawesi Sea on an overcrowded Pelni ship where I had to sleep on the floor and fight 3,000 Indonesians and god knows how many cockroaches for any space to stretch my 6' frame. Once I arrived in Makassar I had a quick overnight sleep and then booked a night bus for a ten hour journey to Tana Toraja, my first destination in Sulawesi. I arrived in the outpost town Rantepao as the sun was coming up and found a place to stay via a friendly guide; of whom I decided to hire his services for a couple of days. I've been to a lot of countries, experienced a lot of cultures, and seen a lot of things in ... read more
hills
dancing
pigs

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja March 7th 2016

Eggs on toast for breakfast then off to Ke'te Kesu for some very impressive traditional homes,granaries, a white buffallo, a friendly dog and ofcourse more human bones. Next we visited a number of other similar sites at Sangalla, Tampangallo and Suaya villages before visiting the Kambirra baby graves. Now that was a macabre site they carve a hole into the side of a fast growing breadfruit tree and place still borns and infants in the hole then cover the hole with burlap, eventually the tree grows and the hole seals. We then returned to Rantepao for lunch I have to eat at westerner cafes to get a vegetarian meal which is more expensive. Tonight I may have seafood pizza before bed. Today is our last day in Tana Toraja so we visited the market which runs ... read more
Tonkamen
Rice barns
Cliff graves

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja March 2nd 2016

Sulawesi is one of the four Greater Sunda Islands, and the world's eleventh largest island, it is situated between Borneo and the Maluku Islandsand has a population of roughly 20 million people. I had not intended discussing the flights to Makassar but the Melbourne Bali leg was a shocker, not because it was uncomfortable or the food or service were bad, but because our co-travelers were the dregs of bogan society. After five hours of screaming ferals and five more drinking Bintang in the sultry Bali heat our final short flight to Makassar was stress free if incredibly full. We arrived on a dark rainy evening and I was feeling exhausted and after the arg... read more
Fort Rotterdam
Dutch Church
Monument to Christianity

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja January 16th 2016

But before you do look at the pretty pictures of Moramo Waterfall, because it was a hell of a trek to get there. Located in Southeast Sulawesi, not far from Kendari it is not easy to reach without your own transport. Like everything else in this part of Sulawesi information is thin on the ground. Eventually, after asking around, I ended up on a shared Kijang which dropped me off at a village with the simple instruction of getting an ojek (motorcycle taxi) the rest of the way. So I stood for a while in the shade of a big tree waiting for this mystical ojek to pop-up. And so it did. A kindly old man asked me where I wanted to go and half an hour later I had arrived at my waterfall. The waterfall ... read more
Moramo Waterfall
Moramo Waterfall
Moramo Waterfall




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