Blogs from Tana Toraja, Sulawesi, Indonesia, Asia - page 2

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Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja May 27th 2015

!! Beware some photos are of a sensitive nature !! 6am. Fresh off the overnight bus, barely checked into our guesthouse and we're already drinking black coffee on the balcony at our accommodation with Jacob (pronounced Yacob). Jacob is a local guide who had somehow latched himself on to us almost as soon as we'd got off our bus in a morning haze. Before long we were deep in conversation fascinated by the funeral ceremonies and the amazing homes of the Torajans - the Tongkonans. Some very morbid stuff happens here but I guess thats what intrigued us. As we spoke, not more than 50yards across the way, a funeral was already in full swing. It was day 1 of the ceremony (food and gifts), luckily for us the slaughter was happening on day 2 - ... read more
Traditional Tarajan house - Tongkonan
Mourners attending the funeral
Tombs in carved into the rock

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja April 10th 2015

It's done! The leg of the journey that I had some apprehension over - Rantepao to Tentena. It turned out to be a rather long 12h plus as expected, but mercifully the bus was actually pretty comfortable, and save for a few segments, the roads were in decent condition. And none of the passengers smoked on board! (Ok one guy did bring his lit cigarette in after a bathroom break, but he stubbed it out soon after). Hopefully the worst of my intra-Sulawesi bus journeys are now over, though there will still be a few more several-hour rides to come... And so from the Torajan highlands, bypassing vast swathes of picturesque vegetation, I'd arrived in Central Sulawesi, in the small town of Tentena which sits on the edge of Indonesia's third largest lake Danau Poso. Coming ... read more
Danau Poso
Rantepao-Tentena
Rantepao-Tentena

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja April 8th 2015

And so after the relatively brief arrival and layover at Southwest Sulawesi's capital Makassar, it was time to get more serious and start the arduous journey northwards through the rather inhospitable terrain of the inner regions of the island. This was also something that had played on my mind ever since I started planning for this Sulawesi trip. I have, of course, not forgotten the painful, cigarette smoke-filled 18h intra-Sumatra journey from Bukittingi to Parapet, and reading about others' experiences with the difficult bus journeys in Sulawesi, I tried to prepare myself for the worst. This 9h first leg from Makassar to Rantepao in the Tana Toraja ("Land of the Heavenly Kings") turned out to be pretty easy after all. It was a nice, big air-conditioned bus with comfy seats and most importantly, no smoking, which ... read more
Lemo Effigies
Torajan Rice Terraces
Tattiest Notes in the World

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja September 12th 2014

Im südwestlichen Teil von Sulawesi wohnen hauptsächlich die Bugis, traditionell ein Stamm von Seefahrern. Die sollen in der fernen Vergangenheit westliche Seefahrer, zum Beispiel der britischen East India Company, so unbarmherzig terrorisiert haben, dass diese ihre Angst vor den "bugi men" mit nach Hause brachten. ("Bogeyman" heißt auf Deutsch soviel wie der 'schwarze Mann', was man ja aber heute gar nicht mehr sagen darf, aber "Butzemann" klingt viel zu nett.) Laut Wikipedia sind Etymologen aber anderer Meinung, da es den Begriff "bogeyman" wohl schon Jahrhunderte vor der europäischen Kolonialisierung Südostasiens gegeben haben soll, als der Westen sicher noch nichts von den Bugis gehört hatte. Unser Führer ist auch ein Bugi, aber sehr nett. Vor allem kennt er sich auch in unserem Zielgebiet, Tana Toraja, dem Land der Toraja, sehr gut aus, da seine Familie hierher kommt. ... read more
They didn't die because of being heavy smokers
Kesu Kesu in Tana Torajan
Bamboo Flute Orchestra of an Orphanage

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja June 24th 2014

Immediately after work a week ago Friday and throughout that weekend many people left for their respected homes for their summer break. Instead of heading home myself, a friend and I headed to another Indonesian Island called Sulawesi for a four day trip. Day One · Saturday June 14, 2014 · Jakarta, Java – Makassar, Sulawesi – Tana Toraja, Sulawesi With an early start at 3:45am we left our apartments and were on our way to the airport to catch our 5:00am flight to Makassar. Two other friends were headed to Bali, Lombok and Gili Islands for the week as well so we split a cab. We landed in Makassar around 8:30am their time where we were picked up by our driver and proceeded to start the seven hour drive to a place called Tana Toraja ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja May 16th 2014

Over a Vesak long weekend holiday, I had a window of opportunity to visit the long waited destination of Tana Toraja. As usual, all the arrangements were made at the last minute: my tour (with Indonesia Adventure), accommodation at Makassar and also Garuda plane ticket from Jakarta. The thought of going to Tana Toraja was quite remote, and the destination was not in my 'near future to go to' list. Many of friends kept mentioning about visiting Toraja but were daunted by the idea of going to an unknown and remote place, so they must have been glad that I decided to check out the place! After all the arrangement was done, I decided to go without knowing if there were any funeral ceremony (most sought after event in Tana Toraja) or not. On Friday afternoon, ... read more
Sa'dan
Effigies at Lemo
Buffalo at Batumonga

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja March 26th 2013

I arrived in Makassar at about 8pm without knowing where I was going to spend the night that day, but I had the name of a street in which I knew there should be a couple of backpacker places (Jampean St). When I left the airport I was harassed by at least 10 taxi drivers. Most of them were charging 100.000 IDR. I got one that charged me 87.500 IDR. Makassar is a big city with about 1.6 million people. The airport surprised; pretty modern and well maintained, not like the one in Denpasar, Bali. The city also has a big port and a lively night life with lots of karaoke places and clubs. The driver didn’t speak any English. I told him to take me to Jampean Street. When I got to the street, I ... read more
Entrance to Tongkonan
Women in traditional dresses
Carrying the coffin

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja August 8th 2012

Majority of people who have traveled for extended period of time know that it is hard sometimes to find the excitement anymore. It can happen especially when you spend too much time in the same region of the world. I guess we got to that point in Borneo where we were so fed up with things and people that we seriously had to try hard to stay motivated to go on. We were very relieved though when we landed in Sulawesi as we knew for fact that we would love this place. From the airport we had no trouble getting to the center of Makassar by public bus (15,000/1,5$ each) and again we did some walking around to find suitable accommodation. Then and there Makassar surprised us. We walked in to probably 5 or 6 hotels ... read more
beautiful Tongkonan
sleepy in Makassar
burial decoration

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja January 7th 2012

NOTE: Not suitable for vegetarians or animal lovers in general... What should you do when it’s the Christmas period; you’re feeling quite homesick and coming of the back of food poisoning? Why, venture into the heart of Sulawesi to a land where the people are completely and utterly obsessed with death of course... We’ve hit the wall! Almost 700 days into our trip, we’ve come to that point where we’ve questioned the worth of continuing. When you’re so far into a journey, the mundane just isn’t enough anymore – the things that amuse and amaze in the honey-moon period of travelling barely merit attention anymore and as such, it becomes more difficult. That’s not to say we don’t enjoy Indonesia; on the contrary, we’ve thus far found it to be one of our personal favourites, a ... read more
Traditional song for the deceased
Wooden Effigies
Grandsons of the deceased

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja July 30th 2011

I woke up on Bunaken and was about to trek over to the ferry but Lorenzo offered to take me there by speedboat because I had stayed so long. I got to the ferry and it was empty. Some men were loading empty containers of water and petrol obviously to be refilled and brought back to Bunaken. The boat then drove out 100m and anchored while smaller boats ferried locals onto the boat. After a time we were off. Beside me a group was playing a game of dominoes and were quite into it. We arrived at a dock that didn't look like a dock and entered into a bit of a market. Having absolutely no bearings or map I managed to ascertain the direction towards town and walked that direction. I came across a travel ... read more
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