Tana Toraja: Wonderful Culture, Wonderful Nature (part 2)

Finally the cold night had passed. Beautiful shiny day to explore Tana Toraja. We drove our motorbike to some unexplored sites. First destination was Bori Parinding, a burial and ceremony site. Hundreds of megalith stone stand representing a feast of merid performed in the past by a person with high status.

Entrence fee is Rp 10,000 for domestic and Rp 20,000 for international tourists. If you're a student, you only have to pay Rp 2,500. Two grandmothers were looking after the place. They were humble and nice, talk to them and you can get information about the place. There are some Tongkongans, burial site at the back, and also baby grave. The unique thing about baby grave is the body was buried inside tree. Popular site for baby grave is in Kambira. Pete-pete (public transportation) passes this area, so you can get here by taking pete-pete to Bori and ask the driver to stop you here. Beautiful view of rice field and Mount Sesean won't make your journey boring.

Londa, a famous burial site located 5 km south from Rantepao. Big bold wall as the burial site designed with chambers for the highest status on the wall. While normal people coffins are put inside the cave. Skulls and bones are everywhere. Eerie moment when you enter the dark cave with skulls and coffins around. I couldn't imagine if one of the coffin moved and a vampire chase after me haha. Entrance fee again Rp 10,000 for domestic Rp 20,000 for international visitors. Make sure you bring your lights or get the guide with lamp to show you the way.

inside Londa's cave
Last destination we visit was Lemo. Same with Londa it's cliff burial site, the difference is only coffins are not saved in the caves. Rp 10,000 for domestic, Rp 20,000 for international visitors. I like this place. It's unique and different. Somehow, I can't understand how cultures can be so distinct between one and another. Even it's still the same country, Indonesia has many different amazing cultures.

Cliff grave in Lemo
Rambu Solo'

A funeral tradition awaited by most visitors in Toraja are Rambu Solo. Torajans gave high last appreciation to the deceased. The cost of the funeral are so expensive, that's why after the death, the body will be kept for months even years until the money is collected and all the family members can attend the funeral. Highest peak when Rambu Solo' is held is between July-August. You can find Rambu Solo in normal days, it's quiet often held in Toraja. Ask the people around to get information about Rambu Solo.

Pasar Bolu

In a glance, Bolu Market seems like a normal market. Normal in weekdays but different in Sunday where you can find the activity of trading buffalo. Buffalo has high value in Tana Toraja. People believe that buffalo will escort the spirit of the deceased to Puya (the world of spirit). The more the buffalo, the faster the spirit reach Puya. Buffalo is slaughtered during Rambu Solo ceremony by a single swing using Golok (traditional Razor) the price of the buffalo depends on the age, and the type. Buffalo with stripe cost higher than black/brown buffalo.The small black buffalo cost around $500, big one cost $1500, the famous one with stripe (Tedong Bonga) cost around $2000-5000 and the rare one, albino buffalo cost the same as a car.

Tips to visit Toraja
- Many buses depart daily from Makassar to Toraja. Schedules are around 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. in a day. 8 hours drive. Price range around Rp 100,000-Rp 150,000. Mostly comfortable with aircon. Bus can be taken from the pool in Jl. Perintis Kemerdekaan or Daya Station.
        Bus Metro Permai , 0411-582734 / 0411584015
        Bus Charisma Transport, telepon 0411580808
        Bus Bintang Prima,0411-4772888
 - Some cheap hostels can be found in Rantepao, search in Agoda and you'll find some with range Rp 100,000- Rp 150,000. Want cheaper? Try the hostel i mentioned in part one
- Ask around whether Rambu Solo Event is held or not.
- Renting motorbike for a day cost Rp 60,000 but if you want to use Ojek/motorbike with driver to take you a day trip it cost Rp 120,000. You can finish all main destination in a day by ojek.
- Try Torajans sweet cake/snacks, if you wanna buy souvenirs you can easily find it in the town.
- Take care of your belongings when traveling overnight.

More information about Toraja, check this bongatoraja

My expense:
Minivan Makassar-Enrekang: Rp 100,000 round trip
Three nights stay: Rp 45,000
Entrance Fee in total: Rp 32,500 (Kete Kesu, Londa, Lemo, Bori)
Gasoline: Rp 30,000
Food/water for four days around Rp 100,000

Traveled in 19-20 April 2013

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