Tour module round trip 6 days Tana Toraja (Sulawesi)
MakassarMakassar, former Ujung Pandang, is the capital of Sulawesi. The fastgrowing busting port town is one of the biggest cities in Indonesia. There are still a lot of colonial buildings like ‘Sociëteit de Harmonie’, the old cathedral and the old Court. Besides the old colonial quarters there are a lot of new districts with modern Malls that can compete with those in Jakarta. Because of its strategic location, roughly in the centre of Indonesia, it has a busy port. Makassar is historically the gateway to East Indonesia. Many boats and flights to Papua and the Moluccas are routed via Makassar. The city is certainly worth visiting and a perfect start for a Sulawesi tour.
Sights to see:
We still find the old Dutch Fort Rotterdam in Makassar. This ancient fortress was taken by Admiral Cornelis Speelman around 1665. Within the old solid walls you can see a small church and 2 museums. Next to the Fort is the Chinese district where you’ll find many beautiful temples. Besides the temples there are all sorts of Chinese shops where you can purchase alternative medicines for your minor ailments. The bustling Harbour Paotere is the home port of the famous Buginese Phinisi ships. These vessels are still loaded manually.
On the famous Pantai Losari Boulevard the longest dinner table in the world is set up in the late afternoon. Around sunset the people from Makassar like strolling and eating here. In Makassar you’ll find also the one and only mosk built on the sea. Makassar is well-known for its seafood restaurants. You’ll found them around the boulevard. For lunch we advise you to try a real manually turned Makassar spring roll. You’ll find the authentic restaurants in Lumpia Street i.e. Jalan Lasinrang.
HistoryOn 18 November 1667 the VOC arrived at a compromise after much wrangling with the local sultan under the Bongaja treaty. It provided, inter alia, that the VOC was allowed to trading with this area.
Under the leadership of Cornelis Speelman Fort Rotterdam was built With 2 meter thick and 7 meter high walls. Trade was largely in spices, wood and cotton. This fortress has been conserved and is today one of the most important touristic sights in town.
In the surroundings of the city makassar oil was produced, fragrant vegetable oil (made of fruit of the koesambi- or kesambi-tree (Schleichera trijuga)), that was used end 18th, begin 19th century to freeze their hairdo. This oil gave its name to the antimakassar.
Rante Pao - Toraja
RantepaoRantepao is the 'capital' of Torajaland. This is the starting point of all your excursions to the Torah villages and the mountains.
Tanah TorajaToraja, or Tanah Toraja is also called the land of the Heavenly Kings. Here, in this part of South Sulawesi, live the Toraja people or people of the mountain. A Christian population, that still follows the rituals and ceremonies of their ancestors, the Aluk Tu Dolo. Toraja is not only known for its mysterious funeral ceremonies but also for its stunning nature. It’s because of its high altitude a fertile area. Besides rice fields and bamboo forests there are many plantations. Coffee, cacao, vanilla and cloves grow here abundantly. The typical traditional houses (Tongkonans) with their saddle roofs are still built in the same way as centuries before. And their funeral ceremonies are still very impressive. To reach eternal life there has to be held a ceremony before. Dependent on the deceased family’s wealth this may involve an important number of sacrificed pigs and buffaloes. The whole community joins the ceremony, which can sometimes take a full week.
Sights to see:
Those who visit Toraja will experience wonderful nature and interesting culture, unique in the world. We still find a lot of authentic villages in Toraja with beautiful colourful painted Tongkonans. Many cliffs with wooden caskets hanging from the side, coffins of which some date from the animistic period. The Tau Taus stand in the balcony of the tombs to represent the dead and protect their remains. A Tau Tau is a wood-carved effigy of the deceased. Try to find out about the secret of the baby tree: in Suaya stands a centuries old tree, where young children who die before they started teething are placed into a hollowed out space in the trunk.
Funeral ceremonies are held throughout the year. You’re always welcome. But these ceremonies are not available on demand... Your driver and/or guide will inform you about a coming ceremony. Please bring a small gift when you attend a ceremony.
PLEASE NOTE that part of the ceremonies is the slaughtering of buffaloes and pigs! This is still done in their traditional way, which not directly corresponds with our Western customs.
You’ll also visit villages like Sa’dan where the Toraja women weave the traditional ikat.
It’s a particularly suitable area for walking and hiking. You can go for a few hour walk, a day, but also do a multiple day trekking. In that case you will stay overnight at a local people’s home. The trekking goes through authentic villages and along beautiful rice fields. A trekking through the nature and culture of this exceptional and unique small part of Indonesia. You can also go rafting for a day or several days on the river Sa’dan.
Try the Pa’piong dish during your stay in Toraja: an in bamboo prepared Toraja dish. And of course it goes together with a bamboo mug with balok, palm wine from the eagle palm.