Death rituals are what the Torajans are known for, and why travelers go to Tana Toraja, or the Land of Toraja. It’s not sure if tourists would be so keen on seeking out Torajan death rituals if the surrounding landscape aren’t so enchanting and its architecture so impressive. Tana Toraja is in the highlands of Sulawesi, Indonesia’s fourth-biggest island and by far its most strangely shaped, resembling the offspring of an amoeba and an octopus. Treks are also popular, such as a two-day hike into the hills with an overnight stay in the Torajan village of Limbong.
From there, set off through the rice fields, hiking across and up and over and around terraced rice paddies. It is exhausting but great fun. Farmers, water buffalo, and emerge into a compound that appears more like a museum display, at its center a gorgeous tongkonan, the traditional ancestral home of the Torajans, with a massive saddleback roof that rises to two peaks like a stylized Viking ship. Beneath, an A-frame structure intricately carved with buffalo and other motifs and painted in striking tones of red and ocher as well as black and white.
||MAKASSAR (MKS) ON ARRIVAL TRANSFER TO TORAJA
||TORAJA FULL DAY
||TORAJA ⇒ MAKASSAR