The road from Makassar or Ujung Pandang to Toraja runs along the coast for about 130 km’s and then hits the mountains. After the entrance to Tana Toraja you enter a majestic landscape with giant gray, granites and stones and blue mountains at a distance after passing the market village of Mebali. They form a sharp contrast with the lively green of the fertile, rain-fed terraces and the rusty read of the tropical laterite soil. This is Tana Toraja, one of the most splendid areas in Indonesia.
Tana Toraja has a specific and unique funeral ceremony which is called Rambu Solo. In Tana Toraja, dead body is not buried, but it is put in Tongkonan for several times, even can be more than ten years until the family have enough money to held the ceremony. After ceremony, the dead body is brought to the cave or to the wall of the mountain. The skulls show us that the dead body is not buried but just put on stone or ground, or put in the hole.The funeral festival season begins when the last rice has been harvested, usually in late June or July, and lasts through to September.
Directly from Hasanuddin airport, Makassar or Ujung Pandang, proceed to TANA TORAJA (twice a week on tuesday and friday) through the airport of Rantetayo, near Makle, 24 km south of Rantepao and there is a bus service to town.
Buses to Rantepao from Ujung Pandang leave daily from Ujung Pandang. The journey takes 8 hours and includes a meal stop. Tickets should be bought in town but coaches actually leave from DAYA bus terminal, 20 minutes out of town by bemo. Coaches typically leave in the morning ( 7 am ), noon ( 1 pm ) and at night ( 7 pm).
Several companies in Rantepao run buses back to Ujung Pandang with the departure time and prices. The number of buses each day depends on the number of passengers.
Tourist who wants to stay in the heart of the city has many choices since there is lot of hotels available. Or if you had an adventurous soul, you can sleep in villages on the way.
Bemo is the best way to get to know the locals, besides chartered vehicles (minibuses and Jeeps) with or without driver. While you are in the village you can take a walk to move around.
Related tour to Tana Toraja Sulawesi