Toraja is 313 Km north of Makassar, located at 1,000 metres above sea level and takes approximately 70 minutes flying time in a modern ATF aircraft.
The flight to to Toraja from Makassar is a 6 days a week service and sometimes may notfly directly to Torja due to cloud or bad weather.
For our trip we flew from Makassar to Palopo on the eastern shore of South Sulawesi and travelled by bus through the stunning mountain ranges, ferned glades, waterfalls and high altitude natural pine forests.
Stopping at a local mountain village literally perched on the side of the moutains for coffee and local cakes was indeed a treat as we looked out over ancient rainforests, listening to local birdlife and watching mist scome and go.
Yes we are on our way to Toraja, the land above the clouds!
The Toraja people are an ethnic group indigenous to the mountainous region of SouthSulawesi. 95 % of the population is Christian, made up of 73% Protestant and 22 %Catholic. Total population is 1.1 Million of which 450,00 live in the regency of TanaToraja.
The mystique of Toraja is what a makes it so special and we witnessed the beauty of Torajan architecture, watching the sunrise at 6am at Lolai Mountain above Toraja, rice paddies with verdent colours of green, rugged mountains, waterfalls, coffee plantations, white water rivers and the ever smiling gracious Torajan people.
Eating outing locally means savouring delicious Torajan foods at authentic restaurants normally with a rice paddy view dotted with water buffalo and fish farms. Even at 1,000 metres above sea level local farmed fish is always available on the menu, along with chicken, pork, vegetables and many combinations of local rice.
By the way, try the local cakes and pastries, something special to enjoy along with the famous Torajan coffee.
Also see local hand woven silk products.
The highlight of the trip was the visit to an elaborate funeral ceremony which is held on particular days every month. Fortunately our trip coincided with such a day. We would need to say up front that the ceremony may be be confronting for some westerners and in which case an alternative agenda can be planned.
Not to be missed if you are openminded to local culture!
With visits to local burial caves, the Kings Cave which as the name implies is the place where the Kings are laid to rest and the childrens tree, we learned so much about Torajan culture, beliefs and practices.
Truly a visit to Toraja land will never be forgotton and one that is recommended by Way to Australia and Beyond.
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