Toraja for Dummies

Walking around in Toraja market

First time traveling to Toraja? Here’s what you need to know.

1. Bring Cash and a Way to Get More
Toraja is a cash-based society. A lot of stores simply aren’t equipped to take credit card. However, you don’t need to take large sums of cash with you while traveling to Toraja. You still can find ATM that take international credit & debit cards. Money changer and Banks are available if you have to exchange currency.

2. Feel Adrenaline Pumping
Toraja is not just about the funeral. There are also adventure sports for thrill-seekers, such as Whitewater Rafting Sa’dan Expedition, Whitewater Rafting Mai’ting, or you can try Paragliding in August & December.

3. Live Around
If you plan on travelling to Toraja during peak times, it is recommended to plan & reserve ahead. The peak tourist season in Toraja is June to August & December. During these times, the accommodations are very crowded & hard to book them. Whether you choose to stay at the guest house or in a 4-star hotel, you can find it all at a price which suit your pocket.

4. Getting
• Sitor
Motorised rickshaw called sitor in Toraja, best for short rides. You can try to bargain for a fixed price before you start the ride, but most drivers don’t speak English. If you would like to try this type of transportation you could ask your hotel concierge for help. Price depends on the distance; starts from IDR 5.000. Each sitor accommodates up to 2 – 3 passengers.
• Bicycle
Take a ride! Price starts at IDR 50.000 to IDR 150.000, includes helmet. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and awe-inspiring rides you will ever experience.
• Motorcycle
For those who prefer the freedom to explore, rent a bike! Cost for rental depends on what kind of model you choose to ride with; automatic or semi automatic. Price runs at about IDR 80.000 to IDR 100.000, plus helmet.
• Pete’-pete’
Angkot or pete’-pete’ is a main public transportation in Toraja. There are two kinds of it. The one with eye catching color such as blue and looks like a minivan with yellow plate number offers route to Pasar Bolu, the largest livestock market in Toraja. The fare for each person is IDR 5.000. Another one is called Kijang, it could be real Toyota Kijang or a car with a yellow licence plate. Kijang offers route to Makale, Tana Toraja for IDR 10.000/each person. Pete’-pete’ does not have halte to stop. It can stop everywhere depends on passenger’s destination. To stop just say kiri, which means left because in Indonesia we ride on the left side.

5. What to Pack
• Black shirt
In Torajan culture, the funeral is the most important ceremony in life. Tourists are welcome to attend the funeral and are treated as honoured guests. Wearing black shirt at the funeral means showing some respect to the family of the deceased.
• Most importantly — bring your open heart and mind, and your sense of adventure!


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