a VirtualTourist member asked on Nov 13, 2012
Hi .. Iam plan to go Toraja. I Only know English language , How can i go from Makassar ( Prefer to by public transport ) Can I find place for accommodation ( Not Luxuary one ) how can go to the interesting places from there ?
Thanks for your tips ( )
from makassar you can take one of the evening bus [from bus station] to Toraja
you'll arrive following early morning
there's a bus stop next to airport, I did not find so, once at airport, I ignore everyone asking me to go to Toraja and walked, short walk, to main road, there I stopped a angkot [or pete-pete], which is a minibus of public transport and asked to go to bus station. Actually that angkot was not supposted to go to bus station but they did take me directly there, it costed double than ordinaruy fare but still very very cheap, we left the same as because they've been very kind.
On way back, if you need to go to airport, just ask to driver, they will stop there... actually I looked for the bus stop I did not find few days before, but I could not find it, the bus stopped just right at street and no sign look like like [for western people] was there.
As hotel I suggest [original link] the place is clean, not expensive, you better book in advance. It's in town so restaurants, shops and market are walkable distance.
Before you leave you better learn how say or at least read/write numbers, more than once my wife and I could not buy anything (also no fruit) at market because we did not understand how much it costed and NOBODY was able to speak in English and they did not know arabian numbers, the ones used also in English.
Tana Toraja is 8hr+ bus trip for the 300 kms. Mikrolets and bimas will take you to the bus terminal where you catch the bus to Rantepao. I think there are morning and evening trips.
As has been suggested there are plenty of buses from Makassar to Rantepeo - go to Rantepeo not Makale to be close to the places of interest. The trip is approximately 8 hours and the buses are quite comfortable. If you go one way by night, come back during the daytime so you get to see the amazing country side.
There are a few good relatively cheap places to stay in Rantepeo. Try Wisma Maria 1 which is really close to popular cheap restaurants or Dusa 88 - good rooms although set in someone's backyard (though very friendly people).
There are a few villages of interest that you can walk to but often it is best to have a guide - particularly if you are hoping to see a funeral.
There are plenty of guides - they will find you but make sure you bargain hard and know exactly what you are paying for.
A very knowledgeable guide is Yulius Tandirerung who lives in Rantepeo. I have used him twice and recommended him to others who agree that he is good. The last email address I have for him is email is [email]
If you want some more tips, have a look at my Rantepeo page. I really love the area - I'm sure you will too.
I am surprised that one of the other posts suggested they had trouble communicating - I found there was actually quite a lot of English in the Toraja area (and the number system is the same as evidenced by the Indonesia rupiah)
>> my wife and I could not buy anything (also no fruit) at market
>> because we did not understand how much it costed
If we were at market and "we did not understand how much it costed" it was, of course, because we were without our guide.
we, wife and I, like to go around at local markets on our own. We do this everywhere we go and we never show money when we do :)
neither to know which number is that listed. :))
BTW without one guide you won't go almost anywhere, you won't know where/when a funeral is going on, among the three we saw there also one of a 'big fish', water buffalo fighting which is nothing gory like fighting cocks which are illegal but held inside the market. Both more interesting for seeing like people enjoy theirself than the 'show' itself which is mainly [only] for gambling.
LBNL we tried to contact by mail quite a few recommendation people some months in advances before going there. We got no answer and quite a few of our mails were rejected because the box was full, which is different from it does not exist.
Having see this, to be sure we confirmed our mailed reservation also by fax and later called the hotel to check it was all ok (we wanted to go to that hotel), during conversation we asked them to find us a guide for the days we where there, they did a guide was at the door of our bus when we arrived
***btw the driver bus from makkassar asked which hotel people were going and he left just in front of it***
Once there I checked about the mail never replyed and we asked to the guide, there is to say first [till few years ago] that internet there is[was] very slow and the guide himself admited he does not check often the email because he had to go to internet cafè, which is cheap for western people not for them, it would be [his words] waste of time and money to reply to all mails when there are many tourists around so he have no time [& NEED) to find out new customers like he did with us and he checks only during 'low season' if someone is coming.
OK!! it's ONLY what I found, this does not mean it alway like it, lately things could also changed, I olny hope there are not too much tourist business there to muck up everything