Going where few have holidayed

By | Category: Travel destinations
boat shaped houses

boat shaped houses

Ever heard of Toraja? Few have but this part of Indonesia is working to open up this remote area to tourists.

They don’t want millions

Last year just 130,000 people journeyed to the area and of those, very few came from the UK or Ireland. One reason is that few of us will accept the time in getting to it but for those that do, they will genuinely be able to say that there have been somewhere where few other visitors have been.

You would start your journey by flying to the Indonesian capital of Jakarta and then take a connecting flight to Makassar on the island of Sulawesi. From here it is a boat trip or car journey lasting up to eight hours and only then will you arrive at Toraja, claimed to be the only place on modern earth with a living megalithic culture. The old ways live on, you would find that their culture is one of the last pieces on earth that representing the harmony of the past, present & future. Up in the mountains the temperature is a balmy 14-25C making it one of the few all year round destinations that you can visit in Indonesia in terms of temperature. At river levels it will be hot and steamy at times. At the moment it is coming towards the end of the three month dry season so, later this month, there will be a six day festival to celebrate.

The waterways play an important part in the lives of Torajans and you will see this in the architecture. Houses are designed to replicate what boats look like and it is the water buffalo that carries your spirit to the afterlife.

But is for coffee that the area is known around the world. Available in a few places in the UK, Torajan coffee has no bitter after taste and is listed as one of the top ten coffees in the world by many. Consequently it will cost. It can sell for up to $US45 a kilo.

Apart from visitors coming from other parts of Asia, the Fench, Spanish and Dutch are the main visitors from Europe followed by the Germans and Italians. To the vast majority of us in the Uk and Ireland it is an unknown world. But that might change soon.

some of the local architecture

some of the local architecture

Next year, a new international airport will open in Toraja. The number of visitors will increase as tour operators find that a comparatively unexplored area of the world is accessible.  How will Toraja change? The local tourist authority tasked with improving the local economy hopes and will work so that live doesn’t change too much. Toraja wants the benefits of tourism without the problems. How it manages an increasing flow of visitors will be closely watched as a model for other remote areas.

In the meantime, for the adventurous, Toraja should be visited as soon as possible just in case it does change.

For more about Toraja, click here.

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