Journey from Makassar to Tana Toraja…heading where the hills make you feel like you are on top of the world!
After five days in Bali, I took an evening flight to Makassar on the 18th November. I stayed in a nice, quiet place called Asoka Homestay in Makassar. Although there isn’t a lot of cultural sights to visit in Makassar, I ensured that I visited the ‘Trans Studio’ – the biggest indoor amusement park in Indonesia. It was huge and the ceiling was covered with bright, shiny stars, which gave the impression that it was night and outdoors, when in actual fact it was daytime and indoors. Lots of rides as you would expect from an amusement park…my favourite entertainment was the 4D Spongebob Movie, where even the chairs moved around!
I also spent some time at a couple of malls in the city…I always like to check out where the locals like to hang out.
I also made sure that I had the time to try the two best restaurants in Makassar…the first a Chinese restaurant just down the road from Asoka Homestay, which was delicious and the second, the famous ‘Lae Lae’ – fresh seafood restaurant. Lae Lae is a huge dining hall with big shared tables…and it was totally packed with locals! The fresh grilled fish was really good and the sambal was to die for!
I also managed to organise transport for the next leg of my trip. My plan was to head north to Rantepao – Tana Toraja!
I left Makassar at 9am and travelled up the west coast through Maros, Pangkajene, Barru, Parepare and then headed inland through Sidrap, Enrekang and Makale. Stopped for lunch at Parepare and enjoyed the ocean views and stopped for an afternoon coffee break at Bambapuang, which had amazing views of the mountains leading into Tana Toraja.
I then continued onto Rantepao – centre of Tana Toraja and arrived about 7.30pm. I stayed at Rantepao Lodge, which is a few km’s out of Rantepao…simple accommodation, which had a great verandah with a fantastic view over golden coloured rice fields and huge mountains in the background with a few traditional houses scattered in the distant mountains. Long day on the road…and ready for a restful sleep and then tomorrow’s adventures.