Solo Backpacking to Toraja 3.0: Ollon, Is This Indonesia or New Zealand?

Lari tuan krab, lari seperti kau sehat
There are no tigers in Sulawesi, human is the wildest creature here. - My tour guide.
    When I searched for Toraja destinations on google, a place named 'Ollon' came as the new Toraja destination which several websites stated that Ollon is very.. beautiful. Even a tv program such as My Trip My Advanture stated that Ollon is kind of hidden treasure. Ollon itself is a bunch of hills with very beautiful landscapes. It hasn't been touched by modernization yet. Ollon is like the 2018 Toraja destination after 2016-2017 was Negri Diatas Awan (state above the clouds). Some websites compare Ollon with New Zealand Landscapes, I don't know it's exaggerated or not so let's prove it. Research Question: Ollon, is it Indonesia or New Zealand?

I was excited enough to put Ollon into my bucketlist back then. At least until I realized that the trip to Ollon won't be easy. It will be very hard... really. Ollon located in Bonggakaradeng which is ±60 km away from my Hotel. The hardest thing is the trip to Ollon can only be traversed with very damaged road for its track access. As I said it hasn't been touched by modernization, and it's including the track access. Very far, very damaged for its access, very full of uncertainty, I was just thinking to cancel the trip to Ollon. 

But, a real man takes the challenge right? So I decided to keep going. I was discussing the trip to Ollon with my tour guide a day before and he was offering me 2 options: with a trekking car which cost me IDR 1.500.000 but it's safety as fck, or with motorcycle which cost me IDR 600.000. For my safety, of course I chose the... motorcycle. For the safety of my wallet, more precisely. Besides that, I also wanted to filming the trip with my ordinary Go Pro, and I think it would be much fun if recording it on the bike, on the damaged road, on the trip to Ollon. So, I made a deal with my tour guide that he'll pick me up at the hotel at around 6.30 am - 7 am.

..a breakfast before break through
It was 8 am on that day and my tour guide hasn't picked me up. I was just pull a long face. I mean, it's an hour already and he hasn't be here yet, whether my trip to Ollon will keep going or not? I mean it's impossible for me to went to Ollon alone, and it's kind of difficult and will take a lot of time if I searched for another tour guide or tour packages. Ah, god damn it.

A moment later, I was received a call from my tour guide. He said he had arrived at the hotel. He said his motorbike was used by his wife, and he went to the rental first to renting motorbike. Great, I rented from a person who was rented from another person. What a complex world out there. Around 8.30 am, my trip to Ollon began.  I started the trip with some beautiful views. Rice fields views, mountain views, the roads were just.. smooth at least until ±30 km uphill and down the mountain journey.

My Trip My Toraja
(so here's where the MTMA team flew the drone)
Trip to Ollon
And after the gedebug-gedebag-gedebug-gdebag-dag-dig-dug-ser,
Ollon still 10 km away
I must admit that my tour guide was really a professional motorbiker. We went to Ollon by just matic motorcycle with all of the stones on the road, with all of the gedebug-gedebag-gedebug-gdebag-dag-dig-dug-ser, and we didn't fall. For my tour guide, if you read this, I just want you to know that you are.. you are... you've made me wait for more than an hour at the hotel, btch. I mean, you are amazing!

We went through the forest on our way to Ollon. I remember I was asking to my tour guide if is there a possibility to the appearance of wild animals? And then he said like nothing to be worried, there are no tigers in Sulawesi, the wildest creature here is human. Damn, what a quote by a tour guide who made me wait for more than an hour at the hotel. 

I just found out if there are no tigers in Sulawesi as well as elephants, what a fact. I knew if some endemic faunas here are anoa, maleo, tarsius, and etc. But I didn't know if there are no some faunas which are commonly found on the  Java such as tiger and elephant. 

eh.. ada cow
Ollon, Bonggakaradeng, Toraja
We stopped at some points because my tour guide was exhausted enough, before finally we arrived at Ollon. We met some animals during the trip, cow, wild boar, and buffalo. The trip was really fun because it was sunny on that day. It would be a different story if it was rain. 

It took ±3 hours for us to arrive at Ollon. Finally.. I just saw directly what I saw on internet before. A very beautiful landscape of bunch of hills, so green, and so.. hot. Untouched by modernization, need a struggle to be here, just a perfect place for escape. 

At first, when we arrived, we ate instant noodle for lunch. Actually we want to ate some local food from local people there, but there was a burial held within 8 km away from Ollon. So, many people went to the burial, and only some local people here. So we just ate instant noodle from one of small shop there. The interesting thing is there are only small number of people in Ollon. Even electricity hasn't facilitated yet. The electricity only can be used at 7 pm, and maximum until 11 pm. Wow. 

Mari, Paman hug dulu here
Indonesia or New Zealand?

jefferson laay
Ollon, Bonggakaradeng, Toraja
rileks ae
Ollon was really fun, hot, green, exhausting, and beautiful. For the very first time I got a chance to see how beautiful the nature before there will be some intervention from modernization (maybe). It wasn't really hard to fell in love with this beautiful place. I mean, after all the struggles and looking at the natural sceneries here.. this Jakarta guy definitely will never 'feel what he felt at Ollon' in his hometown. 

I knew, there are many beautiful destinations in Indonesia. But, at the end, I'm the guy who loves to try or feel 'something' nice, 'something' with the good quality, 'something' beautiful and potential, but people around me have never tried it or have never been there before. It's kind of cool to be different. I mean, it looks like I'm the only one in my society who has went to Ollon. I went to hiking into the hill to take a walk, I was thinking if it was the right time to think about life reflection. Really.

I saw 2 horses, and I wanted to riding one of them and took a photo. But it looked like the owner of the horses went to the burial so.. I can't be the horse rider that time. I've tried to approached the horse but the horse just ran away. Ah, I was just thinking to took a pict as the horse rider and posting it on social media with 3 words caption 'bukan kudanya Awkarin'. 

Bukan Wallpaper Windows Xp
                                                        sayangilah alam, anak muda..                                                  
It was around 1 pm maybe when we left Ollon. Goodbye, Ollon. I was lucky enough because I met maybe only 3-4 tourists there because it was weekday. It was a great pleasure to be here, when there wasn't a comprehensive modernization yet. I don't know maybe 10 years later a huge change could transform the essence of this beautiful place. 

It took maybe 7-8 hours round trip with motorcycle from Rantepao to Ollon. Well it was the most expensive 'ojek' experience of mine which cost IDR 600K, but it was just fun. It was worth enough. Beautiful view, professional Tour Guide, great experience. Our next destination after Ollon was... Coffee Shop. 

Jak Koffie Toraja
So, back to the research question. Ollon and New Zealand, do they look alike? Well, since I've never been to New Zealand before, I don't know, hehehehe. That's the answer. But if I comparing the sceneries that I saw at Ollon with some picts that came up when I searched 'New Zealand hills' on Google, I would like to say... they got the similarities.

It was almost 5 pm when we went to Jak Koffie. I tried another Toraja Arabica, named pulu-pulu. It was a delightful day, struggle on the damaged road, went to beautiful place and enjoyed the scneries as the rewards, then ended up in coffee shop.  I was enjoying my Arabica when I started to planning my tomorrow trip: Get ready, Negri Diatas Awan. Gonna catch some clouds!


  1. Kalo aku kesana, kyknya lbh cocok sewa yg mobil aja kali yaam secara ama suami, kalo sewa motor, sama aja dikali 2 :p. Kereen jev. Destinasi yg begini nih yg aku suka. Bedaa dr yg lainnya, blm terlalu bnyk turis :). Kalo ke toraja wajib bnget ini aku samperin

    1. kalau sama keluarga emang lebih enak mobil mba, kalau sendiri.. belum punya anak ke-2.. jangankan anak ke-2, istri aja belum ada... ya sebagai mahasiswa lebih rasional kalau pake motor :")

  2. Those view are truly amazing.. u r so lucky to plant your footsteps in such an amazing place.. No idea if it's indon or nz.. never come across this place before..

  3. I have never been solo traveling much less backpacking. It must have been very challenging. But the views are so worth it! Wonderful trip, impressive locations!

  4. I too like to go to unique places. The places that are less-traveled. It's cool that you only saw maybe a few tourists during your time there.

  5. Wow. That must have been some experience going by the photos. Always wondered how solo backpacking would be. Need to try it sometime!

  6. I have never been to a solo trip but I am planning to take my first one this year. It has been a dream to go backpacking somewhere beautiful. Thank you for sharing about Toraja. Will definitely consider this.

  7. Solo backpacking sounds both liberating and terrifying all at once. It is something I would love to experience but I would be so worried to go it alone.

  8. Hehe the line only wild creatures are human made me crack up, I am gling to add this destination to my wishlist its unique

  9. Lovely to read your detailed experience here. Could not stop smiling when I read "There are no tigers in Sulawesi, human is the wildest creature here. - My tour guide." Haha!

  10. I love seeing people's travels! And I haven't really heard of these locations, so thanks for letting me see something new! :)

  11. This view out here looks aesthetic. I wish i could also travel much. Love to read this type of journey experiences

  12. It is such a wonderful trip to Ollon:) I really want to have a chance to visit this place in the future!

  13. Ollon is beautiful! Indeed, it's worth the travel. Hopefully, when the kids are bigger, we can visit here, too. We love nature trips. :D

  14. Wow! What a beautiful looking place :) I've not been to this area or Ollon yet, but it's definitely on the bucket list! When would you recommend as the best time of year to go? X