Solo Backpacking to Toraja 4.1: Souvenirs, Coffee, Animal Market, and... Goodbye!

I don't know when was the first time this culture appeared, but everytime I went travel I always wanted to bought some souvenirs to the people at home.

So, in my last day at Toraja, after went to Negri Diatas Awan at the morning I continued the day with hunting souvenirs. It wasn't my tour guide who accompanied me, but... his wife. My tour guide suddenly got call of duty and I understood that. So, I said to his wife that I wanted to go to some soivernir spots in Rantepao and then she brought me to distro store, souvenir stores, and.. traditional market.  

After looking for souvernirs for an hour to some places, I just ended up at distro to bought shirt ot my dad, and at the traditional market bought sandals for my sis, craft bag for my mom. After that, I've got no idea where to go. But my tour guide's wife suggested me to go to traditional animal market. So I just went to Pasar Hewan Bolu Rantepao/ Rantepao Bolu Animal Market. First I went to the buffalo section and then.. pig. 

Animal Market Rantepao, Toraja
Bufallo is the most glorified animal in Toraja, especially for every offerings to the ancestors. The prices of Bufallo could be really expensive here, even up to 700 Million Rupiah and 1 billion Rupiah. Damn. Meanwhile, pork is kind of main consumption for Toraja people. I just found out that Torajanese are massive enough in consume pork. 

I was surprised when I saw some pigs there moved by the people by carrying it on the shoulder. I mean.. that's a pig, and someone just carrying it on the shoulder. Well done. 

babi kamu!!
It was a great experience at Bolu animal market, Rantepao. It really was. After exploring animal market with other man's wife, I went to... coffee shop, of course. It was my last day, and it means it was a farewell to Jak Koffie, the coffee shop that I've always visited since my first day here.

Benteng Ambosso 
communal coffee
In the last day, I tried a coffee named 'Benteng Ambasso'. Benteng Ambasso itself is kind of the strongest coffee there which would keep us awake for a few hours. Yesterday, I got a free Luwak Coffee here because I spoke in front of the camera my opinion about Coffee and Toraja. It was one of the most expensive menus there, actually.  After drank Benteng Ambasso, I got a free communal coffee. Actually communal coffee was free for every customers. Althought it's free, I've just tried the communal coffee in my last day. It was a small cup of herbal coffee, which tastes like seaweed.  If you know Thai seaweed brand, 'Tao Kae Noi', just Imagine there's a coffee which tastes like Tao Kae Noi, that's communal coffee. Really. 

The most interesting part at this coffee shop is I can have conversations with the owner. Every coffee shop owners are likely the coffee lovers, right? And believe me, all of the coffee lovers have a strong personality and kind of insightful. It was just  great to have insightful discussions with insightful people. It really was. Jak Koffie was the last place for my journey with tour guide in Toraja. I returned to the hotel, and tried to felt some essence of the last day in Toraja. It was around 4 am when I decided to take a walk. 

I've been here for 3 days and never really take a walk independently. So, I walked near the hotel for maybe 3 or 4 km, and stopped at pork noodle restaurant first before I decided to grab my fifth coffee here. I've drank 4 coffees today, one at Negri Diatas Awan, one at the Hotel, 2 at the coffee shop, and I think 1 more could be a perfect farewell for me. But at the end, I didn't find any coffee shop to sit and chill. But I found 1 coffee shop that that only sells coffee powder. So I decided to bought 2 powders, one robusta and one arabica named Pulu-pulu. When I went to the hotel, I met my tour guide (not his wife) for the last time and he gave me.. another 2 coffee powders. Well that day was full of coffees. 

It was 8.30 pm when the bus picked me up at the hotel. Yeah, the bus came to the hotel, that's cool. Toraja was really memorable for me. I would love to go back to this city one fine day in the future. Maybe for another 'life escape', or.. honeymoon maybe. It took another 8 hours for me and the bus to arrived at Makassar before I can checked in at the airport and grab the 10 am flight. The 'return' bus was full of passengers, unlike the bus when I came here. But it was okay, I slept longer than before in the bus. 

I woke up at 4.30 am and found that I had arrived at Makassar. It turned out that the bus could stopped at the airport too! Wow, what an impressive bus. But I was late to realized that I was at the airport, so... I stopped at the bus representative office and went back to the airport by online taxi. Bitch.

You know you were no longer in Toraja when your first coffee wasn't a local coffee. But your first coffee was.. kind of Multinational Corporation's coffee. More precisely, frappuccino. Goodbye Toraja, for real. 

5 am, airport, frappuccino


  1. That Pork thing was disturbing man. And you spent an hour at a souvenir shop? That's quite a lot. Strange place this

    1. But that's the culture dude, just look at with other view, I mean as the 'local wisdom'

  2. Oh gosh. I think I can't erase that image of those poor animals. I couldn't have watched or videoed. Ug.

  3. Looks like you had a wonderful stay in Toraja. Although I'm definitely not a coffee person, I do enjoy sampling the coffees of various regions I travel to and Benteng Ambasso seems like it would be a real treat!

  4. Same here, I also buy souvenirs for people back home. But usually I buy food stuff. You had an interesting tour!

  5. I have never heard of Toraja before. And I have never gone backpacking before. Good you got souvenirs for your family.

  6. I'm a bit in shock. I know that animals have to die so I can eat them, but these scenes are for people with a strong nerve; extremely disturbing. To be honest, I didn't really get in which country this place is ;-)

  7. Hmm. Now Im at crossroads after reading this. On one side, I do like to explore such rustic culture on the other hand, the treatment of animals seems a bummer! Im not so sure I should go there now! Anyway thanks for sharing!

  8. I love when you find a great local coffee shop. We always try to find the same with restaurants. If it’s not broke do t fix it lol

  9. Wow... what a cool experience! So much to see and do. I love visiting local coffee shops... so interesting!

  10. I actually had to look up Toraja because I haven't heard of it nor did you say which country you were in. It's in Indonesia, right? Anyway, yeah carrying a dead pig like that would be a bit of a culture shock to me too.

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