We stayed in the Tana Toraja villages for 3 days (august 2017). On forehand, we did not know what to expect. Some guy we met in Makassar arranged us a tour guide who picked us up at the hotel. His name was Johny Burun. He was our guide for 2 days and he definitely is one of the best of Toraja region. He knows a lot about the Toraja culture, since he is from Tana Toraja himself and is the chairman of a little Torajan Village. He was even interviewed by National Geographic about the Toraja culture. His explanation was very clear, using a wide vocabulary of English words.
On the first day he took us to the ceremony up in the mountains. We didn't take the main road, but walked trough the rice-fields and little villages, ending up at the place of ceremony. The scenery was beautiful and Johny gave us enough time to take pictures and enjoy the view. At the ceremony, Johny started to share all his knowledge about the Toraja culture (which was a lot since Johny is from Tana Toraja himself!). Due to Johny's contacts, we were invited at a local family to have coffee and share a lunch. After visiting the ceremony Johny asked us about our interests and gave us several options about what to do in the afternoon. We visited multiple villages, seeing all the highlights of the Torajan culture.
The second day, Johny and his driver picked us up at the hotel again. Again, Johny gave us several options about what to do. Since we enjoyed the ceremony, we decided to go there again. One of us did not want to see the slaughtering of animals. Again, Johny was thinking with us and made sure that the program fitted our needs. We visited some more beautiful places and then were invited to Johny's own village. We saw a deadman there, taken care of following the Torajan tradition. This was a really impressive experience, again made possible because of Johny's connections with the local people. The villagers told us we were the first tourists to ever visit the village! Afterwards, we went to a beautiful place named Batutumonga where we would stay the night. On the way up, Johny took us to one of the most beautiful scenery we had ever seen.
Johny is a very experienced local guide, who really follows your wishes. His English is good. He definitely made our trip!
Johny can be reached via:
0062 0821 9501 6444 or email@example.com