I honestly want to say thanks to budget airlines! Because of them, I am possible to go to everywhere which I haven’t thought I possibly can be there. For instance, Air Asia just opened their destination to Makassar, Ujung Pandang, Sulawesi. With only usd 70, I already can go to there from Jakarta, return. What a worth price! Some people get it lower.
I made a research about Makassar and I found out people always suggest to go to Losari Beach, and some other places or visit around the town. I was trying to find another place which aren’t so touristic yet and perhaps a beautiful nature. Indonesia has so many beautiful nature places and Sulawesi riches with that too.
I and my friend took a day off, on Friday, and we arrived in Sultan Hasanuddin Airport in early morning. Without any baggage to be waiting for, we just directly went out from the airport. The free shuttle from the airport to main gate already diminish and there were so many people try to offer us their rental car, don’t trust easily and better you find out about how to go out from one airport before you arrived to your destination, it’s for reduce the unexpected budget that may arise because of scam price.
For us, we chose to take the public bus from the airport, after we asked to the driver whether the bus will pass Bintang Prima office or not. Bintang Prima is a bus office for our evening bus ticket from Makassar to Toraja. It will go in the evening and will arrive in Toraja around 6 am. So it’s better for us to buy the bus ticket first before go exploring Makassar city.
We paid Idr 20.000 (usd 2) for the airport bus, and yes, they took us to the bus office. First we thought we need to go to the bus terminal for buy the ticket, because of the driver’s suggestion, we go to the Bintang Prima Office instead of the terminal, because in terminal, there will be some people who approach you and try to offer you with another bus or force you to use another brand. I already googled before and many say Bintang Prima is a good option for the bus.
Finished buy the ticket, we took Pete-Pete to go to Maros. Pete-pete is another name for public car in Makassar. The idea to visit Maros came when I asked a local friend, where places to go to see the nature instead all the famous sight-seeing in the city. And she suggested us to visit Rammang-Rammang in Maros regency. By the photo, it looked so cool. So we decided to go there.
View of Maros, yes indeed – it is sooo beautiful!
Pete-pete brought us to the terminal and we need to change with another Pete-Pete to Bosowa (a cement manufacture which is so famous in Makassar and people know it). The Pete-pete cost us per-person is IDR 19.000. The second Pete-Pete kind of bullying us by asking for higher price than usual. Normally, per person only pay for IDR 10.000 (usd 1) but he asked IDR 15.000, the terrible heat in Makassar made me don’t want to have any argue to him and just paid it.
Maros City, so hot as how it looks!
Arrived in Bosowa, we need to walk for reaching the boat harbor. Yes, Rammang-rammang is a village that we can reach after canoing through the river. But our hungry stomach pushed us to stop for a while and eat the meatball noodle, nothing else available. So funny how many meatball shop in Makassar, either in Java style or Makassar style. After ate, we continued to walk around 15 minutes. Yes, 15 minutes sounds easy right? But not in the terrible hot day. Luckily we brought our umbrella, we are Asians who love umbrella whatever the weather is 😛 A guy named Daeng Beta, met up with us near the harbor and brought us to his boat. No one else go to Rammang-rammang, only us.
Our first impression about the river was so cool! Not just it was a new sensation for sitting in the small boat and try to balance our body and avoid any movement which can cause us drowning, also the view around are breathtaking! The area has so many huge rocks which sometimes have hole in the middle. In Sulawesi, especially in Toraja, people bury the corpse inside of the stones, so no wonder there are so many natural hole in the rocks. It was just so cool to see the mangroove and river palm trees surrounding us. The bright light from the sun just make everything looked so clearly perfect.
When we finally arrived in another harbor stop, I had no idea what was waiting on us. But when we stepped the deck, only an admiration scream came from our mouth! In front of us, lied a beautiful nature, the vast of paddy field that dried already because of the season. The surrounding stones made it look like Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, ancient rocks whether you believe it or not, years ago was a sea in the land that we stepped now. I hadn’t believed it yet until I saw many broken shell above ground. Some are just so old and pale like from the old times.
Mr. Daeng Beta (actually Daeng means Sir or Mr. in Makassar language) brought me to his house. Which is a really cool house in the middle of spectacular view. How lucky they are! Surrounding by the hills allowed the peaceful atmosphere in the house. Suddenly, we already being a part of his family. He introduced us with his wife, daughters and grand-daughters.
If I’m not mistaken, the area just officially open for public around 5 years ago. Both domestic and international tourist come regularly to visit the area and house. We can see from the registration book, there were so many names written on it. Actually, they will offer you lunch and willing to cook for us, but because we already ate before, we need to refuse the kindness, but they still provide us with some cakes. It was very amicable! Because of our early flight, we felt so sleepy and we sleep in the terrace after enjoying the view, peaceful situation, some noises from the duck and water, then our eyes involuntarily closed.
After fall a sleep for a while, Daeng Beta told us there is a cave near the house and we can see a history proof about ancient human, cause there was a mark of small palm in the cave wall. We were so curious and together with his daughter, we visited the cave, the children of this lady also following us around. When we finally arrived in the cave, yes we can see the palm mark, but too bad, I can’t capture it well because it lied higher than me. The photo was blurry and I just realized after we away from that place.
Time’s almost up to go. We need to say good to the beautiful Rammang-rammang for catch our evening bus to Toraja. The sun shine which wanted to falling down give the gold reflection to the hills, it was really a priceless view. We need to cross the river again, so it was pretty wise to back before dark. We absolutely so happy because able to go and visit this rare place. As Indonesian, I am also so proud with my country, rich with so many beautiful nature – so many, that probably some still untouchable and wild. Thank you my friend, Fitry who shouted the idea of this place and arranged everything so we finally succes find the place and meet Daeng Beta. Thank you so much for Daeng Beta and family too, such a good time we had.