Get around

Get around

 

 

Bemos/mikrolet are minivans which serve as a flexible bus service (also known as "Shuttle Bus") and are Toraja's "traditional" form of transportation. However they have largely given way to metered taxis in the south. Fares on shared bemos can be very cheap, but drivers will often insist that foreign tourists charter the entire vehicle, in which case they will usually ask for a price equivalent to a taxi or even more. Bemo/mikrolet rides run from 2,000Rp for short rides of a few kilometers up to 10,000 Rp. A guide is useful for some of the more distant villages. 

Driving in Toraja is on the left-hand side. Car and motorbike rentals are widely available but you should think very carefully about your ability to handle driving in Toraja with its lack of formal traffic rules. Consider hiring a car and driver as you can relax, be safe and not get lost. If you rent a car to drive yourself, a modern four door Toyota Avanza or Daihatsu Xenia should cost Rp 200,000-250,000 per day. If on a tighter budget, you should be able to get an old, rough Suzuki Jimny from about Rp 90,000 to 110,000 per day.

Rental car services owned by individuals or companies are easy to find in Toraja and this is the best option for first-time visitors. Using a rental car with a driver is certainly cheaper than taxis and far more efficient than using other public transportation. The drivers are usually English-speaking and they can also act as informal tourist guides recommending good destinations and restaurants. Choosing to rent from a large car company is naturally more expensive than sourcing from a private individual. Ask the hotel staff to recommend a good individually owned rental car with a knowledgeable driver.

Travel by bicycle is quite possible and provides a very different experience than other means of transport. You can bring your own touring bike or rent in your hotel. Bicycles are also widely available for rent and some of the better hotels will even provide them free of charge. While traffic conditions may appear challenging at first, you will acclimatise after a few days, especially once you escape the chaotic heavy traffic of southern Toraja.

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