Indonesia - Sulawesi - Toraja site with tau tau

This bizarrely-shaped island encloses volcanic mountains, tropical forests, deep lakes and diverse cultures within its boundaries. Its heavily-forested interior has held its inhabitants relatively free from outside influence and ritualistic ways of life persist here.

The regency of Tana Toraja is ringed with mountains and rich in tradition. Large ancestral wooden houses topped with arced bamboo roofs form settlements amidst verdant rice fields. Death rites play a central role in Torajan culture and cliff cemeteries guarded by life-size wooded figures called tau tau may be found throughout the island.

Sulawesi’s national parks include the Lore Lindu and Tangkoko. They provide protected habitats for tarsiers, the world’s smallest primates, and the bear-like marsupials the Sulawesi bear cuscus and Dwarf cuscus. The Wakitobi Marine Park incorporates 170km of remote coastline, 42 islands and the second-largest coral reef in the world; it was referred to as an “underwater nirvana” by Jacques Costeau.