Temples & Tonkonans

Soak up the eclectic bustle of Java’s temples and food scene on our Temples and Tonkonans holiday, which will showcase some fascinating urban sights before immersing you in rural Indonesia, on a journey through Sulawesi’s diverse cultural landscape, before finally taking you to gorgeous tropical Lombok for a few days of pure relaxation.

At a glance
  • Indulge on traditional Jogja streetfood
  • Marvel at a spectacular Borobudur sunset
  • Promenade with the locals in Makassar
  • Canoe between Sengkang’s karst cliffs
  • Lunch with the locals in a tonkonan tribal village
  • Laze on Lombok’s beautiful beaches
Itinerary
Price & Hotels

Yogyakarta – 3 nights

Yogyakarta, affectionately known as Jogja, has long been a revered seat of spirituality, culture and learning in Indonesia. The surrounding region holds an impressive number of Indonesia’s finest temples and historic sites within a striking landscape. Borobudur, an impressive 9th century, mandala shaped Buddhist temple, has beautifully carved layers that represent the Buddhist universe, while Candi Prambanan, an equally impressive cluster of elegantly carved stone temples located further east, illustrates tales from the Hindu faith. Wander between these ruins, sample the city’s streetfood spices and kick back with a cup of smoking kopi joss coffee.

Day 1 - Arrive Yogyakarta

Includes:

On arrival in Java, you'll be met by your private guide, who will accompany you to your hotel in Yogyakarta.

Welcome to Selective Asia! This level of personal service (such as private transfers, private tours etc) is what you can expect throughout your trip. A few services (eg boat cruises) will be shared, but we'll always make sure you're aware of these.

Day 2 - Kraton Palace, batik workshop, evening streetfood experience

Includes:

Set off for the 18th century Kraton, or Sultan’s Palace: the traditional seat of Jogja’s royal court, and a living museum showcasing Javanese culture, dance and poetry performances. Take a becak (bicycle trishaw) ride to the nearby village of Kauman, home to a holy Islamic community, where the narrow streets were designed to ensure everyone is placed on an equal level. End your becak ride at the Taman Sari Water Palace, added to the royal complex by the first Sultan, with bathing pools for his harem. Learn about the traditional art of batik, including the philosophy behind the patterns, and create a batik souvenir, before heading out for an evening’s culinary exploration of Yogyakarta, sampling a variety of regional snacks and dishes. Try pempek fishcakes and bakmi yellow noodles at Jogja’s bustling night markets, sip charcoal-smoked kopi joss coffee, and chill out with the locals in Alun-alun Kidul square.

Day 3 - Mendut & Pawon temples, Borobudur sunset

Includes:

Explore the temples of Yogyakarta, starting with the 9th century Mendut and Pawon Buddhist examples, perfectly aligned with Borobudur and defined by elaborate stone carvings. Your guide will tell you more about their history and symbolism as you wander. Continue to Borobudur to explore the largest Buddhist temple complex in the world. Comprised of thousands of volcanic and river stone blocks, Borobudur was constructed during the 9th century AD, and took over 75 years to complete. Now protected by UNESCO, the stunning temple, decorated with 500 Buddha statues and over 2,500 relief panels, remains remarkably intact. Stay to see the sun set over the magnificent spires - a magical experience - before returning to your hotel.

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Makassar - 1 night

Makassar has been the gateway to eastern Indonesia for hundreds of years, and most of the trade that passed between the West and the East during Dutch colonial rule was controlled from this bustling city. At its centre are evocative tales of spice routes and high seas that have sparked enduring legends, and today it’s a busy hub connecting the Indonesian islands by air and boat. Through its strikingly modern skyline, Makassar’s colonial history can still be seen at sites such as Fort Rotterdam - one of the best-preserved examples of Dutch architecture in Indonesia.

Day 4 - Fly to Makassar, Sulawesi

Includes:

Fly to Makassar, on the island of Sulawesi, where you’ll meet your guide and transfer to your hotel. The remainder of your day will be at leisure to explore Makassar’s intriguing streets.

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Sengkang – 1 night

The market town of Sengkang, on the eastern shore of Lake Tempe, retains many of its deep-rooted, cultural traditions. During your visit, you'll learn about the silk weaving process from caterpillar to thread. Pass through the Maros Pangkep Karst region, a stunning UNESCO site peppered with towering limestone cliffs and caves adorned with prehistoric paintings. Explore Rammang Rammang village on foot, keeping your camera close to capture the extraordinary landscape, enjoy lunch with a local village family, and relax into the region’s quiet rhythms.

Day 5 - Car & boat to Sengkang, lunch with locals, canoeing

Includes:

Head north towards Sengkang, taking time to enjoy the journey by car and boat, and sharing lunch with the locals. Canoe through Maros Pangkep’s dramatic karst landscape, photograph every corner of Rammang Rammang, and pause in a small community known for its silk weaving. Arrive in Sengkang by late afternoon and enjoy the rest of your day at leisure exploring this calm waterside community.

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Rantepao - 3 nights

Rantepao is the main town in the Tana Toraja region and an ideal base from which to explore the traditional villages, unique architecture, caves and waterfalls that the area is known for. Sitting 2,600 feet above sea level, cool, picturesque Tana Toraja is dominated by mountains, rice terraces and bamboo forests, and is home to traditional Torajan communities. Besides its natural scenic attraction, there are many examples of the culturally fascinating and distinctive tonkonan wooden houses, with their dramatic boat-shaped roofs. Visit several villages with your guide, and get a deeper insight into the culture of past and present Toraja.

Day 6 - Lake Tempe cruise, Tana Toraja lunch, drive to Rantepao

Includes:

Accompanied by your guide, board a motorised canoe from a local pier and cruise along the Walennea River to beautiful Lake Tempe, home to over 20 species of water bird. Watch local fishermen use a variety of methods, including nets, rods and bamboo fences, to catch fish to take back to their floating houses on the edge of the lake. These houses, anchored to the lake bed, face different directions depending on water levels and can sometimes even be moved to where the fish are most plentiful. Back on dry land, depart for the Tana Toraja region along a mountainous road through picturesque scenery, and stop en-route for a traditional lunch with a local family. Once in Rantepao, check in to your hotel and the enjoy remainder of your day at leisure to wander through its distinctive streets.

Day 7 - Explore Tana Toraja villages & hanging cliff cemeteries

Includes:

Set out into the Tana Toraja hills to visit several traditional communities, chat with the locals are see the comings and goings of daily life. Torajan animist beliefs centre on death rituals, and funeral ceremonies are a vital part of traditional life. Torajans are well-known for their hospitality and visitors are usually more than welcome to attend these ceremonies, which include a day of feasting, dancing and drinking. The deceased are interred in a variety of distinct ways, including hanging graves carved into the steep cliffs which are guarded by life sized effigies or tau tau, and you’ll see these sombre and poignant cliff cemeteries as you travel through the region.

Day 8 - Traditional Torajan meal in a tonkonan

Includes:

Continue exploring the Tana Toraja region, gaining fascinating insights into local traditions and culture. Stop for lunch with local hosts in a traditional tonkonan house, where you’ll savour a typical Torajan meal of dishes such as pa’piong manuk: chicken with grated banana stem, cooked inside bamboo and served with fern fronds and red rice.

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Makassar - 1 night

You'll see Makassar in a fresh light as you emerge from your immersion in Sulawesi’s rich rural landscape, culture and traditions. Try a few of the port’s famous streetfood snacks, including bright green Es Pisang Ijo banana dumplings and Jalangkote savoury pastries. Choose your favourite from over a hundred stalls along Losari Beach selling Pisang Epe - the town’s iconic barbecued caramel bananas (trying as many as you can, to ensure fair comparison!). Stay on the sand to see the sunset, or head into town to sip a sundowner at one of the city’s chic sky bars.

Day 9 - Drive to Makassar, village lunch

Includes:

Today you'll be driven to Makassar, passing through the mountains and along the coast, and stopping for lunch at a traditional house in a small village en route.

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Lombok - 3 nights

Lombok, a beautiful island to the east of Bali, has a natural landscape of picture-perfect beaches against a volcanic backdrop - exactly what many people picture when they think of coastal Indonesia. Traditional ways of life remain strong, and the handful of luxury resorts which have sprung up over the last few years are thoughtfully designed so as not to detract from their wild surroundings. The pace of life here is leisurely and unhurried, making it the ideal spot for total relaxation to rediscover your own natural tempo.

Day 10 - Fly to Lombok

Includes:

Spend the morning at leisure, perhaps sampling a last few Makassar streetfood treats, until it’s time for your onward flight to Lombok via Jakarta. When you arrive, head straight to your resort where the remainder of your day will be at leisure to start settling in to the laid-back Lombok life.

Days 11 & 12 - Enjoy a few days at leisure

Includes:

Your time on Lombok is yours to spend being as active or laid back as you wish. Wander along the shore, dipping your toes in the crystal waters. Spot Australasian-style wildlife, including rainbow lorikeets and cockatoos, in Gunung Rinjani National Park, or head offshore to visit the nearby Gilli islands.

Day 13 - Depart Lombok

Includes:

Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

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We only provide privately guided holidays - meaning that you will not be expected to share guides or transport for the duration of your visit. You can also start on any day you choose.

Please click on the hotel category buttons below to view hotel details. These are recommended properties only - we have many alternative options for you to choose from if you would prefer. You can mix hotel categories throughout your holiday.

Hotel class Price per person (based on total # travelling)
2 persons 3 - 4 5 - 6
First Class £1,636US$2,143 £1,502US$1,968 £1,399US$1,832

Eclipse

Excellent value hotel conveniently located in central Yogyakarta, the Eclipse is comfortable and very nicely presented... See more

Favehotel Daeng Tompo

With an exterior of glass and neon pink, the Favehotel Daeng Tompo is an eye-catching addition to the hotel offerings in central Makassar... See more

BBC Hotel

The BBC Hotel is arguably the best place to stay in Sengkang, although we’re not talking five star. Contemporary style rooms are simply furnished, clean and comfortable, with views over the river or the town... See more

Luta Resort

Sitting at an altitude of 700 metres above sea level in central Rantepao, the Luta Resort enjoys views over the surrounding mountains and rice fields, the town and the Saddan River... See more

Puri Mas Boutique Resort & Spa

Set on the tranquil sandy shores of Mangsit Beach, close to the main town of Senggigi, Puri Mas is a slightly quirky, authentically Indonesian boutique resort... See more
Superior £1,816US$2,379 £1,666US$2,182 £1,577US$2,066

Dusun Jogja Village Inn

With its excellent location in the peaceful neighbourhood of Prawirotaman, not far from the Sultan's Palace, Dusun Jogja is a convenient and cosy hotel with good... See more

Aston Makassar Hotel

The Aston Hotel enjoys a central location in the heart of Makassar, within strolling distance (or short rickshaw ride!) of Fort Rotterdam and Losari beach... See more

BBC Hotel

The BBC Hotel is arguably the best place to stay in Sengkang, although we’re not talking five star. Contemporary style rooms are simply furnished, clean and comfortable, with views over the river or the town... See more

Toraja Heritage Hotel

Uniquely designed in the architectural style of a traditional Torajan clan house (Tongkonan), the Toraja Heritage Hotel offers a true sense of place, complemented... See more

Qunci Villas

A selection of contemporary suites and villas overlooking Lombok’s lovely Senggigi beach and the Bali Sea beyond, Qunci Villas is a reliable choice whether you’re looking to dive around Lombok... See more

Solo travellers are always welcome - please contact us for a tailored quote.

These prices are shown in GBPUSD.
Selective Asia is a UK-registered company, but our client-base spans the globe, so we bank in both GBP and USD and can therefore provide a fixed price in either currency.
We also have payment facilities in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the EU, and can typically offer better-than-bank exchange rates on the date of payment in these currencies (against a booking priced in GBP).

Itinerary additions

At Selective Asia we specialise in creating unique, tailor-made experiences. The holiday itineraries provided on this website are intended to help you visualise what is achievable in your destinations of choice, over a given period of time and at an intended budget.
Whilst many clients are happy with of our recommended itineraries in the current form (and at the price quoted), there are those that wish to personalise their holiday in some way, whether it be a change of hotel, an additional destination or even start from scratch. This is when our tailor-made specialists come into their own; with many years of experience both living and working in the region they are ideally equipped to advise on alternatives and to facilitate any necessary changes.

The important stuff

Please note: During high season periods (such as July - September and Christmas) hotels often levy a surcharge, and these are not included in the above prices. Your consultant will be happy to advise you of these.

Inclusive:

  • English speaking, local guide
  • All accommodation listed
  • Land transportation by private air-conditioned vehicles
  • Any domestic flights listed (unless marked otherwise)
  • All admission fees at attractions, temples and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All meals listed
  • International flight reconfirmation.

Exclusive:

  • Flights to/from Asia. We are an ATOL bonded operator and can arrange flights for all our clients, regardless of whether you are departing from the UK or from almost any other worldwide destination.
  • Entry visas
  • International airport departure taxes
  • Any meals not listed in the itinerary
  • Drinks, other than water on activity days
  • Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, tip...)
  • Travel insurance
  • All other services not listed in 'inclusive'

Please note

All prices are correct at the time of publishing. They are liable to change and can only be confirmed upon submitting an enquiry.

 

Extras

Flights

We will arrange all internal flights used within our holiday itineraries. We can also arrange discounted flights from all UK airports to Asia and we are a fully bonded ATOL operator. If you would like a quote for your international flights then please complete the required section on the enquiry form.

Visa

You will require a visa for Indonesia which is obtained on arrival. Your consultant will be happy to advise you on visa requirements.

Passport

Please ensure that you have a valid passport with at least 6 months validity remaining after your return date. You will also need at least one blank page for each of the countries you are visiting.

Insurance

You will require a comprehensive travel insurance that covers you for medical costs associated with hospitalisation, emergency travel and repatriation back to your home country. We offer our customers a specially discounted insurance policy, ideally suited to the needs that a trip such as this creates. Tick the insurance box in the enquiry form and we will send you a quote to suit your needs.

Vaccinations and Malaria Prevention

You will undoubtedly require vaccinations for your visit to Asia. Please consult your doctor or a vaccination clinic for the most up-to-date advice. They will also be able to advise you of the most suitable anti-malarial medication if required. It is important that you do this well in advance of your departure date.

Booking Procedure

Only once you are completely happy with any holiday itinerary we create for you will we ask for a payment. In order that we can secure availability for your booking we would typically require a deposit of 20%.

Travelling Responsibly

We care about the places and the communities that you will travel through. It is important to us that we travel as responsibly as possible throughout Asia and that we are giving something back to the regions and the people that make these journeys so special. Full details on our approach to responsible travel can be found on a dedicated section of this website.

Make it yours!

Call us on 01273 670 001

Get in touch

Make it yours!

Call us on 01273 670 001

Get in touch

Our tailor-made service costs you no extra

This itinerary is designed to work straight off the peg, but we'll happily tailor it until it's a perfect fit for you, to ensure we’re making the absolute best of your time and funds. All you need to do is ask...

Your own private guides & drivers

You'll typically have your own private guides & drivers throughout your trip. When you will be sharing a service (eg a boat cruise) with others, we'll always let you know.