Surrounded by lush green meadows and forested hills, tiny Waikabubak encloses several kampung with slanting thatched roofs and megalithic stone graves, where life proceeds according to the laws of the spirits. Kampung Tarung, on a hilltop just west of the main street, has some excellent megalithic graves and is regarded as one of the most significant spiritual centres on the island. The ratu (king) of Tarung is responsible for the annual wula padu ceremony, which lasts for a month at the beginning of the Merapu New Year in November. The ceremony commemorates the visiting spirits of important ancestors, who are honoured with animal sacrifices and entertained by singing and dancing. Kampung Praijiang is a fine five-tiered village on a hilltop surrounded by rice paddies, several kilometres east of town. You can catch a bemo to the bottom of the hill. Waikabubak enjoys an extended rainy season lasting well into May, with daily downpours and chilly nights. Most things you need in Waikabubak are either on the main street of Jalan Sudirman, which becomes Jalan Bhayangkara, or not far from it. Ikat traders come from all over the island to Waikabubak’s daily market.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Indonesia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Off the tourist trail in Southeast Asia: 5 underrated cities

Off the tourist trail in Southeast Asia: 5 underrated cities

Modern Bangkok, historical Hanoi and tourism-boom town Siem Reap — home to the world-famous Angkor Wat temples — are some of Southeast Asia's best drawcards…

21 Nov 2017 • Marco Ferrarese insert_drive_file Article
A postcard from Indonesia: life and death in Tanah Toraja

A postcard from Indonesia: life and death in Tanah Toraja

In Tanah Toraja, Indonesia, long-held animist beliefs mean the dead are laid to rest with elaborate ceremonies that last for days. Daniel Stables attends a f…

02 Nov 2017 • Daniel Stables insert_drive_file Article
Indonesia beyond Bali: 7 places off the tourist trail

Indonesia beyond Bali: 7 places off the tourist trail

Bali’s beautiful beaches and shimmering rice paddies have made it a justifiably famous tourist destination – but there’s so much more of Indonesia waiting…

16 May 2017 • Daniel Stables insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right