Guandu Old Town 官渡古镇

Guandu is a ‘refurbished’ old town about 10KM from Kunming city centre.

官渡古镇妙湛寺 (3)

If you have half day to spare in Kunming city, taking a short trip to Guandu could be a good option to consume few hours.

官渡古镇 (3)

Guandu reserved few temples dated back to Dang Dynasty.

官渡古镇妙湛寺(2)

Since 2008, Sao Lin Temple has acquired few temples in Guandu as ‘branch’ temple. You can see monks practicing martial arts in these temples.

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Searching for the legendary Elephant Stone (Batu Gajah)

I know the existing of a place called Batu Gajah, literally means Elephant Stone. You can see the signboard turning to this town from the North-South Highway (E1) in Peninsular Malaysia.

Clearwater Sanctuary

On my way back to Kuala Lumpur, I decided to clear the doubt once for all. What is this stone anyway? We passed by the famous Kellie Castle and dropped by Clearwater Sanctuary.

Goodbye Tin-Mining sculpture 1997

One can play golf or fishing at Clearwater.

Court House at Batu Gajah

When we started circulating the town, we saw some interesting heritage buildings.

Royal English School at Batu Gajah

There are easily over 20 buildings that are over century old, and still occupied by local residence.

Station Master's Quarters at Batu Gajah

The 2 traditional Malay houses are actually residence of the railway station master, still in used and owned by railway company.

Want to see the elephant stone? Read on …

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Tongkonan and Alang – the icons of Torajan Architecture

The shape of tongkonan is so unique that it becomes of the icons of Tana Toraja.

Palawa 2

The number of buffalo horns represent the number of buffalos the family had slaughtered. The jaws of the pigs were hang on the side of the house.

Palawa

The detailed artworks are intricate and symbolic for the Torajan culture.

Tongkonan and Alang (12)

Both Kete Kesu and Palawa have some traditional villages that are near to Rantepao.

Kete Kesu (1)

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Ke’te Kesu at the Land of Toraja

As the nearest site to Rantepao town center, Kete Kesu has few interesting objects to offer.

Kete Kesu (Tana Toraja) (1)

Ignore the dogs, the good stuff are behind the padi fields. The tongkonan houses. Tongkonan houses shape like the horns of a buffalo or a boat. They are the places for community folks to gather, as well storage for the harvest. I will show you more about the construction of tongkonan in other post.

Kete Kesu (Tana Toraja) (13)

Behind the tongkonan houses are the hanging grave.

Kete Kesu (Tana Toraja) (5)

I travelled 10 hours bus ride from Makassar, just to see the unique Torajan burial culture.

Kete Kesu (Tana Toraja) (7)

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