6. Hanging Graves of the Toraja – Torajaland, Indonesia
The Toraja people of Torajaland have maintained an incredibly traditional lifestyle, and continue to “bury” their dead the same way they have for hundreds of years – by hanging them from a cliff and then holding a massive feast in their honor.
There are two distinct burial sites in Torajaland, and one is significantly more appealing than the other. The first is called Ke’te’ kesu and the dead here are put into wooden caskets that are strung from the sheer face of a granite cliff. Since natural materials are used, the coffins eventually rot and break, and their contents scatter below. This doesn’t seem ideal to us.
The second site, called Lemo, is home to a decidedly more civilized method. Once a solid rock wall, Lemo is now dotted with coffins carved into the rock face. Along with the coffins, balconies have also been built into the wall to support wooden effigies of the dead. These statues hang out together, happily watching over the coffins, and to us they look like they’re having a grand old time. We sure appreciate the social atmosphere and like the idea of chilling with our old friends for eternity.
Both these sites are total tourist traps, but we think they’re still something to check off the bucket list.