The first large town after Labuanbajo is Ruteng, 140km to the east. Surrounded by forested volcanic hills and rolling rice-paddy plains, it’s a cool, relaxing place. The market just to the south is the central meeting point for the local Manggarai people, as Ruteng is their district capital. They speak their own language and have a distinctive culture most in evidence in villages on the south coast. Their traditional houses are conical and arranged in concentric circles around a circular sacrificial arena; even the rice paddies are round, divided up like spiders’ webs, with each clan receiving a slice. Most of these formations are no longer used, but a good example can still be seen at Golo Cara, thirty minutes by bemo from the central bus station, and traces of them are visible from the bus to Bajawa.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Indonesia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Solo travel can be one of the most rewarding ways to explore the world. Whether you'd rather spend it on a desert island or in a frenetic new city, here are th…

21 Dec 2016 • Rachel Mills camera_alt Gallery
Bali travel tips: 10 things to know before you go

Bali travel tips: 10 things to know before you go

With its coral-speckled beaches, luscious green rice terraces and blissful azure seas, Bali has long been a haven for surfers, sun worshippers and yoga junkies …

21 Sep 2016 • Henry Fry insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month