The Drum Houses of Todo & Wae Rebo – Manggarai

Photo by @la.valenciao via Instagram

Villages of Todo and Wae Rebo in Manggarai are the places to be to experience unique Manggaraian culture and history. Here is where you’ll find the distinctive round ceremonial houses known as “Drum Houses” or “Mbaru Niang” and have the opportunity to experience everyday life of the local community.

The best way to reach Wae Rebo is by hiking from the lowlands. Depending on your physical condition, the hike may take 3 hours through some of the most biologically diverse rain forests in Indonesia featuring interesting vegetation including orchids, palms and ferns as well as an impressive population of birds.

Once at the village, visitors can view the authentic Manggarai housing called Mbaru Niang or “Drum House” and experience the everyday life of the local community. You can see how the locals live their day-to-day including coffee growing, rice planting and the weaving of traditional Songket cloth.

When the night comes, visitors are invited to spend the night in the ceremonial Mbaru Niang, a unique, one-of-a-kind opportunity to socialize and dine with the Wae Rebo community. Sleep on woven mats and experience life when extended families lived together under one roof.

Photo by @suwandicphoto via Instagram

Todo is also a great place to view traditional ceremonial houses. The village used to be the centre of the Manggaraian kingdom and the home of the royal clan. Visitors can enjoy the Mbaru Niang houses here in their full and reconstructed glory.

Photo by @iimmanshur via Instagram

Todo village is situated southwest of Ruteng. The 36 km trip to Todo takes about 2 hours by car or motorbike.

The Mbaru Niang is of conical shape and has a massive palm fiber roof that almost reaches to the ground. The wood-piles along the entrance are nicely carved. Inside the house you find the ritual heirloom drums and gongs. The smallest and most valuable drum, also called ‘gendang tutung’, or ‘mother drum’, is stored in a separate place.

Photo by @folkgers via Instagram

Been to see the Drum Houses in Todo or Wae Rebo? Submit your videos and photos via our Instagram and Facebook page and stand a chance to be featured. Join us next week with FloresPlus Magazine as we Rediscover Hidden Paradise and don’t forget to tag #floresplus!


Newsletter – Flores Plus Magazine

Rediscover Hidden Paradise

Flores Plus Magazine’s weekly newsletter is filled with important and interesting bite-sized information on everything you’d need to know about Flores and its surrounding islands, both above and underwater, from the Komodo National Park to the Komodo Dragons, Mount Kelimutu to the Drum Houses in Ende, spiderweb rice fields, pink beaches and thundering waterfalls to fascinating ceremonies, myths, traditions and village lives of the local people. Flores Plus is part of the PT. Trijaya Dewata family, a premier publishing and media brand in Bali and Indonesia. Established in 1996, it has decades of experience with multiple titles in three languages published over the years. With the launch of Flores Plus, the company now will lead the way as one of the pioneers of tourist media in Flores and Komodo. Available now in English and soon in Japanese, the magazine has a strong online presence and engagement via its website, daily e-newsletters and social media platforms which are updated daily.

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