Pia’s Poppies was “hard to find.” As of 2015 Oct 15 (my first night), it was not on any booking sites. I found it on TripAdvisor, but you can’t book there. I also found it on an outdated copy of Lonely Planet and other obscure sites. All gave glowing reviews; some gave contact details. A day before arriving, I called them but I wasn’t sure if we understood each other.
There are cheaper options in Rantepao, but given my other options (one mentioned finding blood stains on the sheets. One can only assume what kind of blood that was), I took my chances. After all, two Indonesians have already said that Torajans are very nice. So off I went
I arrived around 5am, in the freezing mountains of Rantepao, with my moped driver not knowing where to go (I realized later the driver was playing me; everyone knows where Pia’s Poppies is). I had to wait outside the closed guesthouse until the sun shone, squeezing myself as small as I can to fight the cold.
And finally they let me in. They put me in a very clean room with 3 single beds. At first I thought I’ll pay for the whole room (I’m sorry, I’m unemployed I can’t afford this), but I only had to pay for one bed. And for the next 4 nights, I owned that room. After dorming for 2 weeks, this was a welcome surprise. The only bad thing was, it didn’t have hot showers, and around 8am the neighbor’s pigs were squealing, but I wasn’t complaining.
They didn’t offer laundry services, but the guesthouse right in front does, so that’s ok. It had a huge area where one can hang out (since it’s the only place with internet, yeah all the guests will be there). And because all the guests were there, you will also find tour guides hanging around…but they didn’t look like they’re looking for work. Except for Ari. Ari was the overzealous guy with all the proper accouterments of a licensed tour guide: official-looking vest, a map that explains the tour, a calling card (and the rest of the tour guide committee made fun of him).
The area also doubled as a restaurant, and tourists from other guesthouses were there for dinner because of a cuisine cooked in bamboo (forgot what it’s called, but it’s super good). Keep in mind that if you want that food, you have to order in advance (before 5pm I think).
The staff was also very accommodating and tried to answer all our questions. They can also arrange for the buses/boats/moped for your next destination.
Overall it was comfortable, relaxing and friendly. Consider staying here when in Rantepao. One of the best bang for buck I’ve encountered in Indonesia
Where: Rantepao, Sulawesi, Indonesia
Room Type: Single bed in 3-bed room
Extras: No AC or Fan, but not needed; Toilet and bath in room