Near Labuan Bajo, there’s a town that took the attention of many people due to its uniqueness. This small town is named Ruteng, located east of Labuan Bajo. Although In the opposite direction from the Komodo Islands, many Komodo Yacht Charter is willing to take you there for a short trip.
Why Komodo Yacht Charter take their guests here?
There’s a lot of unique things in the town that can pick tourist’s interest. From its religious area, its iconic whip fighting tradition and the uncommonly shaped rice fields, Ruteng can surely be an additional place to visit while you’re in Labuan Bajo.
The Thousand Churches
Ruteng is a capital town for Manggarai Regency, and the population is mostly Roman Catholic residence. Because of this, you can see there’s a lot of Catholic Church all over the city and even a cathedral. The amount of church within the area is so many that sometimes Ruteng is called “The Town of Thousand Churches”.
Saying a thousand might be a bit too much, but considering that Ruteng has about 52 community of churches despite being a small town is truly amazing. Even most of the motels there are accommodated by the local church, so it’s no wonder that plenty of people also come here for religious purposes.
Caci, Manggarai Traditional Dance
Aside from the religious aspects, Ruteng also famous for its local dance called Caci. Caci is a form of war dance performed by two males who are going to fight each other using a whip and shield. The history of this dance comes from Manggarai old tradition between males to prove their bravery and valor. “Ca” means one and “Ci” means test, and Caci itself meaning “A one on one test of agility”.
Eventually, it ended up as a traditional dance with the addition of music and song. In this dance, the dancer only allowed to hit the opponent on the upper torso area. Caci dance is conducted on marriage and local ceremonies, usually to celebrate a special occasion or just being grateful for the gift that God gave them.
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The Spiderweb Rice Fields
Now this one is probably what you have seen the most on social media. Ruteng is the biggest producer of rice in Flores island, but what’s interesting is how their rice fields look. Unlike the traditional rectangular shape, rice fields in Ruteng are shaped like giant spider webs in a wide area. There’s a hill near the area where you can see a magnificent landscape of the rice fields from above. This is the favorite spot of taking memorable photos for the tourists.
Ruteng is definitely one of the places in NTT worth visiting. You can go there by yourself by asking a local guide or join a Komodo yacht charter that provides an option to visit there. Check out the gorgeous town by yourself on your holiday