Woloan Village - House Hunting Indonesian Style

Just a few minutes west of Tomohon is the small village of Woloan. The village is known throughout Indonesia for it’s unique craft. Anyone who has visited Southeast Asia knows that craft villages are very common. However, the speciality of Woloan is rather unique. The local handicraft is houses. No, not model houses. Real houses. The kind you live in.

New houses under construction
New houses under construction in Woloan village.

The houses are made from local hardwood using traditional methods that allow them to be easily knocked down and moved. While there are several basic plans to choose from, each buyer can customise them as much as they like. There are dozens of houses lining the street near the village, each one different.

Almost finished
A small house just being finished.

I checked out one nearly finished house, and it felt quite solid. It generally takes less than two months to complete a house, a day or two to dismantle it for shipping, and a week or two to rebuild it on the owner’s property. People come from all around Indonesia to buy houses here, and they’ve even shipped them as far away as Norway. The price is quite cheap, but there’s no plumbing or electricity installed. All that has to be added on at the final destination.

A stop in Woloan village is usually included on most highlands tours, such as those offered by Manado-based Safari Tours.