Yepp I and some friends had so little time when visiting the province on last January. So sad, indeed, while there are a lot of sites to explore. Luckily, we did really manage the time, so we can visit most of all touristic destination which becomes some province icons.
Ok, what can we do in three days? This is the itinerary we had suddenly arranged once we touched down at Minang Kabau International Airport. We hired a car, shared the fare and discussed the possible itinerary with the driver. Therefore, considering the mapping and the time efficiency, here is the itinerary:
– Breakfast at local restaurant you can find everywhere on the side road. Soto Padang can be a great option. The beef flavor mixed with local seasoning will be match combined with the special reddish and spicy sauce.
– Chilling at Singkarak Lake. You want to enjoy its scenery at the lakeside? Or hiring a boat and having small tour around the lake? or paddling bicycle boat? you can do all these thing here! FYI, this place is popular with its anual Tour de Singkarak professional road bicycle racing stage race.
-Posed like West Sumatran noble at Pagaruyung palace (Istano Basa Pagaruyung). This is the replica of the original palace which was burnt in bloody tragedy 1804. This also becomes the symbol of Minangkabau kingdom majesty which ever ruled in Central Sumatra.
-Self isolating and staying at Harau valley. This is one of the best escape for you who are messed by the crowd and hectic of city life. Rice field, greeny valley, tranquil living, local hospitality, waterfall, what could be even cooler that that?
-On the way to Bukit Tinggi, staying near Pasar Ateh, a traditional market which offers you not only delicious signature dish with local taste, but also some souvenir stalls where you can find some miniature of Pagaruyung palace.
-City touring. You don’t need to hire taxi, rent a car or motorbike, even join a tour operator. Bukit Tinggi’s tourism sites are located closed one to another. A few walk here and there would finish the one day city tour, trust me.
Bukit Tinggi Map, taken from http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_xoIKAVrXkRY/SoE1Ml3LdDI/AAAAAAAAAQo/HROXfmMHpCI/s400/bukittinggi.jpg
-Amazed by Ngarai Sianok view. To enjoy Ngarai Sianok, you can just sit or stand at its edge, or you go down the stair provided to feel the sensation being inside the canyon. But be careful, there are some cute monkeys which are interested in any thing you brought in a plastic bag.
-Learning history at Japan cave. This 1400 meters length tunnel was built for bunkers in Japan invasion 1942. The bunker wasn’t used only for hiding place, but also for torturing war prisoners. To get here, you can go down stairs from Ngarai Sianok.
-Taking some pics at Fort Dekock and at Limpapeh bridge which connecting the fort and Bukit Tinggi Zoo. Yupp, by visiting one spot, you can get these three amusing sites. After posing at Fort Dekock and at the bridge, you can relax a while after a few walks of city touring. Bukit Tinggi Zoo is not only a place where you can see some cute animals, but you can–again–take some photos at Rumah Gadang Baanjuang (traditional house) built here in 1935.
-Hanging out at Jam Gadang (Gadang clock), the icon of the city. Gadang derives from local language which means grand. In the evening, some youths and family come here to hangout and spend the time together.
-On the way back to Padang, we stopped by a while at Maninjau Lake. From the top of Kelok 44 (44 turns), we were mesmerized by the scenic view of the lake. Yes, I mean it when I said that there are 44 turns to pass through to reach the lake. You can see sign per sign which indicates that you have reached to certain number of turns. How cool is that!!
-Maninjau Lake. This is another famous lake in West Sumatra. As the second largest lake in West Sumatra, this volcanic lake offers tranquil view with its surface which ripples calmly. Don’t forget to taste Palai Rinuak, popular dish made of local small fish grilled with coconut and spices.
-Lembah Anai waterfall. This is one of waterfall (maybe the only one in the world?) which you can easily find without trekking. This waterfall is located right at the side of the main road to Bukit Tinggi from Padang. All you need to do is just parking your car/ bike at the side road.
– Siti Nurbaya bridge. Siti Nurbaya is a popular folklore which tells about arranged marriage between Siti Nurbaya and old rich man in Padang. It’s believed that near the bridge lies Siti Nurbaya grave (which means Siti Nurbaya doesn’t only remain a folklore). In the evening, this bridge becomes a hangout place for locals
Well, those are my slight and sudden itinerary for three days in West Sumatra. See, though not all places are visited, but at least I could make it to some “must visit” sites 😀