Let’s Explore Padang!
They say West Sumatra is the best place to practice your bargaining skills. This is not because of the prices here are overpriced, but more because of this is where the Minang people are from. They are well-skilled at making you pay a few extra thousand rupiah if you don’t know the right price. but other thing that i have found is that the people here are very friendly and helpful. Traveling solo in West Sumatra is definitely not hard.
Padang is one of the gateway to enter West Sumatra. Mandala air, a part of Tiger Airways is one of the budget airline who just opened up a route from Jakarta to Padang. To search the cheapest flight to Padang you can go to our post: How to find the cheapest flight!.
The cheapest way to go to the city center is by taking the Damri Bus. Only at IDR 18k (1 USD = IDR 9500) for roughly 40 minutes drive to the center. Their final stop will be at Jalan Imam Bonjol, from here you can take the motorbike taxi (ojek) to go around to find a place to stay. You can take ojek to the harbor (bungus/muara) if you’re planning to take the boat to Mentawai Islands.
Places to stay in Padang
As i go around, there are many accomodations in this city. But if you are a low budget traveler like me, i’ve found the cheapest place around with the best location. I stayed at Hotel Sriwijaya on Jalan Alang Lawas I no 15. Don’t mistakenly confused with The Sriwijaya Hotel on Jalan Veteran. Yes they are in the same management, but The Sriwijaya Hotel has higher rates. The Sriwijaya hotel is a one star hotel, which Hotel Sriwijaya is not.
From Jalan Imam Bonjol (Imam Bonjol Park) you can walk heading east to Jalan Proklamasi, you’d find Ayam Penyet Jakarta resto on the left, before that resto you should already see a small road on your right, make a right turn to Jalan Alang Lawas I. from Imam Bonjol to Jalan Alang Lawas I probably takes about 15-20 minutes walk. With an ojek probably not more than 5 minutes.
They have two types of room: a fan room with shared bathroom and no bfast IDR 70k/r/n, AC room with ensuite bathroom with indonesian bfast IDR 200k/r/n.
One Day Trip in Padang
A walking city tour is do able from Jalan Proklamasi. You can spend the whole day walking around. A suggested route: right before lunch time, heads to West from Jalan Proklamasi, you’d find the biggest traditional market. Stopped by at the Rumah Makan Selamat (Jalan Pasar Raya no 7) where you can get a taste of the best Rendang in town. It opens daily at 6am and serve rendang at 11pm and the Rendang usually already sold out at 11:30am.
Make your way out from the Market to north to Jalan Jenderal Sudirman where you can find the iconic Bank Indonesia building. Walk and see how the lokal people lives their lives on daily basis. Then heads to Jalan M.H. Thamrin and greet the biggest mosque in the city Nurul Iman Mosque. Are you a big fan of the infamous Durian? then make your way to Jalan Pulau Karam intersection and try Es Durian Ganti Nan Lamo (Durian with ice). Their Gado-gado Padang is also recommended. Continue your walk towards Jembatan Siti Nurbaya (bridge) heading to Gunung Padang (Taman Makam Siti Nurbaya). Make a stop at Christine Hakim snack shop and get the infamous Kripik Balado. To reach the hill, you can walk up through the paved path and stairs. from here you can see the beautiful panoramic view of Indian ocean, Arau River and Padang city. Do you still have energy? Take jalan Nipah, to reach Padang Beach and experience a dinner with a sea-view. from seafood to Padang Food, fried bananas to boiled turtle eggs.
Still hungry? make your way back to Siti Nurbaya Bridge, one of the hang out spot at night for the locals. Order the grilled corn, sit back, relax and enjoy the view.
Ps: if you are tired of walking, you can take the opelet during the day or take ojek. Taxis are also available thou sometime might hard to find.
Other places of you can also visit in and near Padang:
Sikuai Island (23 km south of Padang)
Pantai Air Manis (10 km south of Padang)
Pasir Jambak Beach (20 km from the city center)
Bung Hatta Natural Reserve
Lubuk Peraku Natural Pool
Lubuk Minturun Natural Pool
Things you have to know in Padang!
Majority of the people here are moslem, dress appropriate! (meaning, no shorts and open shoulder shirts for girls).
Padang food are spicy! For someone who doesn’t really eat spicy food, i’ve successfully made my way up to a new level as someone who actually can eat spicy food.
Other than Padang food, still plenty of Javanese food around. International food-chain such as McD and Pizza Hut are available.
Padang Airport Tax for domestic flights IDR 35k/person. IDR 100k/person for International flights.
Damri Buses are available from 08:00 (from airport to the city center) to 17:00 (from Imam Bonjol to the airport)
To go to
Padang City tourist Office is located at the south-end of jalan Hayam Wuruk no 51. You can get a free map of the city from them.
Padang is part of Mariza's #XplrWS trip, live tweets from @lagunatrip about #XplrWS can been read here: http://chirpstory.com/li/40815