Laguna Trip Blog Edition


The Must Visit in West Sumatra

January 11, 2013 by IamMariza in Asia, Journal with 6 Comments

Padang is one of the gateway to West Sumatra. The International airport is definitely the entry for internasional surfers in order to get to the most infamous surfing spots in Mentawai Islands. Exploring the city is do able for a day trip. Culintary trip in Padang is must do. Try Rendang! Voted number one according to GO CNN on The World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods.

Bukit Tinggi
litterally means high hill in bahasa indonesia, located about 2 hours away by land from Padang, it is famously known for it’s Jam Gadang, The big clock tower. Take  scenery pictures of Ngarai Sianok (Sianok Canyon), explore the Lubang Japang (Japanese Caves) and of course spend time shopping at the largest market in Bukit Tinggi, Pasar Atas (Upper Market). If you like to buy items in bulk, make your way to Pasar Aur Kuning.
One thing you shouldn’t missed out while you are here during lunch time, make your way to Rumah Makan Gulai Itiak Lado Mudo. Warning: this Minang’s own top notch delicacy is really spicy and shouldn’t be missed! Make sure you are there before lunch time especially during the weekends.

Lembah Harau
Located 1,5 hour drive from Bukit Tinggi, Harau Valley (Payakumbuh) is definitely the must visit in West Sumatra if you love nature. The landscape and waterfalls are just amazingly beautiful. Avoid the noise and hear the relaxing voice of the nature by staying at Abdi Homestay, this lovely eco-homestay is managed by local’s very own Ikbal and Noni. You will have your own valley and rice terrace view from your own bungalow balcony with an additional the sound of natural waterfall in the background. Its simplicity makes you want to stay for days or even weeks.

Danau Maninjau
There are no direct bus/travel from Lembah Harau (Payakumbuh) to Lake Maninjau, you have to make your way back to Bukit Tinggi first. If you have motion/car sickness problem, now it’s time to take the anti motion sickness pill, Seriously!. There’s no way to avoid the crazy drive along Kelok 44 , the most infamous route from Bukit Tinggi to lake Maninjau. Kelok means turn, so yes, there are 44 extreme hairpin turns, but there is no reason to avoid this Kelok 44, the AMAZING view of Lake Maninjau from up hill is definitely a must see!

Batu Sangkar
Make a day trip to visit the Istano Basa (or more famously known as Istana Pagaruyung) from Harau Valley. This recently renovated historical site is open for public. a great tip when you visit this palace is be a tourist! Rent the traditional clothes and give your best pose with Istana Pagaruyung in the background.

This is part of Mariza's #XplrWS trip, live tweets from @lagunatrip about #XplrWS can been read here:




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About IamMariza

Born in Surabaya and raised in Jakarta in a multicultural family, her parents introduced to her the world of traveling at a young age and has been addicted to backpacking since 2008, dumping her tourist status quo. She is the founder of Follow her rants and ramblings about her life as a traveler on her Twitter: @iamMariza

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  1. rotyyuJan 21, 2013 at 3:42 amReply

    Where is Mentawai?

    • IamMarizaJan 23, 2013 at 5:49 amReplyAuthor

      you have to take a boat from Sumatra to Mentawai islands

  2. Samuel JefferyAug 6, 2013 at 11:17 amReply

    Thanks for these great suggestions! I’m hoping to visit Sumatra and Java later on in the year :)

  3. FrankAug 17, 2013 at 9:05 pmReply

    Hi Mariza,
    I had a bad experience a few years ago in Sumatra:
    Wondering if you have any insights? Why so many pellet guns in Sumatra? What would they have been celebrating? And why would they harass me at the beach? Curiosity?
    It would be great to finally understand all the strange stuff that happened to me on that trip :)
    Frank (bbqboy)

    • IamMarizaAug 20, 2013 at 4:27 pmReplyAuthor

      Hi Frank, wow such a horrible experience you had. But trust me, don’t assume that every Indonesians are like that. Kids are kids, just that i guess the kids wasn’t educated that well about how harmful the toy guns are. If you were there during mid November 2012, they were celebrating Tahun Baru Hijriah, just like a regular holiday, Indonesians family would do a picnic or go out to celebrate.
      I travel a lot with my non-asians travel mates, i can imagine of what happens to you. Yeah, you definitely can’t avoid the attention. The more you travel to places where not a lot of Caucasian around, you will be the center of attention. When you can’t handle it anymore, just say a firm NO! If they don’t stop, well i have nothing to say to you other than just take a deep breath, smile and enjoy the moment. That’s what my friends would do. Well, actually some of them enjoy the attention.
      Ps: when i was in Sulawesi, some of the local people want to take picture with me too. Weird but yeah, they don’t see visitors a lot over there. So i guess it’s all because of curiosity!

  4. James RobinsonOct 16, 2013 at 2:18 pmReply

    I’ll keep these sites in mind whenever I’m in Sumatra..

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