West Sumatra is one of the most beautiful and picturesque areas in Indonesia. There are lovely lakes and spectacular volcanoes which is worthy of experience.
So now what are we waiting for, just pack your bags and come with me to the tour of West Sumatra. This is really a place which will mesmerize you with its beauty, it will definitely take you deep into the lap of unexplored, untouched, virgin nature. Here one will experience real tranquillity and peace of mind. The cool breeze, verdant surroundings and pleasant weather surely makes you fall in love with that place as I myself experienced this when I set foot there.
To reach West Sumatra there is a one stop flight to Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. After reaching Indonesia, one has to change for a domestic flight to West Sumatra to reach Minangkabau International Airport.
Minangkabau International Airport
is the principal airport serving the province of West Sumatra
on the island of Sumatra
, Indonesia. One can assess the beauty of West Sumatra from the airport itself as the surroundings are filled with mesmerising untouched beauty.
Our journey starts now with visit to many of the provinces:
One of the most attractive tourist destination is Lembah Anai which is situated in a small town located in Minangkabau Highlands, called Bukittinggi. There is a waterfall located in a valley on Tanah Datar regency, Padang, called Anai Valley or “Lembah Anai”, which was why the waterfall was called Lembah Anai Waterfall. Lembah Anai is very scenic and the atmosphere was also very tranquil around the waterfall enough to make one fall in the love with it.
In front of the Lembah Anai Waterfall, there was an old railway track which crisscrossed the main road at several places in the valley. It was not a usual track, it was a rack track instead. A rack track enables a locomotive to drag wagons climbing through a slope. Unfortunately, the track was not in use for regular trains anymore.
Padang Panjang is located in the cool highlands of West Sumatra and the main road through Padang Panjang, which links the coastal capital, Padang and the highland capital, Bukitttinggi. It sits on a plateau beneath the Mount Marapi and Mount Singalang. Padang Panjang is a university town and houses a famous performing arts conservatorium. There are many tiny cafes around the campus where you can have interesting discussions with students and/or just meet some artists .Or go to the market and charter a horse and cart called a bendi to have a scenic tour of the area.
Pandai Sikek : weaving and wood carving
Pandai Sikek is one of the best places to obtain the region’s famous hand-woven cloth called “songket”.
One of the distinct features of “songket” is the use of glossy threads, giving an elegant shimmer to the fabric. That, and the fact that a “songket” can take at least four months to finish, is why the fabric can cost millions of rupiah.
Pandai songket weaving handicraft products Sikek is not only limited to the various kinds of garments such as shirts and headbands brackets, but also various fittings and marriage ceremonies. Songket weaving
is done in two stages. The first stage is the basic fabric weaving with flat or plain weave construction. The second stage is the manufacture of ornaments with gold thread. The technique is rather complicated because to put it into the base fabric should be through careful calculation.
Although the wood-carvers of the Minangkabau may not be as well-known as some other Indonesian artisans, their strong sense of tradition and of dedication to detail makes a fascinating story.
Nestled in a high valley between the two volcanic mountains of Merapi and Singgalang is the small village of Pandai Sikek, better known as the "Wood Carving Village."
In the village, carvers knee-deep in wood shavings work in little huts along the roadside. Many have two or three apprentices carving repetitive patterns on small items to supplement their incomes. Cigarette boxes, jewellery boxes, ashtrays, book holders, all can be purchased for sums that seem very modest in relation to the skill involved in making them.
Koto Gadang Silver work
Silversmiths occupy several old Dutch houses of Koto Gadang, 5km from Bukittinggi. Alternatively, it’s an hour's walk from Taman Panorama. Silver work by Weli Syar Mak Wan is particularly worth seeking out for its intricate and fine models of traditional houses, delicates rings and more.
Lake Maninjau is one of the top travel destinations in Sumatra, a peaceful, relaxing place to sit and enjoy the view of the lake. The road from Bukkittinggi
offers some spectacular views of the blue lake and surrounding hills. On the way down there are terraced rice fields. There are quite a few coffee shops perched on the hill to stop and enjoy the view. There are 44 hairpin turns on the journey down to the lake from the top of the mountain. Each of these turns are conveniently numbered on cigarette advertising billboards. About a third of the way down the road is lined with small monkeys waiting for fruit or food to be thrown from passing cars. These are wild monkeys and should not be approached too closely as they are vicious.
Sianok Canyon in Bukittinggi, West Sumatera is amazingly spectacular. Located in Mount Singgalang, this valley becomes an icon of tourism mainstay of West Sumatra Province. Sianok canyon is at the border town of Bukittinggi, District IV Koto, Agam regency, West Sumatra is a magnificent stretch of steep valley extending up to 15 kilometres with a depth of 200 meters and a 100 meters cliff.
This valley is called Canyon Sianok because the river “Trunk Sianok” flowed through it which means crystal clear river. In Sianok canyon or Quiet Valley a beautiful valley, green and lush, where flows a tributary winding through crevices, colourful cliffs with mountains as a backdrop between the verdant Singgalang Merapi and offers a natural breathtaking sight. The uniqueness of this easily accessible canyon is that it is a canyon in the centre of the town that does not exist in other cities in the world. The breathtaking beauty of Ngarai Sianok is perpetuated by tourists to take photographs as well as for a painter 's imagination. Travelling through the path in the valley of the canyon is a fascinating recreation.
One of the astonishing place I ever seen. I really amazed with the view I’d seen there. Rice paddies with wallowing buffalo flank the narrow road that leads to the tiny village of Harau, the volcanoes looming behind them. Lemba Harau and other waterfalls in the valley attract daytrippers from Bukittinggi
, particularly during the rainy season; if the weather’s been dry, they’re reduced to mere trickles.
Rock climbing is also a big attraction in the Harau Valley, which is the best-developed rock-climbing area in Sumatra
Fly over kelok 9
Kelok 9 is a new road made by the local government that became quite famous lately because the track seems like one of a racing car. Once we arrived in Kelok 9, we stopped on the top and enjoyed the view. Indeed it looks like a racing car street and really look very impressive.
The road runs along the 300 meters and is part of the road connecting Central Crossing Sumatra and East Coast of Sumatra
.Curved 9 This is one of the favourite resting places for the travellers to West Sumatra Riau especially bikers who can unwind while enjoying the scenery. Here too there are little stalls hawking food. This is again a beautiful place to visit.
Kiniko home industry : tea, coffee milling
This is an enlightening place to learn how Indonesians made coffee and tea. It is very interesting to know the different types of coffee and tea and how it undergoes a process of completion.
Pagaruyung King Palace : Minangkabau Heritage
Pagaruyung Palace is the istana
of the former Pagaruyung Kingdom, located in Tanjung Emas sub district near Batusangkar
town, Tanah Datar Regency
, West Sumatra
. It was built in the traditional Minangkabau rumah gadang
vernacular architectural style, but had a number of atypical elements including three storeys structure and larger dimension compares to common rumah gadang.
Although today there is no king or royal family who resides in this palace. The palace has been destroyed by fire several times, in 1804, 1966 and 2007. It has been rebuilt again and today functions as a museum and a popular tourist attraction.
Port of Teluk Bayur
Port of Teluk Bayur is located on the banks of Bayur Pay in Padang, West Sumatra. It is the largest and most active port on Sumatra’s western coast. The Port of Teluk Bayur is a natural seaport located on major international trade routes. In addition to plantation and farming crops and mining products, coal and cement also flow out of the port.
Tour de Singkarak for Carnival with Horse car
Tour de Singkarak is an annual professional road bicycle racing stage race
held in West Sumatra
one of the most fantabulous carnival which I enjoyed a lot. It is worth to be a part of this carnival. It was started in the year 2009 and is classified by the Union Cycling International (UCI) as part of the UCI Asia Tour
. It covers more than 900 kilometres — from/toPadang
passing around lake Singkarak and runs through inland West Sumatran cities — and lasts for a week and is held annually around May or June. The total prize money is US$100,000. BNI
has been the platinum sponsor of the Tour De Singkarak since 2009 with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Indonesia
I recommend my readers to once at least take part in this carnival, they will definitely fall in love and enjoy it immensely. It was my personal experience which proved to be quite amazing & awesome and has now became a memorable moment of my life.
Team from all over the world come and be a part of this vibrant carnival.
In 2016 the team was as follows:
PISHGAMAN CYCLING TEAM
KINAN CYCLING TEAM
7 ELEVEN-SAVA RBP PHILIPPINES
PEGASUS CONTINENTAL CYCLING TEAM
INDONESIAN NATIONAL TEAM
SINGHA INFINITE CYCLING TEAM
KFC CYCLING TEAM
TERENGGANU CYCLING TEAM
KENYAN RIDERS DOWNUNDERS
BLACK INC CYCLING TEAM
ST. GEORGE MERIDA CYCLING TEAM
ACTION CYCLING TEAM
DATA #3 CISCO RACING TEAM P/B SCODY
KORAIL CYCLING TEAM
HONG KONG NATIONAL TEAM
PRB PESSEL BANK NAGARI
CUSTOM CYCLING CLUB
UNITED BIKE KENCANA
For vegetarian it’s just cream on milk as vegetarian is also easily available but make sure to inform your travel agent before your tour. The variety of food is very delicious whether it is vegetarian or non vegetarian .
I recommend Nuansa Maninjau Resort to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner in a restaurant which serves traditional and international menu. Moreover Novotel is also a recommended place to have some vegetarian food. Both these properties have great food to offer in both categories either vegetarian or non-vegetarian.
As the name implies, Pasar Atas is in the highest position, just right in front of an icon of London, the Clock Tower. Pasar Atas is generally dominated by traders who sell unique souvenirs of Bukittinggi, such as key chains, T-shirts, bracelets, necklaces, hair ornaments, glasses and other trinkets which are made from raw material of wood or metal.
Moreover, the Upper Market also features a wide assortment of embroidered cloth and songket that you can take home. Meanwhile, the Lower Market is a traditional market located under Atas. Umumnya Market, a Market Down has unbiased traders who run grocery store, vegetables, fruits, meat, fish and various ingredients required for kitchen cooking.