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Things to do in West Sumatra

29 contributors

The top 10 attractions in West Sumatra

Surfing in Padang
Surf in Mentawai Islands
I have been traveling to Indonesia since 9 years, the first time I set foot in Sumatra I was captivated by the hospitality of the locals, their everlasting smile and boundless desire for satisfaction. It's a country in need of help in many aspects, the vast majority of people only have the clothes they wear, but are happy with what little they have. It's a humbling lesson that you take home with you. It is a country rich in wildlife, breathtaking scenery, and a cuisine rich in fruit (you're perplexed at discovering never seen before fruit), vegetables of all kinds and a huge variety of fish. The temperature is excellent and the prices much more affordable for someone from a more developed economy. It's paradise and I'll continue travelling to this lost paradise for as long as my body lets me. There are still plenty of places yet to be discovered, where people are surprised of your clear skin color, a reason that never stops them from inviting you to their house like everyone else.
Lakes in Bukit Tinggi
Maninjau Lake
Maninjau Lake is one of the most famous and valued natural places on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Located 40km from Bukit Tinggi but the journey takes just over 2 hours by minibús as it is mountain road. The lake is in the crater of an ancient volcano and so it is uphill on the way there and downhill on the way back. The road offers good views over the lake, and you can ask the driver to stop to take pictures. Like a bus full of tourists! The lake is 15 km by 8km and is surrounded by impressive cliffs 500 meters high. As in Bukit Tinggi, the population in Minangkabaus is muslim but with special traditions. The land and the house belongs to the woman who then leaves it to her daughters. Most people grow rice and have some animals. You can swim and enjoy various water sports and rent a bike to get around the lake (5-8 euros), on not the best of roads. If you want some days off, in one of the bamboo houses for rent at the foot of the lake, Bayur village is quiet and caters for all budgets.
Markets in Bukit Tinggi
Bukit Tinggi Market
Bukittinggi market, in West Sumatra, is a traditional meeting place for the locals, which is why the city has been called a "market town" for centuries. The market is called Pass Bawa, and has a good selection of ready meals ,if you can't cook in your hotel. Indonesia's most typical dish, is the Nasi Goreng which is usually a fried rice with an egg on top, but every time I ordered it, I got something different, sometimes the egg was mixed with rice, sometimes there was some chicken, and always chopped vegetables, and a sweet touch. Whatever way it is served it is always delicious. The market has many dried fish, with a very particular smell. If you aren't brave enough to try them then try one of the many varieties of chips and crisp crackling. There are fish, meat, rice, always ask that they are, but I do not guarantee it'll make sense, few people know English. Be careful with drinks, and generally everything that hasn't been cooked (or rather, what hasn't been cooking for hours!). What is usually taken cold, the tea, with huge ice cubes. Sounds delicious, looks delicious, tastes delicious, but we do not know where the ice comes from! If the person in the store doesn't tell you that it's mineral water be careful...
Cities in Bukit Tinggi
Islands in Bungus Beach
Lakes in Padang
Rivers in Bukit Tinggi
Roads in Payakumbuh
Historical Monuments in Bukit Tinggi
Islands in Padang