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Bukittinggi Travel Blog

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Jam Gadang (big clock in Minang language) is the icon for Bukittinggi.

Maiden flight

I woke at 0430 in order to make my 0800 flight to Padang comfortably. Checking-in made me feel like this was a maid-and-worker flight. There were a few couples helping their maids with the process ... eg. making sure they weren't pinged with baggage charges unnecessarily.

It felt good to see people taking the time to be kind to their helpers at this time in the morning ... we too often hear of workers being abused by psychopathic housewives.

There was only one white face on the flight ... he looked like a surfie off to the Mentawai islands off Sumatra in the Indian Ocean. Supposedly the best surfing in the world but you gotta be good or you scrape yourself badly on the reef, I've been told.

View from my hotel / guesthouse room. Yes, I have my personal alarm clock at 4am every morning but I sleep through it.

The flight to Padang took under an hour. The city is the heart of a cuisine that spans an archipelago across four countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei and of course Indonesia) and more. The famous nasi padang and of course the most famous component of it (rendang) originates from here! What is nasi padang? Well, various spicy dishes stacked in a window which you can choose from and eat with rice. It is served at room temperature and not reheated :-(

High Hill

Upon arrival at Padang I couldn't swallow the price of a taxi to Bukittinggi (as I couldn't find people to share with). So for a fraction of the price I took the bus to Padang city and then a shared minibus to Bukittinggi, adding about an hour to the journey including some waiting.
Main road in Bukittinggi.

Bukittinggi (means high hill) is a pleasant 2 hour drive from Padang, going through a varied countryside. I loved the gushing cascades on the side of the road best. As we climbed to Bukittinggi's altitude of 930m, we arrived at a kinder temperature.

Upon arrival I couldn't find anywhere to eat (including KFC) until I found the forlorn Canyon Cafe. Yes, it is Ramadhan and it is a devoutly Muslim area. The waitress pulled the metal doors closed and turned on the lights for me as I sat down for my mi goreng.

There isn't much to do inside Bukittinggi itself ... it is a pleasant base for excursions but:

  1. I did go up to Fort de Kock which is a former fort which now houses a park, zoo and a Minangkabau cultural museum (but strangely has a collection of mutant animals with two heads, two faces, six legs etc).
  2. I wandered around town a little bit somewhat to the amusement of the few Chinese shopkeepers around.
    Main road in Bukittinggi.
    They stare at me seemingly thinking "There's a new Chinese in town" but are never curious enough to talk to me. On the other hand the Minangkabau people seem to be more forthcoming in starting a conversation. 

Waiter, there's a bomb in my ...

It was only a few months ago I recall the international media reporting that local police foiled a bombing attempt targeted at a Western cafe. I asked the Canyon Cafe (very near my guesthouse) where the targeted cafe was ... his finger pointed to the Bedudal on the main road ... I should pose the same question to the Bedudal and see if I get the opposite answer!

Bear in mind that Bukittinggi hardly has any backpackers and Westerners so the terrorists involved must have been really desperate.

halilee says:
HAHA, guess being from Canada, and Kanak from the USA, I can consider myself going off the beaten track when we go here then eh?
Posted on: Mar 28, 2014
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Jam Gadang (big clock in Minang la…
Jam Gadang (big clock in Minang l…
View from my hotel / guesthouse ro…
View from my hotel / guesthouse r…
Main road in Bukittinggi.
Main road in Bukittinggi.
Main road in Bukittinggi.
Main road in Bukittinggi.
Fort de Kock is a fort that no lon…
Fort de Kock is a fort that no lo…
Minangkabau roof style ... also se…
Minangkabau roof style ... also s…
Minangkabau intricacy on the side …
Minangkabau intricacy on the side…
Murtabak is safe freshly cooked fo…
Murtabak is safe freshly cooked f…
photo by: travellover09