Home of Rendang ... yum yum!
Bukittinggi Travel Blog› entry 21 of 82 › view all entries
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.
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 :-(
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.
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:
- 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).
- I wandered around town a little bit somewhat to the amusement of the few Chinese shopkeepers around.
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.