No I am not going back for good :p
But I just got back from a trip to my hometown. Although i don’t really go back as often as I used to but It always a good fun to be back.
I was born and raised in Padang, West Sumatra Indonesia till I was 18 years old.
West Sumatra itself is big province but its capital city which Padang is small compared to Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. I lived in this small city.
While most of my family have moved to Jakarta, my parents prefer to stay in Padang. They don’t like the traffic jam and hectic lifestyle in Jakarta. I only need five minutes to get to my schools by motorbike and traffic jam is very rare happening in town unless you’re visiting our traditional market in the center of the city – Pasar Raya Padang where it is very busy with Angkot – local public transport.
Take a look at this:
My parents love this city. Once my mom told me that she and my dad want to live at the top of Padang hill once they retire. I was left in shock.
Despite of its tourism that now have been growing rapidly and recent western penetration like few of fast food chains, Padang and its people are still very original. They remain royal to their culture — Minangkabau.
Traditional Marriage in Minangkabau
Traditional House from Minangkabau (Rumah Gadang)
My parents has been in local travel industry (check out cahayatraveltour.com) for more than eight years and most of our clients local/international travel to Padang because of its food, culture, history and also to shop – especially for Malaysian, they love to shop in Bukittinggi.
If you travel to Padang by plane, you will be landed in Bandara Internasional Minangkabau (Minangkabau International Airport). For now there are only two international airlines offering direct flight to Padang which are Air Asia (from Kuala Lumpur) and Tiger Airways (from Singapore) – new update, TA is no longer operate to Padang.
Padang city itself is more like a city where people are working and doing business, but there are few interesting places for tourist such as Padang beach for sunset, Air Manis beach for relaxing (known for its legend of Batu Malin Kundang), Chinatown, Adityawarman Museum, Bungus beach, and doing island hopping to few islands nearby. Tourists love Padang’s famous traditional snacks like Keripik Balado (sweet and spicy fried cassava) or others. There are few famous places to get these snacks: Keripik balado Christine Hakim, Shirley, Nan Salero.
More of tourist destinations are located in Bukittinggi (refer to the map) and some areas nearby. You need at least two hours to get to Bukittinggi and it can be a hassle if you don’t have any car. To discover all of the places, 3-4 days traveling is recommended.
Map of West Sumatra
If you plan to stay longer in West Sumatra, then visiting Pesisir region such as Solok (refer to the map) and few areas nearby is recommended.
Check out this link for more pictures
West Sumatra Travel Destinations
Some people visiting Padang as a transit area to Mentawai – for surfing or to go to Nias Island, I heard Nias is such a beautiful island but I have never been there.
AirAsia offers reasonable or sometime cheap flight tickets to Padang, starting from USD 30 – USD 100 and tour package starts from USD 300 for 3 days trip including hotel, meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), car, driver + petrol and fees entrances. So I don’t think it is that expensive to enjoy Padang. :)
Beside all of those beautiful words about Padang, here’s some other ideas about Padang that you may/not like:
1. It’s not a branded stuff shopping paradise yet Muslim clothing paradise.
2. It’s not a place where you’d easily find fast food or western food. Padang is very famous for its nasi Padang so enjoy it while you can.
3. Not easy to find alcohol beverages and its very limited to only beer Bintang.
4. Although we have beaches around, its still very rare to see a girl wearing bikini or doing sun tanning. Although I never seen any sign “No Bikini Allowed”, wearing one might cause you feel uncomfortable as some guys might look at you wildly.
Well, that such a long post isn’t it? I hope you’re still with me. :p
Any questions? Write me at andelisia at gmail.com. If you’re interested in purchasing travel package or rent a car in Padang West Sumatra, check out cahayatraveltour.com