PADANG TOUR

Padang is the capital city of West Sumatra, Indonesia.

 

Understand

Padang, the capital of the province of West Sumatra, is mostly used by tourists as an access point to Bungus Bay, the surfing sites of the Mentawai Islands the inland hills of Bukittinggi and the Kerinci Seblat National Park.

That said, the city is very pleasant with a nice promanade along the beach, distinctive Padang architecture and wonderfully friendly people. The city is also the home of the delicious Padang food and the town is stuffed with restaurants and street stalls. The locally available guidebook 'Sozzie Sumatra' can be referred to on arrival for upcoming local events and a current 'what to do' section.

 

Get in

By plane

Minangkabau International Airport (Bandara Internasional Minangkabau - BIM) (PDG), located 23 km north-west of Padang, is the main gateway to West Sumatra, with frequent flights to destinations throughout Sumatra and Java, as well as Singapore (Tiger Airways) and Kuala Lumpur (AirAsia)[2]. Direct flight to and from Padang, are only available from 1. Domestic - Jakarta - Batam - Medan 2. International - Kuala Lumpur - Singapore. Visas are available on arrival. From the airport, the cheapest way to get into the city is by Damri (bus) for a fare of Rp15,000 per person. Its route passes by the major hotels in Padang. Other alternatives include taxis or pre-arranged rental cars.

A Rp 100,000 departure tax is levied on outbound flights.

 

Get around

Crazily-decorated Angkots run along the two main roads. Prices for a trip are approximately Rp2,000. You can get taxis from the Minangkabau International Airport to town for less than Rp50,000 if you speak the language.

Unfortunately if you are white or black, Minang people are well known to be good business people, and are quite skilled at making you pay a few extra thousand rupiah. That being said, don't start squabbling over 50 cents here or there.

There are several alternatives that you can choose for transportation in Padang, such as bus kota (for city bus transportation), angkutan kota (for transportation in the city), taxi, and car rental. Most public transportations are not very safe and clean compared to international standard. During rush hour, you can see the buses overcrowded. Be careful with your valuables as sometimes there are pickpockets and thieves taking advantage while riding on the public transport.

If you're looking to spend a few days in Padang, car rental is the preferred way to go around. All car rentals include the driver, who can also act as your guide. It's not recommended for tourists to drive around because road signs are not followed by the locals and courtesy while driving almost do not exist in Indonesia.

 

See

  • Museum Adityawarman, Jl. Diponegoro (Lapangan Tugu), +62 752 31523, 39587, TuS 8AM-4PM
  • Taman Budaya (Cultural Park)
  • Pantai Air Manis (Sweet Water Beach). It is most famed for Batu Malin Kundang (Stone of Malin Kundang), a stone shaped like a prostrating man. According to local legend, this stone is Malin Kundang , the ungrateful son who disowned his poor mother after coming home as a rich man from his travels. His mother cursed him into stone, as well as the remains of his ship, which can also be seen near his stone. There is a tidal island from the beach here, with nice clean (by Indonesian standards) water and sand.
  • Pantai Padang (Padang Beach). You can ride the bendi (a horse-drawn carriage) along the beach, and stop by the rows of shops to eat some rujak as you watch the waves.
  • Sitti Nurbaya Bridge, a beautiful bridge especially at night. Sitti Nurbaya is the eponymous character in a classical literary novel.
  • You go down the south of Teluk Bayur, up and through steep hills (don't try and take a bus, there is an [Angkot] that goes all the way).
  • Ramayana. World class shopping area with a variety of goods. A must see.

 

Buy

There are a lot of stores on the side of the road, much like anywhere in Indonesia. There are two malls, Minang Plaza, which is smaller and better for your more supermarket / basic clothing needs. There is a bit of Western Food at Plaza Andalas in the form of Papa Ron's Pizza.

Shopping at Andalas is a little bit better, but at this point in time, the malls are more downscale, mainly local products and local shops. No big retailers here. Brand names aren't really easy to find. You could find a few surfing items at Andalas plaza - but that's about it.

There is a Gramedia across the road from Andalas Plaza also.

  • Ramayana. Shopping district, locally famous. Great bargains can be picked up here.

 

Eat

Padang is famed throughout Indonesia for spicy Padang food (masakan Padang). Ordering at a Padang restaurant couldn't be easier: just sit down at a table, and watch the dishes pile up. Eat what you like, as you'll only pay for dishes you've actually consumed. Famous dishes include:

  • rendang sapi, spicy curried beef cooked until the sauce is dry
  • soto padang, crispy beef in spicy soup
  • ayam pop, deep-friend vaguely popcorn-like (hence the name) kernels of chicken
  • sate, beef satay in curry sauce, served with ketupat (rice dumplings)

Padang dishes can use rather unusual ingredients though, including internal organs like hearts, lungs and even brains. All Padang dishes are Halal, due to the Islamic root of Minang people.

Some Westerner-friendly restaurants:

  • Nelayan Restaurant, located by the edge of the beach near town, quite popular with the foreign crowd, there are two levels. During the daytime it tends to be relatively empty. By western standards the food is very cheap and the service is quite good.
  • Safari. Cafe serving Western and Indonesian foods. Has a plasma television for watching soccer. Quite a nice little place to go if you long for a steak or a serve of crinkle cut fries.
  • Pizza Hut, Lorong Sonny Bungus (Around the corner from Hotel Ank). A home from home amongst the local shacks, this pizza hut has the best chicken dippers in all of West Sumatra.

 

Local delicacies

  • Rohana Kudus, Jl. Rohana Kudus No. 74, +62-751-23386. One of the favorite places to buy snacks to bring home as gifts, including the snack the area is famed for, Kripik Balado or Kripik Sanjay.

 

Drink

The only real bars you will find are at the major hotels. This is a very Islamic community and therefore the influence of alcohol is minimal. That being said, beer is for sale at the major supermarkets, Suzuya, etc. Bintang is about all you will find. If you are feeling game, the traditional market could be something you might want to visit as friends of mine were able to get their hands on more hard liquor, scotch, johnnie walker.

Hard liquor is available at several Warungs (small shops on the side of the road) and it is quite easy to obtain cheap vodka, whisky or rum. The going rate for a 250ml bottle of spirits is Rp. 23,000.

The best nightclubs in Padang are Hotel Pangeran Beach, Rocky Hotel, Ambacang hotel (the newest hotel) and Queen.

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