Bukitinggi, The Most Relaxed Town in All Sumatra

April 28, 2007 at 3:30 pm Leave a comment

Bukittinggi is one of the loveliest, friendliest, most relaxed town in all Sumatra. This town is situated more or less 930 meters above sea level.
Bukittinggi, formerly named Fort De Cock by the Dutch, has a cool climate and is surrounded by three volcanoes: Tandikat, Singgalang and Merapi. In the outskirts of the town is the Ngarai Sianok canyon, a canyon separating Bukittinggi from Kota Gadang, 12 km away overland. Kota Gadang is renowned for its fine silver filigree and hand embroidery.
A center of attraction is the town’s clock-tower, topped with a horn- shaped roof and referred to by the people as Jam Gadang. It overlooks the market square and the city’s magnificent surroundings.
Also worth visiting is the Museum which is a Rumah Gadang, a traditional extended family house built in the 19th century. There are dance performances at the museum’s open stage every Sunday and on public holidays. Night dance performances are at Sliguri. It is also worth seeing the bullfights at Padang Lawas (6 km south of Bukittinggi) every Tuesday at 5.00 p.m.
Getting There
From Jakarta International Airport to Minangkabau International Airport in Ketaping it will take about 2 hours, after you arrive you can use Taxi or Bus to Bukittinggi.
Where to Stay
There are various Inns and Hotels in Bukittinggi, If you are looking for a star hotel, theres Novotel Coralia Bukittinggi with a grand view of the beautiful Anai valley, while Lima’s Hotel, Hotel Asia and Hotel Denai are classified locally as ‘superior hotels’.
Dining Guide
Good varieties of restaurants are situated on or close to the city. But, since youre in West Sumatra who is known with the spicy foods, we suggested you to try some Padang dishes like Rendang and Soto Padang. Here are some of restaurants around the city:
Simpang Raya, Jl Muka Jam Gadang. This large, popular restaurant has good-quality Padang food plus a basic Indonesian menu with soup, rice or noodle dishes.
Under the Bridge Restaurant, Jl A Yani. This is a slightly up market travelers’ restaurant serving steaks, pasta, pizza, apple pie and chocolate cake.
Moving Around
You can move around the city by Taxi, Bus or rent a car. Theres also a horse carriage or sado provide a colorful charming transportation to move around through the town.
Other Things to See or Do
Watching one of the landmarks of the city, the Bukittinggi Big Ben or known as Jam Gadang. Also.
Make nice trips in the environment like to the Harau nature reserve, the Pagaruyung Minangkabau palace and Lake Singkarak.
Souvenir Tips
As a tourist center, Bukittinggi boasts a multitude of craft,souvenir, jewelry, and antique shops. Many craft village lie within an hour ride from Bukittinggi.
Shopping
Lively Pasar Atas (Upper Market), just south of the clock tower, is lined with stalls and shops selling everyday goods and souvenirs. Nearby, Sumatera,
Jl Minangkabau 19, has a huge range of textiles from Sumba and Irian Jaya and king sticks from North Sumatra.
Travel Tips
Though the horse carriage is far more expensive than the ‘ojek’, it is very popular with the locals, especially since it can carry whole families.
The tourist office is at Jl Syech Bantam 1 (Mon-Thurs 8am-2pm, Fri 8-11am, Sat 8am-12.30pm; tel 0752/22403), near the clock tower.
Tours: Many places offer one-day local tours to traditional villages, the Pagaruyung palace and the Harau Canyon.

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