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See West Sumatera
Places of interest in West Sumatera

On this page is a list of tourist attractions in the province of West Nusa Tenggara.

The capital of West Sumatra, Padang has several houses built in traditional architecture, including the Padang Museum which houses objects of cultural and historical interest.

The beach of the bay of Bungus and its white sands is good for swimming, boating or just watching the fishing boats going out to sea in the afternoon. Small boats can be hired from here to some small islands nearby: Sirandah, Sikoaci Pagang, Parsumpahan.

Taman Hutan Rauay Bung Hatta

It is a botanical garden covering 70,000 ha, with a rare collection of flora and fauna, situated on the way to Solok, about 300 - 1,000 m above sea level.

The cool mountain air and panoramic views make this area a popular resort for both the young and old. Monkeys and other animals can be found here, and are protected by the Park Warden. Transportation to Taman Hutan Raya Bung Hatta is easy as it lies on the highway to Solok.

Jam Gadang in Bukittinggi

The heart of the highlands, Bukittinggi is a two-hours drive through beautiful countryside of the Anai valley and up to the Agam Plateau. 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 overloks the market square and the citys magnificent surroundings.

Located 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, a canyon separating Bukittinggi from Kota Gadang, 12 kilometers away overland.

Kota Gadang is renowned for its fine silver filigree and hand embroidery. 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 (six kilometers south of Bukittinggi) every Tuesday at 05.00. p.m.

Ngarai Sianok

Ngarai Sianok (Ngarai is Indonesian for 'canyon') lies at the outskirts of Bukitinggi. It is a steep-canyon of about 100-150 meters high, very colorful and surround by a green valley with a winding river at its bottom. The beauty of this panoramic landscape is hard to describe as if no words can precisely express this geological wonder. It is even harder to find its rival in the whole country. That is why West Sumatra is very proud of it and always invites visitors to en joy it. Even local people always make it as an item in their tour lists.

Batu Sangkar

An old small town, 50 kilometers southeast of Bukittinggi, is a center of the ancient Minangkabau culture. Pagaruyung is the historical site of a Minangkabau kingdom in the 14th century, Near Batusangkar is where some archaeological vestiges, such as the Written Stone, the Stabbed Stone and some other relics can be found.

Pariangan - Blimbing

It is said that this little village came into being at the time of the big deluge. It is situated on the slopes of Mount Marapi, thought to be the cradle of the Minangkabau culture. This historical village still reflects the pure social structure of the Minangkabau conception of a village. A mosque, a council house and adat house with rice-barns form the nucleus of the village.

Anai Valley

The surroundings of the Anai Valley are magnificent. The dense tropical forest all around is most impressive and is a nature reserve. Below runs the river Anai with its crystal clear water. Just on the side of the road is a 40 meter high waterfall.

Padang Panjang

The conservatory of Padangpanjang is a national institute specializing in the Minangkabau music and dances.

Solok Danau Diatas and Danau Dibawah

Lies on the Trans-Sumatra Highway, 64 kilometers from Padang and 76 kilometers from Bukittinggi. The town has some fine examples of Minangkabau architecture with horn-shaped roofs and outer walls of wood, completely carved and painted in brilliant colors. Sixty kilometers from Solok are the Twin Lakes Danau Diatas and Danau Dibawah which are becoming popular as a holiday resort.

Cool mountain air and beautiful landscapes seen from the hill between the two lakes have made this spot extraordinary. Set only about one kilometer apart, one of the lakes is on a slightly higher elevation than the other. The spot offers an impressive panorama of the surrounding countryside and offers itself excellently to hiking or camping.

Lake Singgarak

Another ideal place for recreation and water sport is Lake Singkarak, the longest in West Sumatra and 36 kilometers from Bukittinggi. There are several motels and restaurants in the area.

Pantai Arta and Kata

Both these places are popular beach resorts for the local people. Arta beach is located about 23 kilometers from the center of Pariaman. It is known for its beautiful pine trees along the sea shore. The sandy beaches, clean water and bright sunshine are perfect for swimming and sunbathing. The pine trees can protect you from the direct sun rays. Kata beach is about two kilometers south of Pariaman.

Pulau Mentawai

Four islands make up the Mentawai cluster oh the West Sumatra coast: Siberut, Sipora, Pagai Utara and Pagai Selatan. The people of these islands still live in comparative isolation, maintaining their age-old ways. Siberut is well known for its untouched forests, a part of a nature reserve inhabited by a number of animal species not found anywhere else, among them some rare monkey species. Beautiful coral reefs are found offshore.

Payakumbuh and So Kota Regency

A picturesque village and market place. Fine basketry is available here. It is 35 kilometers from Bukittinggi and a little further up is the most dramatic view on the Harau Valley.

Harau Valley

Along the road to Harau Valley there is a lovely countryside. Steep granite walls shelter the fertile valley. a waterfall, 150 meters high falls into a basin. The Harau Valley is a nature and wildlife reserve, where tapir, siamangs, boars, wilt/goats and tigers still roam. The Harau Valley is 15 kilometers from Payakumbuh.

Ngalau Indah Caves

On the road from Bukittinggi to Payakumbuh these caves extend deep into the mountainside. The domain of thousands of bats which you won't see but only hear their squeaks and sense them as they fly close over your head.

At the main entrance is a stone with an outline of an elephant visible on its face. The coolness and damp air is refreshing after the tropical hear outside. The path through these caves leads out to the top of the mountain from where it is quite panoramic. The drive up the hillside in itself worth making because of the variety of the exquisite views along way.

Rimba Panti Nature Reserve

Fauna and flora of the Rimba Panti Nature Reserve are protected. It is situated 103 kilometers from Bukit tinggi. Stop at Batang Palupuh, 16 kilometers from Bukit tinggi.

There, in a small reserve is the Rafflesia Arnoldi, the biggest flower in existence, which blooms only once a year. Sixty kilometers from Bukittinggi on this road is a small monument defining the equator at the village of Bonjol.

The reserve's inhabitants include several species of monkeys, honey bears, tigers, flying squirrels, birds, butterflies, etc. A guide can be obtained from the office at the reserve. The provincial office of the Directorate of Nature Conservation (BKSAA) at Padang can give you complete information.

Pandai Sikat

The village of Pandai Sikat is 10 kilometers from Bukit tinggi with its hand weaving and carving industry. The village has 1000 looms and turns out richly interwoven cloth. Carved wooden ornaments and furniture are also made here.

Danau Maninjau (Lake Maninjau)

A winding road with 44 sharp turns descends to Lake Maninjau, 36 kilometers from Bukittinggi. A crater lake, it abounds with fish. There are also facilities for swimming and water skiing. The village of Matur, overlooking lakes, arranges dance performances on request.

Last revised on October 22, 2009
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