Jumat, 25 Maret 2011

Travel to Bukittinggi

The main entrance to the French Village.

Bukittinggi (Indonesian for "high hill") is one of the larger cities in West Sumatra, Indonesia, with a population of over 91,000 people and an area of 25.24 km². It is situated in the Minangkabau highlands, 90 km by road from the West Sumatran capital city of Padang. It is located at 0°18′20″S 100°22′9″E / 0.30556°S 100.36917°E / -0.30556; 100.36917, near the volcanoes Mount Singgalang (inactive) and Mount Marapi (still active). At 930 m above sea level, the city has a cool climate with temperatures between 16.1°-24.9°C

Bukittinggi is located about 2 hours north-east by road from the international airport. The only way to get there is by car. But all the roads are good and smooth. As Bukittinggi is a tourist destination, try to avoid traveling on weekends as the traffic can be quite bad especially when climbing uphill.

How to go?

By chartered minivan

Known by the locals as "Travel" is cheapest way to get there. The approximate price is about IDR 25,000/person for one way. The vehicle is a Honda Odyssey 2.4 minivan with a capacity of 7 seats. Keep in mind that the bus driver usually waits until the chair occupation is about 75%. Once the car is "full", the minivan will depart and take the passengers to their destination.

DAMRI is the bus operator that goes to Padang (price $Rp 17.500) from there you can continue to Bukittinggi by minivan ("travel")for the price $Rp 15,000. Not recommended for those who don't want to stop at Padang. Several bus companies (such as ALS) run buses from Parapat near Danau Toba. The trip is very winding and rough, and takes approximately 15 hours. Be prepared for bus sickness, and to pay around 185,000 IDR (as of 2010). As the trip is uphill from Danau Toba, the one-way fare is more expensive this way than coming from the south.

Numerous buses go from Medan to Jakarta and stop on the way at Bukittinggi.

A view from the top of another tower. Nice view~

Must See!

In town

Bukittinggi is a small town, so these places are within walking distance with each other (15-30 minute walk).

  • Sianok Canyon (Ngarai Sianok) and the Japanese Caves (Lubang Japang), a network of underground bunkers and tunnels built by the Japanese during World War II. There is a two-story observation tower that overlooks the Sianok Canyon. Ticket price: Rp4,000 (Aug 2009). During dusk you can observe megabats flying from the gorges to the forest in order to feed from the fruits on the trees. This is also a good place to get in contact with guides for tours such as to Lake Maninjau (see below) or jungle/hiking trips through the Canyon.
  • Fort de Kock. A fort built by the Dutch (nothing is left, only a water reservoir is on top of the hill) and Bundo Kanduang Park. The park includes a replica Rumah Gadang (traditional house), used as a museum of Minangkabau culture (many curiosities, such as stuffed animals with two heads and six legs, model houses and traditional dresses, foreign currencies... entrance Fee an extra Rp 1000 [Aug 2009]), and a zoo with a few very sad Orang Utans, a few expired species which are still rotting in their cages, two obese bears - not exactly a example in modern animal keeping. The Dutch hilltop outpost Fort de Kock is connected to the zoo by the Limpapeh pedestrian overpass. Ticket price: Rp8,000 (Aug 2009), camera Rp100,000 (June 2008).
  • House of Bung Hatta (the first Vice President of Indonesia).
  • Clock Tower (Jam Gadang)