Welcome fellow visitors of Padang,
This blog was created during our 6-weeks internship in Padang where we used our free time to explore the city and its surroundings.
We hope the blog provides you with some useful information about interesting places to visit, as well as where to eat and sleep.
Padang and the area around are definitely worth a visit.
So enjoy your stay.
We started our trip to Lake Maninjau early in the morning. From the centre we took the white angkot to Tranex bus station. It’s on the way to Basko Shopping Mall. We had to wait for about 30min to get into the bus to Bukit Tinggi. We paid 30.000 IDR, because of holidays, otherwise you pay less. After aprroximately two hour journey we got off the bus before Bukit Tinggi at Padang Loir. From that spot we took a private driver for the last 30 km to Lake Maninjau (fare: 20.000 IDR each).
Lake Maninjau is beautiful. This is a picture of our first day with beautiful weather:
The route down to lake Maninjau is called “Route of 44 curves”. You can also see a lot of monkeys living free in the jungle next to the street.
We arrived at Lake Maninjau in the afternoon and stayed all of our nights at the guesthouse Beach Inn, north of the village Maninjau. The guesthouse is not in the Lonely Planet Travelers Book but is totally worth it staying in there. It’s really quiet and beautiful. Plus you have your own small beach to have a nice swim at sunset. We really made friends with all the people in there and want to say thank you again for everything we got.
After our accomodation was fixed we rented some motorbikes for the days at Lake Maninjau. Before they told us it would be about 50-60.000 each, but we had to pay 70.000 IDR. So we circled the Lake Maninjau. It’s a distance of less than 50 km and you can do it in about 1,5 hours. Nevertheless it was great going there. The people are not just to tourists and everybody is treating you really friendly and happy if you have a rest at their small shops.
Chinatown is located in the south of Padang. As you might have thought of the chinese population of Padang is living there and most of them are christians. That’s the reason why you can find for Padang conditions a relatively high amount of churches in there. Another result of this cultural and religious separation is that you are able to find a lot of Restaurants and Supermarkets there, which on the one hand are open in Ramadan month and on the other hand serve cold(!) beer. For this purpose I would like to suggest you some kind of Bermuda triangle of impure fun . As you look on the map of Padang you can literally find a triangle of three streets: Jalan Tepi Pasang ,Jalan Niaga and Jalan Hos Cokroaminoto. Take a look around there and you will find places to serve almost everything you like!
Suggestions for having a good time & enjoy yourself in Padang
Bakmi Raos ; Jl Niaga No 122 (Chinatown)
- Nicely arranged Restaurant in the center of chinatown. They serve tasty traditional and good western dishes and a huge number of juices, even with less sugar than others . Big probs for the best clearly arranged and good designed menu card seen in Padang.Prices are below the western restaurant standard in Padang ,but quality of food and atmosphere is better! ( p.e.: Mie goreng : 11000 IDR)
Supermarket ; Edge Jl Niaga + Jl Hos Cokroaminoto (Chinatown)
- Small supermarket with nice prices and a high quality assortment (cold Heineken big bottle 25000 IDR)
Bobo Resto & Café ; Jl Nipah No 42 (Chinatown)
- Cute little restaurant near the bridge to Padang Hill. Free Wifi is available and they serve Pancakes and Waffles with ice!
Pelangi Bar + Bunch of Bars & Nightlife of Padang ; Padang Beach (North)
- Located in the north of Padang beach between a lot of other similar looking bars this bar opens even in Ramadan month in the afternoon and they serve traditional indonesian food and tasteful juices. This part of the beach is the place where young couples and folks meet to be some time on their own and escape the supervision of their parents and the public. When the sun goes down hundreds of motorbikes arrive there and the young people enjoy themselves drinking some tasteful juice at the dead end of Jalan Samudera . Nowadays they build a bridge there to enlage Jl Samudera and in the future maybe(!) Angkots will go there. But up till then: If you do not own a motorbike you have to use the white or orange Angkot (2000 IDR)in the directon of Basko to get there. Get out of the Angkot before it crosses Sungai Bandar Bekali. Then head for the sea and walk through the block near the beach. For better orientation : Leave when you see a gas station and you might see the newly built mercure hotel.
Fellas ; Jl Hayam Wuruk: south of Padang
- This is a surfer bar which deserves its name. If you go there you are almost guaranteed that you will meet some australian surfer which like to drink some beer (Bintang 35000IDR) with you and sometime enjoy livemusic or live (&in colour) football games together . In addition to that you can order Shisha Pipes and traditional food ,but unfortunately the prices are higher then elsewhere as australians are used to pay a lot money for alcohol in their own country.
Another nice one day trip from Padang is to Carocok Beach, near Carolin Beach. You won’t find any ankot going there so you should rent an ankot or a car with driver at Basko Shopping Mall. A one day trip costs around 200.000 Rupiah for the car.
To get there you will need about 2 hours. Arriving at the harbor you can take a little boat which will take you to a little island with white sand beaches, palms and rocks and a nice view to the harbour. The boat costs around 100.000 Rupiah and the way to the island takes about 5 minutes.
The island is perfect for swimming because there are no big waves and no flows. Furthermore, the water is refreshing cool.
After swimming you can walk around and explore the little island. You will find a place to change your clothes over there, however, girls shouldn’t wear only bikini for swimming.
I f you want to go to places you can’t reach by ankot or you don’t know how to get there you can rent a car with driver or an ankot at Basko Shopping Mall or Pasar Rayas.
I f you want to rent a car with driver just go in front of Basko or the opposite side of the street, over there you will find several taxis and cars. For one day you shouldn’t pay more than 250.000 Rupiah. For going only one way it is about 100.000 Rupiah.
One nice day trip is to Sunua Beach near the airport of Padang. It takes about 45 minutes to go there by car from Basko.
When you are lucky there are no people at the beach and girls can wear their bikini, but if there are people around you should wear a t-shirt and trousers.
The beach is a nice beach with dark sand, high waves (be aware of the flow!) and less rubbish than at Padang Beach. Next to the Beach you can find several stands that sell fruits like for instance watermelons (about 20.000 Rupiah for one watermelon).
Padang Hill or Bukit Lampu is the best place in Padang to have a great view over the houses of Padang. On a sunny day, you can watch the small islands around Padang and also some ships departing from Teluk Bayur, which reminds of Padang as a main port in Sumatra from the Dutch colonization era. You can climb up the top to have a beautiful view of Padang to one side and to Pantai Air Manis on the other side.
You reach Padang hill if you cross the bridge next to the harbour. After the bridge turn left and you’ll see Padang Hill. The entrance fee is about 2,000 Rupiah, but it is totally worth it! You’ll also see some heritage of dutch colonization. There is a big cannon in the hill which was used to defend invadors. Up the hill you can take a rest of the stressful life of Padang. You can also walk down at the other side to the beach of Air Manis.
After that you can have a bath in the sea to relax from hiking. There are no shops around the spot, so it is advised to bring your own food or drink, if you want to enjoy a picnic with the great ocean view of Padang.