DAY 1: GETTING TO KNOW THE MOTHERLAND
Padang is the homeland of the Minangkabau people, who are famous for two things: 1) matrilineal culture where property passed down from mother to daughter, and 2) their sumptuous food. On your first day of your Padang itinerary, you will get to experience both.
10am Adityawarman Museum’s architecture is in rumah bagonjong style, the traditional house of the Minangkabaus with its iconic curved roof and multi-tiered, upswept gables. The collection covers West Sumatra’s geology, ethnography, archaeology, history, art, and technology, with a special focus on women’s roles in Minangkabau society.
- Museum Adityawarman, Jl. Diponegoro No. 10, Padang
12pm Lunch at a typical Minangkabau restaurant is usually buffet-style. You get a plate of steaming hot rice, and you choose the side dishes amongst the piles of large bowls. Favourites include gulai tambusu (cow’s intestines stuffed with egg and tofu), itiak lado mudo (fried duck with green chillies), dendeng batokok (thin beef jerky), and of course the pride and joy of the Minangkabaus, rendang (beef in spicy stew).
- Warung Nasi Kapau, Jl. Bandar Damar No. 23, Padang
2pm Take a walk around Padang’s Old Town, located by Batang Arau, a river that runs through the city of Padang. Most of the old structures here were built as warehouses or offices of the colonial era, and most are in a rundown state covered with overgrowth. You can still imagine how lively this area was when Batang Arau played a vital role in colonial Dutch trade. This area also encompasses what is now known as Padang’s Chinatown.
- Jl. Batang Arau, Padang
3pm Visit See Hion Kiong, the oldest Chinese temple in Padang and then take a break at one of the Chinese coffee places. This area is especially popular with the young people of Padang who are obsessed with kopmil, a drink made of coffee, Milo, and sometimes, grass jelly.
- Jl. Klenteng, Padang
5pm Taplau (short for tapi lauik, literally “beachside”) is an ideal spot to watch the sunset, but you have to come early as everyone and their neighbours want to be here the same time. Don’t forget to grab some snacks to accompany the view. It can be in the form of various seafood, toasts and coffee, or local noodles.
- Pantai Padang (Padang Beach), Jl. Samudera, Padang
DAY 2: NATURE EXCURSION
The highlands of West Sumatra are part of the Barisan mountain range blessed with numerous waterfalls. It’s no wonder that the region is known as “the Land of Thousand Waterfalls” among Indonesians from this side of the country. Get out of the city to visit one of the waterfalls that has drawn more attention with the advent of social media.
8am Katupek pitalah is a classic Minangkabau-style breakfast. This delicious dish comprised of compressed rice cake in a spicy jackfruit and coconut milk gravy will definitely chase away your morning drowsiness!
- Katupek Pitalah Purus 3, Jl. Purus III, Padang
10am Aia Dingin village is around 29km (or around 45 minutes) away from Padang, and it’s another 2km hike to get to Saratuih Tingkek (Minangkabau for “100-tiered”) waterfalls. It’s a pleasant walk that treats to a view of lush forest and fresh air. The first waterfall is about as 15 metres high, followed by a second one gushing down from a 19-metre high cliff. Despite the name, nobody really knows how many levels there are. See if you can solve the mystery yourself!
- Saratuih Tingkek Waterfall, Nagari Aia Dingin, Kelurahan Lubuk Minturun
3pm Back in Padang, make your way up to Sitinjau Lauik, a scenic point with a marvelous view of the city of Padang and the vast Indian Ocean from an 800-metre elevation.
- Sitinjau Lauik, Padang – Solok Highway
6pm If you’re asking why would anyone want to be hanging around a bridge, then wait until you see the sunset from Siti Nurbaya bridge. It has the perfect view of the old town area and Batang Arau, which empties out to the sea. Aside from that, you get to have freshly-prepared snacks of grilled banana and corn. What else could you want at the end of the day?
- Jembatan Siti Nurbaya, Jl. Nipah – Jl. Batang Arau, Padang
And it’s a wrap for your weekend introduction to Padang, a city that takes pride in its culture and nature. If you’re looking for excursion ideas, check out Paninggahan, a Village of Abundant Beauty.