Promo Mandala airlines bring us to Minangkabau International Airport at Padang, West-Sumatra, it takes about 1.5 hour from Jakarta. We are going to Lembah Anai directly so what we need is a Padang Panjang bus. We can wait at a junction near police station about 15 minutes away from airport but a helpful damri driver we are in inform usm that the bus is tend to full so he will take us futhermore to city and will make a stop along the way if there is a bus going to Lembah Anai. The driver press a horn when a bus passby (different direction) and shouting to the bus driver whether they are going to Lembah Anai, the bus does so we alight and transit to another bus (so sweet, isn’t it).
It is a good experience to travel like a local, we can socialize with them but in this bus, peoples are very quite eventough we made lot of noise. Some of them looking at us oddly, maybe we look weird? After 1.5 hour ride we arrive at Lembah Anai, a unique waterfall which sit by the roadside. There is a pool and drainage built to avoid water goes to road and to get a better view, we go to a vacant land in front of the waterfall, an ex train railway, it is a bit higher than a road so it is a good place to take a picture.
We are going to have lunch at Mak Syukur, a well known Sate Padang, about half an hour from the waterfall. A very nice street seller lady which we bought chips from, help us to stop the “angkot”, inform the normal fare and told the driver to alight us at Mat Syukur, so helpful. When we arrive there is sold out sign, but we still go inside hopefully we can eat something. When we enter the restaurant with a big backpack on our back, others customer look amaze (or strange?) at us. The waitress not even asked our order but said that we have to wait for an hour but he take our drink. Surprisingly, our sate out in 10 minutes.
Sate Padang and Teh Taluah (tea with milk & egg) is our menu for the lunch. The taste is so good, must give it a try when you visit Bukittinggi.
We have a talk with the worker (or owner?), he said that they need about 60-100 kg beef mostly everyday. Imagine, how much the omzet they have in a day with Rp. 18.000 per portion.We are planning to do hitchhiking until Bukittinggi, but due to his kindness he stop a bus and we have no choice but to jump in and in about 30 minutes we arrive Bukittinggi town.
We have to transfer to another angkot to reach homestay, which is near Taman Panorama, a complex of “Gua Jepang”
After we drop our backpack we start explore Bukittinggj, start from Gua Jepang, a kind of cave built by local on Japan regime which consist of 21 aisle, there is guide if you want to hire one. The cave iconsist of 12 militer room, 12 bedroom and 6 ammunition room, there is an exit which lead us to Ngarai Sianok. It is shorten the distance, we reach there in 15 minutes only.
We was misunderstood between Ngarai Sianok and Lembah Harau, a friend thought that we could screaming and it will echoed. We ask some peoples which part of Ngarai we could scream that but nobody knows, strange. Luckily a lady who want to visit Padang great wall explain that the echoed part is at Lembah Harau.
Ngarai Sianok, it is below my expectation, there is a lot of trash and smell bad as the water use by some buffalo for wallows in. It is kind of sad with this reality, Ngarai Sianok quite known place to visit, but what a shame with this condition.
We just about to leave, but that lady told us that we could go to Padang greatwall, it is only about 10 minutes away. On our way to the great wall, we find a nice spot to view Ngarai Sianok, so when you want to visit Ngarai Sianok just do it from the Greatwall, see the view without need to go down and experience the bad side of this Ngarai. The length of the Great wall is about 1.5 hours walking.
Next stop is Jam Gadang, next to it is Istana Bung Hatta, all the spot is a walk away only. It is locate at a square and from here we could see the city view, but tonight there is night market here, it is very crowded, hard to get a nice picture. Pasar atas & bawah also near this area but it is close at evening. The last stop is “Benteng Fort de Kock”, a part of Taman Wisata Bukittinggi, others think we can find in this “taman” is Rumah Gadang and small zoo.There are not many animals here but the place is treated well.
We are done for today, time to take a rest.