Redesigning Indonesia

DAY

It is your last day in Bukittinggi, hence ensure that you have explored the whole city corners, tasted all the unique foods that you just see it for the first time and take a photo of Sianok Canyon. Communicate your flight schedule to your driver since you require couple of hours for reaching airport - the duration could be doubled during the weekend. Well, I expect that your flight is in the evening since we do still save some remarkable spots which we haven't touched yet.

Let's go!

Singgalang

Another view on Ngarai Sianok when you can look across to Mt. Singgalang. There are numerous volcanoes in West Sumatra which some of them are available for hiking due to its open access.

Singgalang

Let's get closer to Sianok Canyon. A green canyon which stretches 15km across, situated only several minutes from center of Jam Gadang. The canyon depth is around 100m with approximately 200m wide. This is a good example of what I called as diversity, where there is tranquility lies within a fertile large green canyon, and there is a busy-growing city which is

dwelled by more than 40 thousands of people. They are just besides each other.

 

One alternative point to get a good view of Ngarai Sianok is by visiting 'Goa Jepang' (Japan Cave) then go through each corner within the area. The view is great especially when the sky is clear and both volcanoes, Singgalang & Merapi, are seen. There is also

a way directed to the path below so you can cross the valley & go to the other end of the canyon, when you may find a replica of Chinnese Great Wall there. Climb it if you want to see the view from the other side.

 

Central of Bukittinggi city is quite small & compact, make it easier for tourist to have a self-exploration. Food's merchant is abundant during the night, providing a lot of choices of taste. Although the city will be crowded and traffic jam is commonly occured especially during weekends, however Bukittinggi is still lovely due to its unique terrain & culture.

Sianok Canyon

The flowers are blossoming only at certain time, which can't be predicted easily. However there is still a high chance that you can encounter the flower which currently growing. The alternative way to check is by contacting your hotel reception while making a reservation - or you may consult to any tour providers which offer the package in West Sumatra. Rafflesia is only blooming for 1 week, so if you saw any info about it (which is usually being posted in hotel's information board), you better not to let the chance go.

It doesn't take a long trip from Bukittinggi to get into Batang Palupuh, when we stopped in a small village before the forest entrance. A guide will welcome & brief you eventually prior to commence the trekking.

 

Mostly, the guide itself is a local resident, a forester and a Rafflesia's enthusiast. Besides providing a guide service for the tourist, they are actively going into the forest to trace another possible Rafflesia's seeds, either for research or just to nurture this unique tourist attraction.

The trekking duration varies depend on where they had found the flower - which is randomly appeared in several area within the nature reserve. After took around 40 minutes walks, we finally encounter the flower, laying down on the ground, blossoming. The flower is just growing up from out of nowhere, like you see a very large flower without any stem, leaves or tree. It is an awesome feeling, to witness a wild Rafflesia in a deep forest. There is no more valid justification why you should be here.

Rafflesia Arnoldii

The largest individual flower on earth. Requires months to grow up and only had 1 week to bloom - before it decays.

Another one last visit before it ends, while we are departing back to airport. - that is to enjoy a breathtaking view of Maninjau Lake.

Rather than being trapped into a traffic jam by passing through a regular Bukittinggi - Padang line, our driver nicely find a way to make our journey back unforgettable. We directed our way to 'Puncak Lawang' area only so we may see this superb view.

Maninjau is 2nd largest lake in West Sumatra after Singkarak. Even though I was there only for 20 minutes, however I am glad that I had a chance to capture this fine moment. These small huts are lined and located just before we enter 'Puncak Lawang' entrance. If you have another days to spend, staying in Puncak Lawang would be a great idea, especially if you like to enjoy some outbond activities such as paragliding or flying fox. The atmosphere is cold & fresh which is excellent for relaxation.

 

Within a couple more minutes from this area, you can reach a famous 'Kelok 44', a compilation of 44ea of hairpin bends & steep climbs. Drive your way from the bottom to the top but be careful since it is pretty much dangerous if you are not really an experienced driver.

 

While sitting on the boarding lounge of Minangkabau International Airport, I just recalled back how lucky I was, to experience such moments which I knew that it will never be forgotten. I am proud with my decision to go there, to trade my 5 days in life for something worth spending.

 

I did enjoy the trip from the very start. The landscapes we passed by, which are mostly consist of hillside terrains, provide a fabulous view from the top. As I spent most of my time in Java, which its land is relatively flat, I found that this new experience is so exciting. That thrilling moment when you realize that your driver is quite crazy, to have such speed when the road curves & climbs are everywere whilst a straight lane is only a bonus. I remember how amazed I was when we left Bungus region, to see that we drove via a road which is positioned on top of the hill. Then by looking at our left side, we can view a great scenery of shore line, beaches & harbors - complete with all the vessels & tugs which are standing by on anchorage area.

 

As we were heading back to airport, we deliberately passed a new remote road to avoid traffic jam. We crossed the forest and we were caged by hills & rocks. Sometimes, we also passed rice fields with a large lakes sighted as the background. Its landscapes diversity that makes this visit so damn exciting. That's why I can't be patient to plan my next trip here again. To experience such feeling and to explore the remaining unique destination points such as Mentawai, Pacu Jawi at Batusangkar & any other uncovered potential places which make West Sumatra simply different. Then I departed so I can arrive here again someday.

- End

Maninjau Hut

estimated budget in IDR

Value is approximate & only for reference (based on 2014)

 

Day 1

Airport - Padang [by bus & 'angkot']: 35k

lunch @ Padang: 35k

Padang - Bungus ['angkot']: 40k or 180k if chartered - 8 persons

Hotel @ Bungus: 180k / 2 persons / fan

Dinner: 25k

Day 2

2D1N Package: min 1200k/boat or 350k/person

 

Day 3

Bungus - Padang ['angkot']: 40k or 200k if chartered - 8 persons

Padang - Bukittinggi [shuttle bus]: 50k

Hotel @ Bukittinggi: 200k / 2 persons

Dinner: 25k

 

Day 4

Car rental + driver: 550k / 6 persons

Gasoline: 175k / 6 persons

Pagaruyung entrance + costume rental: 60k

Expenses @ Harau: 20k

Hotel @ Bukittinggi: 200k / 2 persons

Lunch + Dinner: 60k

Day 5

Car rental + driver: 550k / 6 persons

Gasoline: 175k / 6 persons

Sianok Canyon: 20k

Guide @ Batang Palupuh: 130k

Lunch: 30k

 

 

Notes & Contacts

Day 1

Use Damri (airport shuttle bus) located on the most left from arrival gate. The bus will transport you to Padang City Center.

 

At Bungus, I stayed at Tintin Homestay (Raul: +62812-6683-6668).

He can also arrange:

- Trip to Mentawai or Island Hopping to Pamutusan / Marak / Pagang / etc.

- Suggestion about which Angkot to take from / to Bungus.

- Chartering car / angkot for transportation from / to Bungus.

Day 3

If you intend to go to Bukittinggi, communicate to the driver to drop you at Bukittinggi shuttle area.

At Bukittinggi, I stayed at Hello Guest House (Ling: +62857-6181-1188).

 

Day 3

Ling is so helpful & she had a complete information regarding nearby tourist attraction. The guest house is superb & the place is also famous between backpackers, make it easier for you to meet fellow travelers for any cost sharing chance.

 

Day 4 & 5

For the driver & tour guide, I can't be happier than to meet Uncu (+62852-6305-0669). He knows well how to deal with traveller & knowledgeable for any exciting land route, tourist destination & recommended food / restaurants. Although he is stationed in Bukittinggi, he also can be called for any land trip in West Sumatra.

 

Day 5

To get any info regarding the Rafflesia blooming season at Batang Palupuh, you may contact the guide, Joni (+62813-7436-4439), or speak to Ling / Uncu. Both of them know about the info very well.