Padang, the capital of the West Sumatra Province, is one of the most ancient cities on the west coast of the Indian Ocean. This beach city, with a population of 800 000, stretches from the foot of the Bukit Barisan mountain range to the Indian Ocean. Located on the equator Padang enjoys hot weather, offset by a fresh sea breeze.
Although the population of West Sumatra is diverse, the main ethnic group is the Minangkabau people (buffalo in local dialect), well known over Indonesia for its matrilineal system and its uniquely buffalo–like roof architecture. They speak their own dialect of the Indonesian language known as Minang.
Minang people are definitely friendly people, very rarely in bad moods nor with bad intentions, youngsters frequently approach foreigners in a charming and funny way, sometimes even forcing themselves to overcome their modesty. Padang is one of the safest city in Indonesia.
Islam is the predominant religion throughout the Province and Catholic and Buddhist minorities are well integrated; churches and temples stand next to the numerous Mosques in an open–minded atmosphere. The bustling and noisy historical centre of the city extends from the old harbour and merges old buildings from the Dutch colonial era with Chinese influences; it suffered sever damages during the 2009 earthquake.
The Padang spicy cuisine is famous all over Indonesia. In no time the waiter will fill the whole table with plates, containing kari – chicken and fish prepared in coconut curry, Rendang (meat in coconut gravy) and Dendeng Balado, thin slices of dried and fried beef served with red & green (!) chilies.
This place is the perfect first contact with Padang, located only 30 minutes walking from Brigitte’s House, the walk over the bridge down to the river mouth will be full of encounters, once at the top you may be stunned by the views, over the whole city, towards the coast down south, sheltered by some trees, enjoy a refreshing breeze, there are some monkeys & usually a stunning sunset.
Air Manis Beach
Rent a bike, 20 minutes from Brigitte’s House, or one and a half hour walking (nice & easy trek through a friendly neighborhood & a green landscape that offers some great views over the Indian Ocean), spend an afternoon there, meet the locals, chill out under the trees drinking coconuts, swim, learn surfing, very short trip to the nearby islands by local boats, wait till sunset.
Rent a bike, 45 minutes from Brigitte’s House, spend a day or an afternoon there, cool atmosphere, swim, chill out, ride to the nearby three levels water falls, a short easy trek will lead to the first level, the next two levels are more difficult to reach, the view over Bungus bay is beautiful.
Rent a bike, 2 up to 3 hours, one way, the road is straight and most of the way in good condition, it goes through numerous villages following the sea that you can sight in between the coconut trees, your final destination is a little town that offers a clean sandy beach, a perfect place to enjoy a typical lunch confortably seated under an umbrella.
Sungai Pisang & Sungai Pinang
Rent a bike, 2 up to 3 hours, one way, be aware that part of the road is in bad condition; you end up overlooking the stunning area of Kawasan Wisata Mandeh which gathers some beautiful little green islands offering perfect white sandy beaches; typical fishermen villages where time has stopped, surroundings hide many small sandy beaches.
Danau Diatas & Danau Dibawah
Rent a bike, 2 up to 3 hours, one way, the ride to these two beautiful lakes is really entertaining, meet the locals, tea plantations, there are no proper accommodation out there; a day trip go & return that will give you an insight of how authentic West Sumatra is.
Surrounded by green hills covered with luxuriant forests, Padang surroundings feature many wild day treks, some only a few miles away from the city center, rent a bike, go and meet our friends, you often go up a river (can be for hours if you wish!) till you reach a waterfall or any place of your interest, it’s time to chill out!
Boat Day Trips
South Padang Islands are worth a day boat trip, that’s for sure! Waiting for your flight, you have to stay in Padang one more day? Lets book it the day before & spend that day in Paradise. South Padang gathers numerous small islands, uncrowded white sandy beaches & turquoise blue waters are all yours, lay on the beach, sunbath, snorkel.
Air Manis Beach offers some perfect mellow beach breaks for beginners usually cleaned by an early morning off shore wind; rent a bike, 15 minutes, one way, be aware that waters are not yet turquoise blue as any western eyes would imagine(!), rent a proper beginner surfboard out there, we also rent some nice longboards.
The scenery is stunning out there, you can see the whole coast towards south, our friends know their job don’t you worry about that; the best time for flying is from 2PM. We drop you there by car and pick you up on the beach once you landed then usually wait till sunset drinking fresh coconuts, having a short bath or even practicing a bit of surf. To be paid with us at Brigitte’s House, 450.000 IDR per person plus 150.000 IDR for transport and parking fees (up to 6 people fit in the car).
One day trip that will keep you busy the whole day; obviously rainy season is the best then many options appear, from easy to tough rides, easy as walking in the country side, tough as on TV. If not during the wet season we give them a call to double check if makes sense.
350.000 IDR per person (minimum 5 persons!).
South of Padang is full of beautiful diving spots. 45 minutes by speedboat dep. Muara Harbor (5 minutes from Brigitte’s House). You stay in a luxury resort, fares include everything departure Padang. It’s expensive but diving lovers really enjoy these spots.