Padang, The Pretty Coastal Town in Southern Sumatra
Padang is most famously known around Indonesia for its Makanan Padang (Padang Food). It is not just the food that will entice you to this pretty coastal town in Southern Sumatra. The town itself is nicely laid out making navigation around the city quite easy. There are the famous buildings showing the distinct Minang architecture where the roofs soar high into the heavens. The population of Padang is quite young as it is a bustling university town of Sumatra.
It is a pleasant enough city to while away a few days while waiting for the ferries to the Mentawai Islands or the highlands of Bukittinggi. If you do find yourself here for a short stay there are numerous places of interest.
The Adityawarman Museum is a worthwhile visit housing musical instruments, textiles, farming equipment and even old banknotes from yesteryear. The building itself is classic Minang architecture with great woodwork, and of course the infamous soaring roof. All of the museum is housed in a well-kept garden and is a popular picnic spot for locals.
As with any major city, shopping is in abundance but rather than head to the air-conditioned malls that are plentiful, head to a more traditional place that will delight your camera with an array of colors. Pasar Raya is located in the city center and is a fabulous place to watch daily life pass you by. It’s awash with all kinds of food and spices making for some great photos.
Padang has beaches and although the main beach (Padang Beach) in town may not be your cup of tea, head 20 kms south of the city and you will find Bungus Beach. The beach is pretty enough with a long curving white sand bay. There is basic accommodation here if you wish to stay longer. The Bungus islands just off the coast here also offer a great day trip to the traveller. These islands are relatively untouched however you can find a high-end resort offering some luxury to the richer traveller. Even for a day the Bungus Islands offer small hidden beaches that will leave you feeling like a castaway.
You mustn’t leave Padang without first trying the famous Padang food that all Indonesians crave on a daily basis. In these Padang restaurants, you will be met with numerous dishes all-overflowing with various curries. Just help yourself to whichever dish you fancy and if you are adventurous, politely ask which one is the Bull’s testicles and Cow’s brains.
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