I went on a 8D7N backpacking trip to Padang from 15-22 July 2012 and will like to share my experience.
Here is my itinerary for reference:
18/7- Lake Maninjau
19/7- Harau Valley
This is my first time travelling solo and generally a pleasant experience as I had all the time to do things I want. The itinerary wasn't like this initially, but it was altered after some considerations due to several factors.
The airport tax is Rp30,000.
There's several way to get to the city.
Using the car service will cost you from Rp100,000-150,000.
If you are not in a rush, be firm and insist on the Damri Bus. The Damri Bus was within my vision just when I exit the airport entrance. It will cost you Rp18,000 only. The Damri Bus is comfortable, air-conditioned and clean. The bus drops you at fix spots only so please be sure of your hotel's location and alight at the
JFYI, the stops: Jl. Hasanudin - Hotel Bumiminang - Jl. Diponegoro - Jl. Pemuda - Jl. Damar - Jl. Veteran - Jl. Juanda - Jl. S.Parman - Jl. Adinegoro - Sp. Duku - Jl. Ketaping - BIM(PP)
My first and last night was at Brigitte House. I enjoyed my stay here. Brigitte is a friendly lady who is always ready to assist in any areas of doubts. Her staff were extremely pleasant, always ready to assist me if I had any questions. On my last day of the vacation, I wanted to do some walking to find food (Bulan Puasa
just started) but suddenly a car stops beside me and I realize it was the staff from Brigitte House, he gave me a ride and showed me the shops which were opened...in the end I chose to go to Plaza Andalas as I thought there might be more varieties there. It saved me lots of time...and I was very happy that he went all
out to ensure I can find some food to eat, and providing me information with the nearby attractions such as the Siti Nurbaya Bridge. Brigitte house is also located near to Toko Oleh-Oleh Christine Hakim, where you can get souvenirs and local snacks back. The rooms were acceptable and clean to a first-time
backpacker and I have no complains at all.
Pasar Raya - Get on an Angkot (Angkutan Kota) and ask them to bring you to Jl. Pasar Raya. As the name suggests, it is a fairly big market selling electronics, apparels and food. All angkot trip cost Rp2,000.
Air Manis beach - Only 2 Angkot brings you to Air Manis Beach. At Pasar Raya, you will be shocked by the number of Angkot there getting out of the market. All the angkots are labelled with numbers, it represent which places they cover. Ask for "403", or ask how to get to Air Manis beach, locals are friendly and will
help you. At Air Manis Beach, 2 important things you must do. Visit Malin Kundang, and walk across to Pulau Pisang Kecil. It is possible to do so at 12noon. I went at about 5pm hoping to catch the sunset and cross to pulau kecil but was washed back by the waves. So I left as a disappointed man...
Roadside stalls can be found along Jl Samudera, it becomes alive at night and you can try the food served there. It is almost the same at every stall. At Jl. Samudera, you can feel the breeze of Indian Ocean and experience the sunset. It is beautiful.
I very much wanted to visit this store Ikan Bakar Pak Agus @ Jl. Hos Cokroaminoto no. 88 E, Padang, West Sumatra, Indonesia but didn't have a chance. It is very near Brigitte house and you don't need to get on any transport. According to the locals, the food served there is extremely nice and probably starts from
Rp20,000 onwards. I wished I could try the food there.
The next morning, her staff prepared banana pancake and fruits as breakfast. I did not have any idea how to get to Bukittinggi, but Brigitte had her staff to drive me to the bus terminal. Rp30,000 for the ticket to Bukittinggi. Bukittinggi is very easy to navigate, so do not worry.
I check-in to D'enam Homestay (read as De-Nam). Simen attended to me and patiently told me the attractions and day tours which I can do in Bukittinggi. He is extremely helpful. To be very honest, the bedrooms were much better than I thought it will be, because the ground floor was kind of dark when I entered and I
thought the condition wasn't very good. However I have no complains about the rooms once again.
I visited Benteng Fort De Kock. There's a zoo inside and it cost Rp8,000 per entry.
And also Panorama Park, Rp2,000 per entry and there was a lady tour guide asking me to engage her for the Japanese Caves, I wasn't estatic about it at all. Hence I rejected her and explored the beauty of Sianok Canyon that was opposite me. The best part of my vacation was a trek down the Panorama Park to the
Sianok Canyon. I chanced upon a local guide and he brought me through rice plantations, villages and tried goreng pisang sold by the villagers' harvest. It was an eye-opening opportunity and I tipped him reasonably (based on your own wallet). as I enjoyed the tour more than I knew I would in the japanese caves.
I visited the clock tower too, probably took tons of photo there as it was like a centralized spot between D'enam and you definitely have to pass by when you walk around.
Dinner can be settled easily. Jl Ahmad Yani has roadside stalls which serves good food. Beef satay is a must try, the rest will be up to each preference, Nasi Goreng, Mie Ayam, etc.Edited: 02 August 2012, 02:42