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Travel Guide > Asia > Indonesia > Sumatera Barat > Bukit Tinggi

Bukit Tinggi Sights & Attractions

  
 
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In town

Bukittinggi is a small town, so these places are within walking distance with each other (15-30 minute walk).

There are horse carriages waiting around the Jam Gadang area. Please be cautioned that the rides are very costly, therefore please ask for their rates first.

Around town

There are two tours that hotels and tour agencies try to push, a tour to Minangkabau and another tour to Maninjau.

Minangkabau tour

The Minangkabau tour will visit these places in east area of Bukittinggi:

  • The King's palace in Pagaruyung
  • Balimbing village with old century traditional house that is more than 350 years old
  • Handcraft in Pandai Sikek
  • Traditional coffee toasters

Maninjau Tour

The Maninjau Tour will visit places in west area of Bukittinggi:

  • Lake Maninjau
  • Puncak Lawang, a place where you can see a panoramic of Lake Maninjau
  • The "44 turns", forty-four numbered(!) hairpin bends up the mountain from where you can see a panoramic of lake Maninjau.

Each tour requires at least 6 hours and usually held from 9AM to 3PM (including a stop at some restaurants). In 2006, the price is ranging from Rp 100,000/pp to Rp 160,000/pp or Rp 450,000/car for up to 6 people. Hire a car is highly recommended if you're in a group of more than 4 people. Car's price includes driver, fuel, entry ticket, and parking fee. Tips aren't compulsory, lunch invitation is more than enough. For your note, most of the places require ticket and will charge a parking fee. One tour will require about Rp 40,000 only for parking and ticket entry. Another option is hiring a car and arranging with the driver to visit the places in Minangkabau and Lake Maninjau. If you are alone, it is also possible to find guides in the Sianok Canyon park who will take you to Lake Maninjau with a motorbike (ask for Parta e.g., no fixed price, he will take what you give him). In any case, depart earlier, as the tour will take all day.

Getting there

The budget option to Maninjau is to take the bus (or minibus) from the bus station (get there from the Bemo station near the market) to Maninjau (35km, 2hrs by bus, 1h by minibus). Unfortunately, a tourist racket has been set up so you won't get the ticket for the Rp 6000 (Oct 2007) the locals pay. Expect to pay at least Rp.10000 (Oct. 2007). Have the right change ready; don't expect to get any from the conductor. To get back, either try to catch a minibus (Rp 10000) or a big bus (Rp 15000-20000). The big buses you have to catch in the same direction you came, since the narrow road is a one-way for lorries.

The budget option to Minangkabau is to take the Batu Sangkar public bus for Rp. 7000 (Oct 2007) and hire a motorbike (Rp. 15000 return) from there (or walk the remaining 5km) to Pagaruyung. Minibuses and buses back to Bukittingi leave from the bus terminal or may be flagged down anywhere.

Harau Valley

The Harau Valley is a pretty gorge about an hour east of Bukittinggi comprising a valley floor of rice paddy hemmed in by shear sandstone cliffs. There are several waterfalls with pools (both natural and constructed) for bathing, and you can go rock climbing on the cliffs. Overnight accommodation is available at the pleasant Echo Homestay.

Bonjol

If you are intereseted in visiting the equator, you can take a bus to Bonjol where there is a monument marking the equator built over the main road, good for photo opportunities if you are keen to stand in both hemispheres simultaneously. Theres also a museum on the site which houses a few artefacts of little interest - mainly coins and banknotes. Catch the bus from the Aur Kuning bus station, minibuses depart fairly frequently. Expect to pay Rp. 10 000 as a tourist. To get back there is a bus which comes from the opposite direction (or northern hemisphere) at 5 o'clock, or alternatively you can wait at the small roadside cafe right next to the monument where locals will help you flag down a bemo which is destined for Bukittinggi (its quite difficult for non-locals to distinguish between a service bemo and a someones car, but the locals seem to know what is what.)

Things to See in Bukit Tinggi

Nature/Wildlife Sianok Canyon
(Ngarai Sianok) and the Japanese Caves (Lubang Japang), a network of underground bunkers and tunnels built by the Japanese during World War II. There is a two-story observation tower that overlooks the Sianok Canyon. Ticket price: Rp4,000 (Aug 2009). During dusk... more
in Bukit Tinggi
Monument/Building Fort de Kock
A fort built by the Dutch (nothing is left, only a water reservoir is on top of the hill) and Bundo Kanduang Park. The park includes a replica Rumah Gadang (traditional house), used as a museum of Minangkabau culture (many curiosities, such as stuffed animals wi... more
in Bukit Tinggi
 
Monument/Building House of Bung Hatta
(the first Vice President of Indonesia).
in Bukit Tinggi
Monument/Building Clock Tower
(Jam Gadang)
in Bukit Tinggi
 




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