Padang, an old colonial city with a fantastic local cuisine. This city served as a starting point for my dream surf trip to the Mentawai Islands.
HOW DO I GET AND WHERE DO I SLEEP?
The most common way to get here is to fly from Bali with a stopover in Jakarta to Padang. This will cost about 100 euros. Buses and taxis / Ubers go from the airport to the centre of Padang. Often you can also simply arrange a pick-up with your accommodation in advance.
In my opinion, the best choice to stay overnight is the Kokos Hostel which is located on the Batang Arau River. This nice place with a large roof terrace is run by a group of nice friends who want to help you with everything. They will also soon open a location on one of the Mentawai Islands.
FOOD AND DRINK
Padang is known for the great local cuisine, also known as Masakan Padang, which will provide a true explosion of taste. The table is filled with dishes in which various unique dishes are shining. You pay what you have touched, so you can make it as colourful as you want.
There is not much to “see” in Padang. For many people it’s mainly a transit location. There is the Provincial Museum, where you can get acquainted with the West Sumatran Minangkabau culture. In some places you can still find old city architecture, such as in Kampung China, the local Chinatown. The Sitti Nurbaya bridge is also very cool to view or drive over. This is especially a beautiful sight at night, when all the lights are on.
Don’t expect tropical spots, where you can frolic in your bikini. Besides that this is “not done” due to the conservative Muslim culture, the beaches are not really inviting. Air Manis, a beach on the outskirts of Padang is good for a breath of fresh air or for a short walk to “banana island”. There you can then chill and drink a coconut. There also seem to be good waves here and there for surfing.
In Padang, Muslim culture prevails and people are very conservative. So the ladies have to cover the knees and shoulders.
⁃ Book your accommodations on time. Although it is less touristy, the hotels and hostels are also smaller and therefore fully booked very quickly.
⁃ Do not confuse Padang in West Sumatra when booking things with Padang Padang or Padang Bai. These have almost the same name, but are located in Bali.
From Padang you can to take the boat towards the Mentawais! If you don’t plan to visit the Mentawais, you can also take a look at the following location, from Medan to the orangutans of Bukit Lawang.