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  1. #1
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    KW and MrsKW do West Sumatra


    WEST SUMATRA!





    Sumatra is famous for it's spicey food (Masakan Padang) and buildings. Loads of buildings have the above pictured style of roof, it is said to represent the cow horns that are so ubiquitous here, look quite interesting too.

    Travel costs double due to end of Ramadam holiday (idul fitri).

    You can go via the TransSumatran Hwy, but due to the holiday traffic was mental and the ferry from Java, was severly clogged, [pic to come] flying was a much better option. So we flew to Padang, (no idea of cost MrsKW paid, I think about 1 million rupiah return, about $100 or 30,000 baht) and then booked a taxi to bukit tinggi via airport travel desk (350,000 Rupiah $35 or 1000 baht).

    So far so good....I suspected things may not be so good when the two kids driving the car

    "two drivers, whaddya we need two drivers for!!!?"

    "Jaow!" (=long distance) 2-3 hours? ok, whateva!


    anyway they put it into reverse and crashed into the car parked behind them before we even left the airport.

    in the end they were not too bad…. Apart from playing the same 2 songs on a cassette tape over and over the entire feckn trip.

    The scenery along this mountainous road was fantastic, all mountains and winding roads. (just watch out for the crazy busses overtaking at any point they feel like.)

    We stopped at a waterfall, just as it started to rain….



    Bukkitinggi is surrounded by 27 mountains, or so the local bureaucrat on the front cover of the tourist guide at the front desk tells me. Certainly pretty, right on the equator but at 950metres elevation reasonably cool and pleasant, in fact first night we walked down the street and I froze my ass off. (well shivered a little bit)

    Aint really much to do in town itself. A center clock tower. Woopeedoo some clapped out old zoo, (didn’t go there) some broken down old dutch fort. (4,000 rupiah (40 cents) to enter but 100,000 rupiah ($10) to take photos, and another 100,000 ($10) for video)

    But it is an interesting town to wander, split level town, little alleys, a couple of mosques. This picture below (sorry about qulaity, my camera and skills are shite) shows a bridge across the main street connecting the old fort and crappy zoo. A busy market place, food stalls. 2 or 3 quiet touristy style cafes and that’s about it. Plenty of horse carts to give you a ride.



    Bukit Tinggi is described in the Lonely Planet as the biggest tourist stopover point in west Sumatra….? I think I saw a total of 10 bule (farang) here over the past week….local tourists perhaps…it is a small town in the mountains, with not much to do, expect wander. there is plenty of cheap accomodation, but we stayed at the The Hills+62-752 35 000 hotel[at]thehillsbukittinggi.com used to be the novotel, good location. Ok rooms. nice gardens [pictured]



    some big drum thingy in the foyer of the hotel.



    About 750,000 p/n, ($75) good location. there was 2 or 3 backpacker style cafe/beer shops, other than that, nothing to cater for western tastes, plenty of street stalls, sate and fried rice etc.

    Due to being the end of ramadan you could buy fireworks all over the place, and the locals having nothing better to do set off fireworks every 5 minutes every night from the main square centred around a stupid clock tower....… got tiresome after the first 5 minutes. I can tell you!




    market pics, I tried using the Bustak method of 'from the hip shooting' .... not too bad, need more practise I think....

    dried eels.


    serving food - wet curries are common food in sumatra



    Rendang - beef based curry is also common.


    peanuts and other snacks
    Last edited by kingwilly; 08-10-2008 at 02:08 PM.

  2. #2
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    Nice pics, Thanks. Looks nice there.

  3. #3
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    A friendly guy/Travel agent resided at one of the Cafes and ran trips

    – sightseeing, trekking, jungle lakes 150,000 rp /day. (on the back of a motorbike, I said no - we wanted a car. he could do it, cost about 500,000 Rupiah a day.

    Located at Bedual café

    +62 813 7453 7413 or fikar_bkt[at]hotmail.com or uda_karl[at]hotmail.com or Picasa Web Albums - "Fikar" LITE'n'EASY

    I didnt use him because he was on holidays while we where there.... in the end we hired a car and driver and exorbitant cost from the hotel (750,000 Rupiah/day due to Ramadan holiday) and followed the tourist trail outlined in the brochures....

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly
    bule (farang)
    Is that pronounced as in mule, rule, or bu-le?

  5. #5
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    KW: any chance of quoting the prices in baht so we have an idea if you're super rich or not...

    Oh...and nice thread ta...

  6. #6
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    some volcano crater lake.... I think it was called Maninjai



    you could hire bicycles and ride around this lake (70kms). I wasn't organised enough this time though. definitely an option for next time. Here is the number of a place with accomodation - no doubt they may be able to help, but you'll probably need good BI skills.....

    Pasir Panjang Permai
    Maninjai
    tel (0752) 611111
    fax (0752) 61255

    there is a few accommodation places around the lake also. we had lunch here.



    The town is surrounded by mountains and volcanoes.





    Mosques everywhere. most people in sumatra are muslim.



    more traditional houses.







    carrying the webber BBQ on a trip??
    Last edited by kingwilly; 09-10-2008 at 09:06 AM.

  7. #7
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    Nice but where are the women?? All you got in the photos are pics of blokes.
    Good effort. Still waiting on the "KW do Momo in HK pictorial"

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoGeAr
    Is that pronounced as in mule, rule, or bu-le?
    bu-lay

    Quote Originally Posted by klongmaster
    KW: any chance of quoting the prices in baht
    yup. but approx 10,000 Rupiah = $1 or 30 baht

    Quote Originally Posted by klongmaster
    so we have an idea if you're super rich or not...
    i aint. just spend like i am.

    I suppose AA will get on my case again now about 'showing off' I decided to include prices and phone numbers to make the thread more useful to anyone else wanting to do a trip.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travelmate
    Nice but where are the women??
    aint gonna be any pics of women, MrsKw was with me yah know!

    Quote Originally Posted by Travelmate
    Still waiting on the "KW do Momo in HK pictorial"
    postponed due to holiday costs.....

  10. #10
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    The area of Bukkitinggi is famous for silver .... so MrsKW bought some, of course.



    and who the hell wears socks with flip flops? bladdy well ought to be shot!



    and worth a visit in town was some quite extensive Japanese war tunnels, complete with Ammo bunkers, mess halls, movie theatre etc. It only cost (3,000 or 4,000 Rupiah to get in (30 cents) and thus was a bit run down and crap.


  11. #11
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    ^ Nicely shaved leg there !!
    Last edited by JoGeAr; 08-10-2008 at 02:09 PM.

  12. #12
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    more scenery


    Harau Valley




    The car and driver dropped us off and let us walk a few kilometres up the road, really nice walk and peaceful trip. just watch the traffic.




    Lunch spot at a convention centre (100% empty) in the Harau valley, really beautiful spot. lunch was ok. had beer. total price was about ($5) - it was called Lembah Echo (Homestay, cafe, convention) - sorry no number.


    you can see the road we walked along earlier in the background.


  13. #13
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    Doesn't seem to much smoke haze in the air mate? Last time I was there this time of year I got trapped as airports closed, pilots couldn't see runways. Smoke from the burning of forest for oil palm plantations in Kalimantan that is. Okay this year or what?

  14. #14
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    there was some big bat cave... quite large and extensive, it had lights, and boadwalks and ladders all over the place. crap photos, so I will not bore you. Entry was abnotu 3,000 or 4,000 rupiah again (30 cents US). some kid wandered into this pic, but too lazy to retake. we had a 'guide' attach himself to us, and we paid good money for some stupid pics inside (not attached).


    of course low entry price means low maintainence and of course the Indo tourists scramble all over the stalagmites....

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Kerr
    Doesn't seem to much smoke haze in the air mate? Last time I was there this time of year I got trapped as airports closed, pilots couldn't see runways. Smoke from the burning of forest for oil palm plantations in Kalimantan that is. Okay this year or what?
    it was pretty clear but not the entire time. Rainy season has also started which means the air pollution gets washed out.

    Also I think west sumatra is protected a little more than east.

  16. #16
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    some waterfalls in the Harau Valley (they get bigger and more numerous in the rainy season proper)



    and what do you put at the bottom of a water fall ?

    a swimming pool!





    and of course there was a bout 1000 shops selling food and plants, including hundreds of carnivorous pitcher plants (because why leave something in the jungle when you can dig it up and sell it? )


  17. #17
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    Having spent a lazy week or so in Bukkittinggi we travelled back via taxi to Padang. (apparently the lonely planet tells us that there is a tourist train that does this trip, on sundays only, we arrived sunday, left.... hmmm. friday I guess.....)

    Padang is supposedly a largish centre on the ocean, so much hotter, but it rained almost every day.

    Public travel is quite easy in small vans called Angcots. They like to 'pimp' them up a bit....(though why spend good money on spoilers, body kits, deafeningly loud stereos and large exhausts etc on a clapped out van that is prolly worth less than $1000 is beyond me...









    and look, a New Zealand one....


    I think that guy was selling Turnips, but God knows who else other than Baldrick would be buying raw Turnips at the seaside.....

  18. #18
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    So, where's the bladdy photo with your leg sawed off? (The other ones were very nice, BTW, but I redded you as a fashion polista for wearing socks in flippies. Sorry.)

  19. #19
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    the waterfront.... you could eat lunch by the seaside (where is the whoopee-doo smilie?)



    scenery was lovely, the town was a dump. and quite provincial, dozens of people stared at me, and called out Bule. I just called out Indo and pointed back at them.

    This was a first for MrsKW and quite surprised her. I said welcome to being a white tourist.





    another common means to get around was these horse cat thingys.

    MrsKw discovered dual pricing system exists for Bules..... I tried not to say I told you so!


  20. #20
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    I read in the lonely planet that you could get a boat across the river at the south part of town and then walk around past a chinese cemetery (whoopi-doo) to Air Manis ( a famous beach area 10km south )

    10 km sounded a bit far for us to walk.... we found a taxi and began negotiating. ( I physically had to pull MrsKW away from the first one, who insulted her after she told him what she thought of his fare costs...)

    agreed with the 2nd one for 120,000 rupiah ($12 return) who told us it would take over an hour each way ( 10kms? turns out LP was wrong) and indeed it did, over a winding mountain road and much traffic, including us driving over a 2 metre embankment after begin stuck on a railway line with train bearing down on us but nowhere else to go due to traffic jams!)

  21. #21
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    once there, we joined a million other Indonesian tourists to wander in between the cars and stalls selling mama noodles, coral or hermit crabs.....








    (it was a major holiday, I suspect it is normally deserted)

  22. #22
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    Not relishing the prospect of the taxi ride home (no aircon either) we found a boat doing 10 minute joy rides and negotiated a price to take us back tp padang beach instead (200,000 Rupiah or $20) MrsKW had a fit when I told her the price, but i wasnt too concerned.





    found this little guy on the beach, left him alone after the pic!


  23. #23
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    The beach view from hotel



    was ok but We hired the same boat guys again the next day and spent the day on Palua pisang besar - an almost deserted island (apart from 3 families who rent it for $300 per year) - i'd love to buy it.



    one of the local kids climbed the tree and cut down some cocnuts for us to drink from ( 10,000 rupiah or $1)


  24. #24
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    Nice pics KW
    I used to go to Sumatra from Malaysia about once a month but never got further than Pekanbaru ( was work related as well so never got the chance to see the countryside properly )

    What used to make me laugh ( and your thread reminded me of it ) was that I used to take the ferry from Melaka to Dumai and I was the only one without leg chains or handcuffs on !!!
    The rest were illegal immigrants being deported back to Indon !
    The return trip was even funnier!!
    At Melaka there were about 5 immigration police and when the ferry pulled alongside they were just swamped by the illegals pushing through the immigration hall into taxis that their mates had lined up outside waiting !!!
    Happy Days!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly View Post

    and who the hell wears socks with flip flops? bladdy well ought to be shot!


    The sign of a seasoned traveler. One never knows when they might be caught w/o toilet paper.

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