A recent article posted in Antara News looked at calls from Mahyeldi Ansharullah, the Governor of West Sumatra, for more tourism events and promotion of the province, which has seen a drop of around 50-percent in visitor numbers and a slow recovery since the pandemic.
The provincial government of West Sumatra, through its Visit Beautiful West Sumatra (VBWS) campaign, hopes to achieve 8.2-million international and domestic tourist visits in 2023, but it’s still a relatively unexplored part of the country.
So, what can you expect to see and do if you visit West Sumatra, which is actually a picturesque province with a rich culture, natural beauty, and delicious food as well as a popular launching pad for surfers looking to explore the legendary surf breaks of Nias and The Mentawis.
Padang is the provincial capital of West Sumatra and home to around 1-million people.
Traditionally a trading centre on Sumatra’s west coast, Padang offers visitors fantastic food, historic Dutch and Chinese buildings and a museum as well as beaches to enjoy beautiful sunsets.
Located in Agam Regency, Lake Maninjau is a beautiful volcanic lake surrounded by lush green hills. You can rent a bike and ride around the lake, enjoying the scenic beauty and fresh air.
Cultural Village of Minangkabau
The Minangkabau people have a unique culture and tradition, and you can experience it first hand by visiting their cultural village, where you can see traditional houses, try local foods, and learn about their customs and beliefs.
Harau Valley is a natural wonder with towering cliffs and beautiful waterfalls. You can go for a trek and explore the valley, enjoying the serene beauty and fresh air.
About 90-kilometres north of Padang in the Bukit Barisan Mountains is Bukittinggi, once the capital of South Sumatra and birthplace of some of Indonesia’s founding fathers. Bukittinggi is also famous for the Jam Gadang, a 26-metre high clock tower and the main tourist attraction, which was built during the Dutch colonial period and is now almost 100-years old.
Try local foods
West Sumatra has some delicious food, and is famous across the country for Padang. Local delicacies include Rendang, Sate Padang, and Soto Padang. Try them at local restaurants or street vendors.
As for the best places to stay, there are several options depending on your budget and preferences. Some popular options are:
Novotel Bukittinggi: A 4-star hotel with a great location, comfortable rooms, and good facilities.
Grand Rocky Hotel Bukittinggi: A 3-star hotel with clean and cozy rooms, friendly staff, and a great view.
Padi Ecolodge: A unique eco-friendly accommodation in a rural area with beautiful scenery and organic food.
Rumah Gadang Homestay: A traditional Minangkabau house turned into a homestay, offering a unique cultural experience with comfortable rooms and friendly hosts.
Overall, West Sumatra is a great weekend destination for nature lovers and culture enthusiasts, with plenty to see, do, and eat and it’s just an hour and forty minutes away by plane from Jakarta.