7 Places To Visit Around Bukit Tinggi

The scenic town of Bukittinggi is the perfect base for a trip to West Sumatra. Its relatively central location allows you to reach many of West Sumatra’s tourist attractions.Bukit tinggi itself is one of the region’s favorite spots for recreational travel. It is not hard to find accommodation to suit all budgets, transportation, tours and souvenir shops.Here are the top seven places around Bukittinggi to visit.

Bukit Tinggi
Nestled in the highlands north of Padang in the Agam valley, the town of Bukittinggi or ‘high hill’ is West Sumatra’s cultural center. While Padang may be the modern commercial and administrative hub, Bukittinggi is a bustling market town.

Although it is less than a degree south of the equator, Bukittinggi has a refreshingly cool climate due to its elevation – over 900 meters above sea level. While it rains here often, this is not enough to deter travelers who come to enjoy what many claim is the most hospitable city in Sumatra.The town also has an alternative name, Tri Arga, which refers to the three majestic mountains that shape the regions fortunes.

Many visitors come to Bukittinggi to visit the remarkable Ngarai Sianok Canyon where giant rock cliff faces, rugged trees which grow on top and the dramatic surrounding mountains make this canyon a spellbinding view.

This is an ideal place to go if you want to get beyond the average tourist trail. Compared to other spots in Sumatra, Bukkitinggi only receives a handful of visitors that use the town as a base for nearby hikes or to take cultural tours to the Minangkabau highland.

A flight from Jakarta to Minangkabau International Airport in Ketaping will take about 2 hours. From there you can use a taxi or bus to get to Bukittinggi.Bukkittinggi is a pleasant two-hour drive (90 km) from Padang through the gorgeous Anai Valley up to Agam Plateu.There are frequent local buses from Padang to Bukkitinggi or cheaper shared minivans which depart from Minang Plaza.

Istano Basa Pagaruyung

7 Places To Visit Around Bukittinggi
As an icon of West Sumatra, the rumah gadang , or the grand house – can be seen in many parts of the province . The Rumah gadang are large elegant houses, solid wooden structures, beautifully carved and are easily recognizable as “Minangkabau” by their sweeping roofs with pointed eaves.

The Minang believe that the pointed roof is reminiscent of the legend of the water buffalo, who won for Sumatra in a fight against a large Javanese bull.  On larger buildings these roofs consist of four or five tiers, with an additional peak over a porch.  

The Minang people used to live in a monarchical society where kings and queens ruled the land.
Istano Basa Pagaruyung (Pagaruyung Grand Palace) is the legacy of such a history – despite the palace having to be rebuilt several times due to natural disasters and accidents.
Located around 40 kilometers southeast of Bukittinggi, Pagaruyung Grand Palace displays remnants of the life that the monarchs lived back then in the three-story building. You can also wear the traditional costume of the Minang people, available for rent in the palace.

The grandest and most distinctive of the rumah gadang  is  found at Batusangkar, on the road to Lake Singkarak. This is the Istana Basa Pagaruyung - or the Pagaruyung Palace – located at Tanjung Emas, Batusangkar in the Tanah Datar area.  

The Istana Basa Pagaruyung  has 5 stacked sweeping roofs, eleven sharp horns, and three storeys. It is a huge, colorful, and heavily carved palace. Completely razed in a fire on 27th February 2007, the palace has today been completely rebuilt exactly true to the original design. Lightning had hit one of the highest eaves and, further fanned by the winds, conflagration soon engulfed the entire structure, destroying the Palace including the rice barn that stood some 80 feet away. 

Songket weavers in Pandai Sikek

7 Places To Visit Around Bukittinggi
Who does not know with songket cloth? Songket fabric - fabric typical Minangkabau earth, able to amaze the eyes of the beholders. In addition to the stunning color yarn, weaving was very complicated. High expertise required to make songket cloth. Fortunately the expertise to make songket is not just disappear.

There are still people who bequeath Minang this intelligence. But these skills need to be preserved in order not to disappear into the mouths of the time. Now, we can see how the songket cloth in place of the original. Can not believe? For example there is a village in the area of ​​Padang Panjang that songket weaving livelihood. The village is known as a Pandai Sikek, Tana Flat, District Ten Koto, Koto New Village.

Location of the village was not difficult to find. When you come from the city of Padang, located a short distance after passing through the Anai Valley before entering the town of Bukit Tinggi - about 15 minutes from Anai Valley. Pandaisikek is to the left of the road. Do not get too far. Note the street sign, because we have to go about one mile into. Afterwards, we found a number of shops selling songket cloth.

There is also a straight weave in there complete with weaving tools. Not only songket course, other crafts typical Minang also made in the village is like sculpting, embroidery and needlepoint.If you arrive in West Sumatra via Minangkabau International Airport, you will most likely travel to Bukittinggi through Padang Panjang. The route will take you along a mountainous path, and halfway from Padang Panjang to Bukittinggi you will pass a village named Pandai Sikek.
Pandai Sikek is one of the best places to obtain the region’s famous hand-woven cloth called “songket”. There is a street in Pandai Sikek dedicated to stores that sell “songket” fabrics.One of the distinct features of “songket” is the use of glossy threads, giving an elegant shimmer to the fabric. That, and the fact that a “songket” can take at least four months to finish, is why the fabric can cost millions of rupiah.

Puncak Lawang

Puncang Lawang
Around 15 kilometers west of Bukittinggi is the location of Lake Maninjau. The lake is surrounded by hills, and Puncak Lawang is one of the hilltops that you can reach by vehicle and which offers stunning views of the lake.

Puncak Lawang is the name of a peak plateau in Agam regency of West Sumatra. From this place, we can meihat Maninjau blue. Puncak Lawang is located in District Matur, Agam regency, West Sumatra. This area of the peak towards Maninjau. From here we can see the whole view of Lake Maninjau

Puncak Lawang is located at 1,210 meters above sea level. In colonial times, it was used as a resting place of the Dutch nobility. Puncak Lawang is often used for international class paragliding championship because it is one of the best spots in Southeast Asia. To achieve the Puncak Lawang, we will pass the turnoff trip with 44 Curved 44.
At Puncak Lawang, there is the newly established Lawang Park, which is a rest stop area that offers lodging, meeting hall and activity packages. Lawang Park offers an amazing 360-degree view, including the picturesque view of Lake Maninjau.

Jam Gadang

Jam Gadang
Jam Gadang is an icon of Bukittinggi. In the Indonesian language, Jam Gadang means big clock and big it certainly is! This 26 meter tall clock was built in 1826 as a present from the Dutch Queen to the city secretary, Rook Maker. Its roof has been changed three times reflecting changes in the history of the town itself.

During the Dutch era, its roof was round with a rooster statue on its top. Today its roof reflects architecture of a traditional Minangkabau home.

One unique thing about this clock is its IV, as it is written as ‘IIII’. Jam Gadang is located within a 100 meter park. Near the clock is Atas Market, which is a trading center in Bukittinggi.
Visiting the Jam Gadang in Bukittinggi is almost an obligatory activity, like how you should see the Eiffel Tower when visiting Paris. The grand 26-meter high clock tower is the town’s most illustrious monument, having been built back in 1926.

Jam Gadang is one of the central points for locals’ recreational walks. As such, the place is always bustling with activities as it also attracts vendors to the area selling things.

The city’s horse-drawn taxis are also one of the services available in the clock tower area. They can be a good choice to tour the city. It will cost you Rp 100,000 (US$8.41) for a one-hour tour around the town on a buggy that can carry two to four people.

House of Mohammad Hatta

House Of Mohammad Hatta
Bukittinggi-born Mohammad Hatta is the pride of the town as he is one of Indonesia’s founding fathers and the country’s first vice president. The town is taking good care of his legacy, erecting statues and museums dedicated to his memory.

Mohammad Hatta was born in Bukittinggi, West Sumatra, Indonesia, on August 12, 1902. Although his father died while he was an infant, he was raised in a secure, well-to-do family environment which encouraged scholarly achievement and faithfulness to Islam. These characteristics became his signature during his career as one of the foremost intellectuals in the Afro-Asian anti-colonial movement

The house he grew up in at Bukittinggi is also one of Hatta’s historical buildings, now serving as a showcase of his early days – open for public visits every day. At this site, you can see the room where he was born, as well as the room he slept in during his adolescence. On the walls of the house, there are paintings and photos of him in his adult life.

The home might seem like a modest building at first glance, but more than a century ago it was considered a relatively lavish house. There are five bedrooms, a granary and a stable.

Ngarai Sianok and the Japanese Hole

Ngarai Sianok
Amid the tall hills of Bukittinggi, lies a picturesque canyon that stretches for 15 kilometers called Ngarai Sianok.The view when you are looking down the canyon from the cliff top is just majestic; kilometers of lush green canyon, and rice fields built on the canyon floor. A part of the canyon is close to the center of the town, making Ngarai Sianok another popular destination for the locals’ leisurely strolls.
The Japanese occupied Bukittinggi late in World War II, and one of their defensive measures in the area was building a bunker beneath the cliff of Ngarai Sianok. It remains one of the largest bunkers in the country, with a total length of 1,400 meters.

Entrance to the bunker is now located right beneath the sightseeing park. A guide is required for you to explore the bunker to avoid getting lost inside – which very possible due to all the tunnels looking very similar to each other.

The bunker has been renovated to be more tourist-friendly. The place used to emit a horrific vibe due to its infamous history of captivity, torture and forced labor.

Bung Hatta Forest Reserve: A Tropical Garden Paradise 

7 Places To Visit Around Bukittinggi
For botanist enthusiasts, the Bung Hatta Forest Reserve is a delight, filled with rare plants and exotic flowers. Known in the past as the Setya Mulya Botanic Garden, this botanical garden is home to a variety of unique tropical plants and animal species endemic to Sumatra. Take a walk around here and you will see plants that you might not find anywhere else on earth.

The main attraction of the reserve is the giant flower, the Rafflesia Arnolldi, the biggest flower in the world. It is named after the Bencoolen and Bengkulu Lieutenant Governor of the British Administration, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, and the botanist Joseph Arnold who first discovered the flower on the Bukit Barisan mountain slope.

This flower is a rare wonder. It takes up to 10 months to mature but only stays in bloom for about 15 days. When it’s in full bloom, it has a diameter of one meter. The plant has no roots, stems but consist of thread like growths on the vines that hosts it. These flowers normally bloom between July and September. The flower is famous not just for it’s enormous size, but for it’s putrid perfume.

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