Photo: By Danau Maninjau.


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Bukittinggi, a mid-sized town in the hills 90 kilometres from Padang and home to the Minangkabau ethnic group, has long been on budget travellers’ itineraries, with the natural beauty surrounding the city being the big draw.

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As with much of Sumatra, tourist numbers over the past 15 years have been severely depressed, meaning that if you choose to take a motorbike outside of town, you may not see another foreigner. It’s a sad sight really as the area has much to offer those who have a bit of time on their hands to explore.

The city of Bukittinggi itself is nothing to write home about and many will spin through the attractions here in one short day. It’s the area surrounding the city that’s ripe for exploration with a motorbike -- it features wonderful villages full of traditional Minangkabau houses, the stunning volcanic lake of Lake Maninjau, the impossibly green Harau Valley and perhaps a chance sighting of one of the world’s biggest flowers, the Rafflesia.

The main road through town is called Jalan Ahmad Yani and it’s where you’ll find most of the eating options as well as a few guesthouses. Jalan Tueku Umar is another good road to walk up and down if you’re either looking for food or a place to stay. Further up over the other side of the hill you’ll find Pical Ayang, a fantastic local restaurant serving some local specialities. Turning left from this intersection, you can walk along Jalan Panorama to Panorama Park, perhaps the best tourist attraction in town, where the sunsets can be dreamy.

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Bukittinggi has all the facilities of a small town with a large hospital on Jalan Kesehatan, police posts dotted on random street corners and the post office located on Jalan Surdiman a short stroll south of town. WiFi internet is available in most guesthouses and cafes and is usually reasonable enough to conduct a brief skype call.


What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Bukittinggi.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Bukittinggi.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Bukittinggi.
 Read up on how to get to Bukittinggi.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
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