Padang

Padang is the capital city of West Sumatra, Indonesia.

For other places with the same name, see Padang (disambiguation).

Understand

Padang, the capital of the province of West Sumatra, is mostly used by tourists as an access point to Bungus Bay, the surfing sites of the Mentawai Islands, the inland hills of Bukittinggi, and the Kerinci Seblat National Park.

That said, the city is very pleasant with a nice promanade along the beach, distinctive Padang architecture and wonderfully friendly people. The city is also the home of the delicious Padang food and the town is stuffed with restaurants and street stalls. The locally available guidebook 'Sozzie Sumatra' can be referred to on arrival for upcoming local events and a current 'what to do' section.

Get in

By plane

Minangkabau International Airport (Bandara Internasional Minangkabau - BIM) (PDG), located 23 km north-west of Padang, is the main gateway to West Sumatra, with frequent flights to destinations throughout Sumatra and Java such as Indonesia Garuda-Indonesia, Sriwijaya Air, Lion Air, Citilink, as well as Kuala Lumpur (AirAsia). Direct flight to and from Padang, are only available from

Visas are available on arrival. From the airport, the cheapest way to get into the city is by Damri (bus) for a fare of Rp 23,500 (2015) per person. Its route passes by the major hotels in Padang. Other alternatives include taxis or pre-arranged rental cars.

A Rp 100,000 departure tax is levied on outbound international flights and Rp 35.000 on domestic flights.

By train

Rail transport to Padang are limited, the only passenger trains running is a twice-daily service from Padang Panjang. This connection can be quite useful if traveling from Jakarta overland.

The main station is Padang Station,

Get around

Crazily-decorated Angkots run along the two main roads. Prices for a trip are approximately Rp2,000. You can get taxis from the Minangkabau International Airport to town for less than Rp50,000 if you speak the language.

Unfortunately if you are white or black, Minang people are well known to be good business people, and are quite skilled at making you pay a few extra thousand rupiah. That being said, don't start squabbling over 50 cents here or there.

There are several alternatives that you can choose for transportation in Padang, such as bus kota (for city bus transportation), angkutan kota (for transportation in the city), taxi, and car rental. Most public transportations are not very safe and clean compared to international standard. During rush hour, you can see the buses overcrowded. Be careful with your valuables as sometimes there are pickpockets and thieves taking advantage while riding on the public transport, though this is very rare.

If you're looking to spend a few days in Padang, car rental is the preferred way to go around. All car rentals include the driver, who can also act as your guide. It's not recommended for tourists to drive around because road signs are not followed by the locals and courtesy while driving almost do not exist in Indonesia.

If you are in Padang, Bukittinggi and If need taxi with always use argo, Blue Bird Taxi and Grab Taxi apps can be downloaded for free. Fill the departure and arrival points and google map will show the map and the taxis and also estimation cost in a range. Choose the taxi will be used and the taxi will comes not more than 5 minutes. Only qualified taxis and qualified drivers can join the apps.

If you are in Padang, Bukittinggi and Payakumbuh, you can download Grab Taxi app for free in your smartphone. Padang is the second city in Indonesia served by Grab Taxi which only qualified taxi operators and qualified taxi drivers are allowed to join Grab Taxi. It safe, monitoring by GPS, no haggle, you choose by yourself which taxi you prefer which is showed in Google Maps, there are estimation cost range and pay same with the (argo)meter. Use taxi is not always more expensive than use rental car.

See

Do

Relaxing is the main thing to do in here. This city more to administrative city. Honestly there isn't too much to do here in the down town. But if you go to the up town, some interesting spots await to be explored. These include 'Sikuai Island", Lubuk Minturun river (a 'natural jacuzzi') and Bungus Bay (crystal water river), all in southern Padang.

Pool is a popular sport to play and there are a few places dotted around.

The nightlife is relatively dull because Padang is a minor city and a rather devout Muslim community. Bars are available at Hotel Bumi Minang, but don't expect alcohol.

If you can find your way down to Chinatown and get some Kripik Padang (crackers, available in two flavors: spicy and sweet), that could be a good idea, too. In Chinatown, you also can explore the mixture of Minang-Chinese food.

Surfing

 This a very good surf spot fort beginners with a beach break and not to big waves. It is working during low season, too, but waves can be inconsistent. A few options for renting surfboards along the beach. Price around 50000rp/per board/per day Direction: Angkot from the market to the beach, fare 5000rp, last trip at 5pm

Buy

There are a lot of stores on the side of the road, much like anywhere in Indonesia. There are two malls, Minang Plaza, which is smaller and better for your more supermarket / basic clothing needs. There is a bit of Western Food at Plaza Andalas in the form of Papa Ron's Pizza.

Shopping at Andalas is a little bit better, but at this point in time, the malls are more downscale, mainly local products and local shops. No big retailers here. Brand names aren't really easy to find. You could find a few surfing items at Andalas plaza - but that's about it.

There is a Gramedia across the road from Andalas Plaza also.

Eat

Padang is famed throughout Indonesia for spicy Padang food (masakan Padang). Ordering at a Padang restaurant couldn't be easier: just sit down at a table, and watch the dishes pile up. Eat what you like, as you'll only pay for dishes you've actually consumed. Famous dishes include:

Padang dishes can use rather unusual ingredients though, including internal organs like hearts, lungs and even brains. All Padang dishes are Halal, due to the Islamic root of Minang people.

Some Westerner-friendly restaurants:

Local delicacies

Drink

The only real bars you will find are at the major hotels. This is a very Islamic community and therefore the influence of alcohol is minimal. That being said, beer is for sale at the major supermarkets, Suzuya, etc. Bintang is about all you will find. If you are feeling game, the traditional market could be something you might want to visit, as hard liquor such as Johnny Walker may be available there.

Hard liquor is also available at several warungs (small shops on the side of the road) and it is quite easy to obtain cheap vodka, whisky or rum. The going rate for a 250ml bottle of spirits is Rp. 23,000.

The best nightclubs in Padang are Hotel Pangeran Beach, Rocky Hotel, Ambacang hotel (the newest hotel) and Queen.

Sleep

Pantai Air Manis

Stay safe

Padang lies right on a fault line and is frequently hit by earthquakes. The last one, in September 2009, killed over 1,100 people, and destroyed many buildings.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, September 13, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.