Padang Panjang

Padangpanjang is a town in West Sumatra, Indonesia.

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Padangpanjang is a university town and houses the high profile and growing Arts Academy STSI, and there are often performers rehearsing or who know of late night village gigs you can find out about if you hook up with some of the local or foreign students there. Either contemporary or traditional performing arts not on the tourist books. If you are around for a while you might even do a deal on some flute or drum lessons. Be sure to cross their palm with silver for their efforts - they are struggling professional artists and students with exams and festival commitments. The tiny cafes around the campus can sometimes prove fruitful for meeting artists. There is also a private library/drop-in centre for performing arts resources if you have such an interest, on Jl Puti Bungsu, where Indra Utama will be able to direct you to more cultural resources.

So, either work out a fee for a period of time (eg: "satu jam" means 1 hour; satu-setengah jam means 1 and a half)or just wing it and ask the driver to take you round-about mau jalan-jalan keliling. Ke mana he will say (where) and just say ke sana (there) and then just point as you go - its a slow pace great way to look at life in the region - you can go out to Batipuh for example, spend about half your time and then get him to take you back to the market. It's relatively cheap and you don't really have to know where you are going. You can do the same anywhere of course, for example, from Bukittinggi charter a whole day and go down into ngarai sianok. Don't expect them to go down the main highway though. If you want a faster pace charter an ojek motorbike taxi. Some are students and may speak a little English. They charge a lot more though cover more territory and you are probably in bit too close proximity to the driver if you are a woman. They have strict rules on gender protocols and hence will take a mile if a situation gives them an inch. Beware.

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, June 22, 2013. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.