Padang, the capital city of Sumatra, is a tropical paradise.This lush city serves as a gateway for surfers going to the Batu Islands, Mentawai Islands and West Sumatran Highlands. Beautiful sunsets await visitors at Padang Beach, also known for its many food stalls and restaurants. If you like spicy food, Padang will not disappoint, for this paradise is also widely known throughout Indonesia for its cuisine. But make sure you don’t wait too long to order as many dishes are prepared just once a day and customers select their favorites until all the food is consumed. Rendang, a spicy meat stew, is one of the most popular dishes.
Be sure to visit the Adityawarman Museum, which specializes in the history and culture of the Minangkabau people. For whitewater rafting while in Padang, take an excursion on the Batang Kuranji River. For a relaxing day, take a leisurely stroll through Taman Budaya, Padang’s cultural park, and ride the bendi, a horse-drawn carriage, along the beach. Travellers can enjoy world-class shopping in Ramayana and, during the late evening, escape to Ambacang Bar and Club, one of the few places to party in this quiet Muslim community.
When To Go
Padang has a tropical climate, meaning you should pack your umbrella and raingear because of frequent rain. Padang is one of Indonesia’s wettest cities, so if you want to stay dry, plan on visiting Padang in February, since it’s the driest month of the year. You can expect seven to eight hours of daily sunlight from January through October, after which sunlight drops to six hours a day.
- January and February: average highs near 30°C (86°F)
- January and February: lows near 24°C (75°F)
- Padang is one of Indonesia’s wettest cities; February is the driest month
The Minangkabau International Airport is not far from Padang and is the main entryway to West Sumatra. Flights run all day to Sumatra, Java, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. You can pick up your visa when you arrive to the airport.
Damari bus is the most economical way to travel back and forth from the airport. You can also take a taxi or pre-arranged rental car.
Wildly decorated angkots that run along two main roads can be your transportation in Padang. Other alternatives include the city bus, taxi, and car rental. Car rental is the most preferred way to travel in Padang if you are planning to stay for more than a day.
Your car rental comes with a driver, who can also be your personal guide in Padang.
Padang General Information
Home to well over 800,000 people, Padang is a major city in Indonesia and the capital of the province of West Sumatra. As a vital commercial, economic and cultural hub, Padang is a sumptuous feast for contemporary visitors to digest. A fortuitous location on the island of Sumatra certainly helps matters. As the sixth largest island on the planet, Sumatra is a veritable country within a country and has a population of over 50 million people. As a specific travel destination and gateway to the incomparable island as a whole, Padang is both superb and convenient.
The city sits across the Strait of Mentawai from the Mentawai Islands, a chain of about seventy islands and islets coveted by surfers and ecotourists alike. As such, Padang is a prominent hive of activity and trade. Like much of Sumatra however, Padan was little more than a coastal village back in the early 16th century. The appearance of the Dutch East India Company would alter all that of course and indeed, spur a period of irreparable change in Indonesia as a whole. For visitors today, Padang’s place as the heart of Minangkabau culture and cuisine makes it a magnetic destination. Worthwhile points of interest include the Museum Adityawarman and Beach Promenade. Above all else of course, the Strait of Mentawai coast is the primary allure of Padang.
Attractions & Activities
- Museum Adityawarman
- Sitti Nurbaya Bridge
- Museum Perjuangan Tri Daya Eka Dharma
- Beach Promenade
- Semen Padang F.C. at Haji Agus Salim Stadium
- Padang Night Market
- Lake Maninjau
- Padang Festival
- Sikuai Island
Restaurant & Nightlife
- Nelayan Restaurant
- Mirama Café
- Pagi Sore
- Simpang Raya
- France Modern Bakery
Nightlife in Padang is restricted to a string of hotels on the coast, where a few bars and clubs proliferate.
Padang has a tropical rainforest climate, with very heavy precipitation throughout the year and temperatures between 23°C and 30°C.
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