Padang-Bukit Tinggi-Batu Sangkar-Paya Kumbuh

On Day 1, without wasting time, Del brought us to Pantai Air Manis via the hill top (a shorter route, he said) where we stopped to see the sea from it. Amazing. After that, we toured the old Padang area, went past the 'chinatown' and stopped to see the fishermen warf along the Batang Arau river.
Sungai Batang Arau.
We ate a delicious lunch at a small roadside restaurant before visiting the museum (above) which is still under renovation. Lucky we were as the museum project coordinator was on her shift and was able to answer to our queries about their history. We were also allowed to stop and enter the huge but still under construction, mosque with an elaborate design of its kind. Because of fatigue, we slept most of the way to Bukit Tinggi and was awakened when Del stopped at the Lembah Anai waterfall which is on the roadside. Nothing to shout about but still it's awesome. The entrance ticket is Rp2050 a person if you want to go nearer and take a bath or pictures.
Then we passed the town of Padang Panjang which nice, pretty and colorful houses lined the road. I like the window designs and the small doors as they reminded me of the houses in western countries. We reached BT late evening, chosed a hotel and got some rest. That night we ate satay, murtabak mesir and local soups at the busy roadside. Not to our taste.
On Day 2, we went on one hour ride to Batu Sangkar at the southeast of BT. There we got to see Istana Basa Ruyung or Istana Pagaruyung which is almost completed after being burnt for the upteenth time for being struck by lightning (so many buildings under construction hehe). My daughters seized the opportunity to wear the Minangkabau costumes which cost me Rp215K plus 5 med sized photos of us in the costumes.
 Istana Basa Ruyung
The carving details

After spending about 2+ hours there, we set out to our next destination, Paya Kumbuh which is east of BT. On the way there, we stopped for a great lunch at RM Pondok Flora which provided such a beautiful setting surrounded by paddy fields. At the restaurant, a few vendors sat outside selling cheap telekungs, batik sarongs and pelekats and souveniers. Do haggle for  lower prices but you should know the price facts well. We should have a pity on them, too. Continuing our trip to PK, Del then brought us to  see the Panorama Tabek Patah where we stopped for half an hour. We paid the entrance ticket of Rp1500 a person and took a few pictures of the not-so-breathtaking view. You won't miss it if you don't go.
 Pondok Flora
Tabek Patah
Cinnamon tree logs and sticks along the road leading to the entrance of Tabek Patah.

From Tabek Patah, it took us one hour to reach Paya Kumbuh the land of the Harau waterfalls. Here, we paid Rp10K a person at the entrance. There are 3 or 4 waterfalls at different locations. The biggest one has a rock climbing site nearby. Since we didn't plan to jump into the pool of water, we sat there watching other people with children while eating grilled corn cobs and tasting 'kripik berkuah'. Del was never far away from us. At Harau, I persuaded my other half to buy acquarium 'wood accessories' which are cheap but proved to be something else when I tried to pack them in the luggage. There also I found  weird plants which are called 'pohon ekor monyet'.

The entrance fee to Harau Waterfalls is Rp10,000

 The biggest, next to the rock climbing section
Hidden behind the small jungle covering (below)
We left the waterfalls and travelled back to BT and on the way we stopped at a mosque to pray. It's comforting to know that this place of worship is quite abundance in this part of the world. Before the night fell, Del brought us to one of our last stops of the day, one of several famous embroidery centres, Butik Hajja Rosmah. Just for window shopping. Since we didn't buy anything here, Del took us to Pandai Sikek but unfortunately, the outlet we went to were out of stocks. Other outlets were already closed for the night.


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