Raun Maninjau - Bukit Tinggi (day three)

We start the day by driving to Koto Gadang, Koto Gadang is a village between Singgalang Mountain and Ngarai Sianok. It is located 920-950 above sea levels. Starting with farmers and gold-smith, this village has lots of scholar with high education and respected leaders. This place is very popular for its silver-smiths.

We move to Puncak Lawang Lawang, a name of a plateau in Agam District located 1.210 meters above sea level. From this place, we can view the blue Lake Maninjau. From here we can see the whole view of Lake Maninjau. In the colonial era, it was used as a resting place of the Dutch nobility. Nowadays often used for international class paragliding championship because it is one of the best spots in Southeast Asia. To achieve the Puncak Lawang, we will pass the 44-turns (Kelok 44).

Look at this breathtaking view of Lake Maninjau.  Lake Maninjau has an area of approximately 16 km long and 7 km wide. The average depth is 105 m, with a maximum depth of 165 m. The natural outlet for excess water is the Antokan river, located on the west side of the lake. It is the only lake in Sumatra which has a natural outlet to the west coast. Most of the people who live around Lake Maninjau are ethnically Minangkabau. Villages on the shores of the lake include Maninjau and Bayur.

Maninjau is a notable tourist destination in the region due to its scenic beauty and mild climate. It is also used as a site for paragliding.

The Maninjau caldera was formed by a volcanic eruption estimated to have occurred around 52,000 years ago. Deposits from the eruption have been found in a radial distribution around Maninjau extending up to 50 km to the east, 75 km to the southeast, and west to the present coastline. The caldera has a length of 20 km and a width of 8 km.

Today we are trekking from up the viewing point to down the lake...

Villagers house near the lake...


Ngarai Sianok / Sianok Canyon is a steep valley (ravine) located in the border town of Bukittinggi, it has a very beautiful view and also one of the attractions mainstay of the province.
Sianok Canyon's ravine is about 100 m depth, stretching along 15 km with a width of about 200 m, and is part of the fault which separates the island of Sumatra in half lengthwise. This fault forming a steep wall, even perpendicular and form a green valley-the result of decreased movement of the earth (sinklinal) -which fed Sianok rod (rod means river, in Minangkabau language) that the water is clear. In the Dutch colonial era, this gap also known as karbouwengat or buffalo sanget, because the number of free-living wild buffalo in the bottom of the canyon.

Sianok rods can now be forded by using canoes and kayaks. On the river banks we can still see many rare plants such as Rafflesia and medicinal plants, and there are some wild animals such as long-tailed monkey, gibbon, mitered, deer, wild boar, leopard, and tapir (its a large herbivorous mammal, similar in shape to a pig, with a short, prehensile snout).

I hope this information inspires you all to visit the place, or at least giving you ideas for where to go...
thank you all for stopping by...

Raun Minang - Bukit Tinggi (day two)

Batusangkar (batu: stone/rock, sangkar: cage) is the capital of the Tanah Datar regency of West Sumatra, known as "the city of culture".

The town is near the former Minangkabau royalty established by Adityawarman in Pagaruyung, represented by the reconstructed Pagaruyung Palace. A number of stones bearing inscriptions in Sanskrit left by Adityavarman that remain in the region are the first written records in West Sumatra. After the death of Adityavarman (1375) no more stone inscriptions were produced. Adityawarman was a king of Malayapura, a state in central Sumatra. He was the cousin of Jayanegara, king of Majapahit in 1309–1328, and the grandson of Tribhuwanaraja. Adityawarman was awarded the senior minister of Majapahit (Wreddamantri) and used this authority to launch Majapahit military expansion plans and conquered east coast region in Sumatra. Adityawarman then founded the royal dynasty of Minangkabau in Pagaruyung and presided over the central Sumatra region to take control of the gold trade between 1347 and 1375.

Batu Basurek / Prasasti Pagaruyung. It is a group of stone which are carved with Javanese Sanskrit. Each stone explaining the life, family tree, and other significance date of things that are happening during that era.


Ustano Rajo Alam (located between Kota Batusangkar dengan Silinduang Bulan Palace); is the cemetery of the Kings of Pagaruyung. There are 13 tombs here. The tombstone looks like a P megalith, unlike nowadays tombstone, these ones do not have writings on them.


Pagaruyung Palace is the royal palace of the former Pagaruyung Kingdom. Located in Tanjung Emas subdistrict near Batusangkar town. It was built in the traditional Minangkabau Rumah Gadang, vernacular architectural style, but had a number of atypical elements including three stories structure and larger dimension compares to common rumah gadang.
Although today there is no king or royal family resides in this palace, since the Pagaruyung Kingdom was disbanded in 1833, the palace still held in high esteem among Minangkabau people as the descendants of scattered Minang nobles (bangsawan) still seeks their root and link to the former royal house of Pagaruyung. The palace has been destroyed by fire for several times, in 1804, 1966 and 2007. It has been rebuilt again and today function as museum and popular tourist attraction.
The palace was destroyed by fire on the evening of February 27, 2007 after the roof was struck by lightning. It was estimated only 15 percent of valuable artifacts survived the fire. Today the surviving artifacts were stored in Balai Benda Purbakala Kabupaten Tanah Datar (Archaeology Authority of Tanah Datar Regency). The heirloom of Pagaruyung Kingdom are stored in Silinduang Bulan Palace, located about 2 kilometer from Pagaruyung Palace. Restoration of the building has taken six years and an estimated US$1,9 million to complete. The building was completed and inaugurated by Indonesian President in October 2013.


Silinduang Bulan Palace

You can read details of Silinduang Bulan Palace here

Funny spiraled coconut tree


Rumah Tuo Kampai Nan Panjang, in Balimbing. This house is 300 years old, making it the oldest house in all Bukit Tinggi. It has 7 rooms and like all the longhouse in general, this house was built without using nails to connect all the wooden frame, beams, etc.


Ombilin river


Lake Singkarak, located between the cities of Padang Panjang & Solok with area of 107.8 km², approximately 21 km long and 7 km wide. The natural outlet for excess water is the Ombilin river which flows eastward to the Strait of Malacca. A hydroelectric project however has diverted most of the lake outflow to the Anai river which flows westward into the Indian Ocean near Padang. This Singkarak power station uses this water to generate power for West Sumatra & Riau provinces. A species of fish called ikan bilih / bilis (Mystacoleucus padangensis) is endemic to the lake, and is harvested for human consumption, I am telling you; it is superrrrrrr yummie!!!!
A railway line, which connects Padang & Sawahlunto-Sijunjung, skirts the length of the lake on the eastern side. I was told that it is quiet a ride, and I miss it, one day I 'll be back and doing the train tour for sure!

thank you all for stopping by...

Bukit Tinggi (day one)

Bukittinggi (Indonesian for "high hill") is the second biggest city in West Sumatra, Indonesia, it's in the Minangkabau Highlands, 90 km by road from the West Sumatran capital city of Padang. The whole area is directly adjacent to the Agam Regency. It is located near the volcanoes Mount Singgalang (inactive) and Mount Merapi (still active). At 930 m above sea level, the city has a cool climate with temperatures between 16.1° to 24.9°C.

 The city was known as Fort de Kock in colonial times in reference to the Dutch outpost established here in 1825 during the Padri War. The fort was founded by Captain Bauer at the top of Jirek hill and later named after the then Lieutenant Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies, Hendrik Merkus de Kock.

The Dutch hilltop outpost Fort de Kock is connected to the zoo by the Limpapeh Bridge pedestrian overpass.

food... glorious food...

Taman Bundo Kanduang park. The park includes a replica Rumah Gadang (literally: big house) with the distinctive Minangkabau roof architecture) used as a museum of Minangkabau culture and a zoo.

Ngarai Sianok (Sianok Canyon)

Lubang Jepang (Japanese Caves) — a network of underground bunkers and tunnels built by the Japanese during World War II

thank you all for stopping by...