- For other places with the same name, see Padang (disambiguation).
Padang is the capital city of West Sumatra, Indonesia. It 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.
The city is very pleasant with a nice promenade 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.
Padang is a considered to be the main centre of Minangkabau culture. Unusually among the world's Muslim peoples, the Minangkabau are matriarchal, with husbands moving into their wives' homes after marriage, and with family possessions being passed from mother to daughter rather than father to son.
Get in Edit
By plane Edit
- 1 Minangkabau International Airport (Bandara Internasional Minangkabau - BIM PDG IATA) (located 23 km north-west of Padang). The main gateway to West Sumatra, with frequent flights to destinations throughout Sumatra and Java (such as Garuda-Indonesia, Sriwijaya Air, Lion Air, Citilink, and Wings Air), and to Kuala Lumpur (AirAsia). Direct flights to Padang are available from: Jakarta, Batam, Medan, Bandung, Surabaya, Bengkulu and International from Kuala Lumpur.
From the airport, the cheapest way to get into the city is by Minangkabau Express Airport Train, for a fare of Rp 10,000 per person, departs only five times a day, due to the single-track railway operation.
Damri bus also connects the airport with the city for a fare of Rp 25,000 per person. Its route passes by the major hotels in Padang. The bus departs the city every hour from 04:30 and the last one at 18:00. The trip takes roughly 45 minutes depending on the traffic.
Taxis and rental cars are also available at the airport.
By train Edit
Rail transport to Padang are limited, the only passenger trains running is a service from Pariaman several times per day. This connection can be quite useful if traveling from Jakarta overland. The main station is 2 Stasiun Padang, located just off Jl. Dalam Gadung road.
By bus Edit
There are many luxury buses from Java to Padang, mostly from Jakarta and Bandung. It is a good option for the budget if you don't mind being on the road for two to three days, since flight tickets can cost more than three times of their normal price, especially during Eid Al-Fitr season.
Get around Edit
Crazily-decorated angkots run along the two main roads. Prices for a trip are approximately Rp 2,000. You can get taxis from the Minangkabau International Airport to town for less than Rp 50,000 if you speak the language.
If you are obviously foreign, Minang people are well known to be good business people and are quite skilled at making you pay a few extra thousand rupiahs. But don't bother 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 transportation is not safe and clean by international standards. During rush hour, the buses are overcrowded. Be careful with your valuables, although pickpocketing 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 self-drive, because road signs are not followed by the locals and courtesy while driving is virtually nonexistent in Indonesia.
If you need a taxi, Argo, Blue Bird Taxi and Grab Taxi apps can be downloaded for free. Fill the departure and arrival points and Google Maps will show the map and the taxis and also estimate the cost in a range. Taxis arrive within 5 minutes after being summoned. Only qualified taxis and qualified drivers can join the apps. The service is available in Bukittinggi and Payakumbuh as well.
- Jacktour Padang Car Rental, ☏ . Padang and Bukittinggi car rental services.
- CV Budi Jaya, Jl. Aur Duri Indah XVI No. 1, ☏ , , . Car rental: Innova, Avanza, Kijang, Panther, Xenia, APV, Altis, tour bus. Rp 275,000 per day (Xenia car and chauffeur).
- Padang Rent Car, ☏ . They provide cars for rent and tout their experience, cheap price and good service.
- 1 Museum Adityawarman, Jl Diponegoro, ☏ . TU-F, 07:30-15:00. State-run museum exploring regional history & culture in a traditional spire-roofed building.
- 2 Taman Budaya (Cultural Park).
- 3 Pantai Air Manis (Sweet Water Beach). It is most famed for Batu Malin Kundang (Stone of Malin Kundang), a stone shaped like a prostrating man. According to local legend, this stone is Malin Kundang, the ungrateful son who disowned his poor mother after coming home as a rich man from his travels. His mother cursed him into stone, as well as the remains of his ship, which can also be seen near his stone. There is a tidal island from the beach here, with nice clean (by Indonesian standards) water and sand.
- 4 Grand Mosque of West Sumatra (Mesjid Raya Sumatera Barat), Jl Khatib Sulaiman. A new modern large mosque that is built with Minangkabau architecture.
- 5 The Great Mosque of Ganting (Mesjid Raya Ganting), Jl Ganting. It is the oldest mosque in Padang and one of the oldest in Indonesia.
- 6 Pantai Padang (Padang Beach). You can ride the bendi (a horse-drawn carriage) along the beach, and stop by the rows of shops to eat some rujak as you watch the waves.
- 7 Siti Nurbaya Bridge (Jembatan Siti Nurbaya). A beautiful bridge especially at night. Siti Nurbaya is the eponymous character in a classical literary novel.
- You go down the south of Teluk Bayur, up and through steep hills (don't try to take a bus, there is an [Angkot] that goes all the way).
Relaxing is the main thing to do here. This is a mainly administrative city. Honestly, there isn't too much to do downtown. But if you go uptown, 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/Billiard 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 some hotels but don't expect alcohol.
If you can find your way down to Chinatown and get some kripik Padang (crackers, available in two flavours: spicy and sweet), that could be a good idea, too. In Chinatown, you also can explore the mixture of Minang-Chinese food.
- 1 dMess, Jl Thamrin No 5 (Located behind the restaurant area.). 11:00-02:00. A spacious pool hall with 21 international standard tables
- Pantai Air Manis (Sweet Water Beach) 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 Rp 50,000/per board/per day Direction: Angkot from the market to the beach, fare Rp 5000, last trip at 17:00.
There are a lot of stores on the side of the road, much like anywhere else in Indonesia. There are two malls, Minang Plaza, which is smaller and better for your more supermarket and 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.
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:
- Beef Rendang, spicy curried beef cooked until the sauce is dry.
- Soto Padang, crispy beef in spicy clear soup.
- Ayam Pop, chicken that has been boiled in coconut juice and then fried for a short time.
- Sate Padang, beef satay in curry sauce, served with ketupat (Indonesian rice cakes).
Padang dishes can use rather unusual ingredients though, including internal organs like hearts, lungs and even brains. One notable dish is Gulai Tambusu, which consists of cooked egg wrapped in cow intestines and served with a curry. All Padang/Minang dishes are Halal due to the Islamic roots of Minang people.
- 1 Lamun Ombak, Jl Khatib Sulaiman. Busiest Minangnese restaurant due to its location in the heart of the city.
- 2 Sederhana, Jl. Rasuna Said No 81A, ☏ . A national chain restaurant.
Along Jalan Ahmad Yani, you can find a few international fast food chain restaurants, including Pizza Hut, KFC, and McDonald's. Some local Westerner-friendly restaurants:
- 3 Safari Garden Cafe & Restaurant, Jalan Nipah No.21, Berok Nipah, West Padang. Daily 10:00-00:00 price=. One of the restaurants that serves Angus beef steak. Popular amongst the tourists for the extensive menu of western foods.
- 4 Waroenk Kito, Jl Thamrin No 3. Daily 11:00-22:00. Asian foods. The menu is extensive. Has indoor and outdoor seatings.
Local delicacies Edit
- 3 Rohana Kudus, Jl. Rohana Kudus No. 74, ☏ . One of the favorite places to buy snacks to bring home as gifts, including the snack the area is famed for, Kripik Balado or Kripik Sanjay.
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. 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 250-ml 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.
There are many type of accommodations that can be chosen by people if they are in Padang. Such as:
- 1 Mercure Padang, Jl. Purus IV No. 8, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. A walking distance to the beach. Rp 750,000.
- 2 Grand Inna Padang, Jl. Gereja No. 34, ☏ , email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Large hotel with a convention center. Rp 600,000.
- 3 Havilla Maranatha, Jl. Bandar Pulau Karam No. 10-D, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Homey, have good facilities; Dormitory(backpackers), Single or double room and family room; hot and cold water, hot spot internet,nice lobby, kitchen facilities, international TV channels, Location :City center, near the beach and a shopping center. Rp 85,000-270,000.
- 4 Hotel Bintang, Jln. Bandar Pulau Karam 29, ☏ . Check-out: 12:00. Fan room with own bathroom. Free wifi. from Rp 120,000.
- 5 Garuda Hotel, Jl Permindo no 4, ☏ . Check-out: 12:00. Fan single/double rooms with own bathroom. Free breakfast. Rp 145,000/175,000.
- 6 Grace Hostel Padang, Jl Batang Arau No 88 B/5, ☏ . Grace Homestay is a homestay for backpackers the air in Grace Homestay more fresh than the other place because there is a hill Gunung Padang in front of Grace Homestay. There clean and familiar Homestay during you stay in Padang. Rp 100,000.
- 7 Wisma Mutiara, Jalan Pulau Karam 149. Nice little hotel in the western part of town. It is very clean and a nice breakfast is included. Staff is very helpful and friendly. Doubles Rp 150,000-275,000.
- 8 Brigitte's Houses - Homestay & Backpackers, Jl Kampung Sebelah I No 14D (near Siti Nurbaya Bridge), ☏ . Check-out: 12:00. It has airy dorm beds & private rooms with breakfast included & free WiFi. You can also rent their motorbike for Rp 60,000 per day. Run by Ms Brigitte, a Batak gal & assisted by Mr Julian, the Aussie Indonesian-speaking handyman. Located not far from the Airport Damri bus route to the city & walking distance to Padang beach. From Rp 95,000.
- 9 Natures Inn (Opposite the Tourist Information Centre). Family-run home stay, clean and modern, dorms and double rooms, bed linen provided, shared bathrooms with seat toilets and showers, hot and cold water showers, free WiFi, fans and air-con. prices start at Rp 125,000, Rp 25,000 extra for breakfasts.
- 10 Yani's Homestay Backpacker, Jl Nipah no.1, ☏ (mobile). Check-out: 12:00. Dorm beds. Fan/A/C single/double rooms. Shared bathroom free wifi. dorm bed Rp 80,000 a/c double 160,000.
- 11 Riverside Hostel, JL Batang Arau no 66c, ☏ . Check-out: 12:00. 5-bed dorm and double rooms. Free wifi. Free breakfast. Cable TV. Hot water showers. from Rp 120,000 per person.
Pantai Air Manis Edit
- Adi's guesthouse (Angkot from Padang market to Pantai Air Manis. Rp 5000. Last angkot at 17:00), ☏ , email@example.com. Family-run home stay, clean and simple, 2 rooms with bathrooms and fan. Located on the beach, it is a small restaurant and meeting place for the local surfing community. They usually serve fried rice, fried noodles and noodle soup (mix rebus), but if the food is included with your room, you will have the chance to try the wonderful curries of Adi. Adi is very reliable and helpful. Rp 200,000 for one person all included, Rp 300,000 for two. Surfboards are included in the package, but can be rented separately at Rp 50,000 per day (prices in 2018).
Stay safe Edit
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 Edit
- Bukittinggi : Rp 20,000, 2 hours.
- Bungus Bay : Rp 10,000, 1 hour.
- Kerinci Seblat National Park - one of the largest in Indonesia
- Mentawai Islands - surfer paradise
- Nagari Sungai Pinang
- Padang Panjang
- Lake Toba : catch a bus from the A.L.S. bus station (5 km from the city centre) to Parapat overnight, from Rp 120,000 to Rp 200,000. There is one leaving at 14:00.
- Medan : catch an overnight bus from the A.L.S. bus station (5 km from the city centre), from Rp 120,000 to Rp 200,000. There is one leaving at 14:00.