West Sumatera

West Sumatra is one of the most beautiful areas of Indonesia. It is mountainous and divided by three valleys. There are lovely lakes and spectacular volcanoes. But Minangkabau land is very special and has the most friendly population group of Indonesia. They love to talk with visitors and will tell us about their unique society. If a visitor tries to understand the culture and Minang traditions he will soon feel himself a member of the clan. He will be invited as a guest to their homes - a unique way to become acquainted with real Indonesian life. Most of our hosts and hostesses are English teachers so language will not be much of a problem. They will show us the community and explain their customs.

The land of the Minangkabau, West Sumatra has a distinct culture, which distinguishes it from the rest of the island. A land of scenic beauty with blue green lakes and mountains, West Sumatra's Centre of culture and tourism is Bukittinggi in the highlands, north of the provincial capital of Padang. Most prominent in the landscape is the horn-shaped roofs of the houses nestled in the coconut groves. The name Minangkabau means triumphant buffalo. It leads a community and family life based on a matrilineal system, which clusters around mosques and the traditional houses. As it is the women who have the properties, the men are known for their wanderlust and entrepreneurship. Traveling is considered a mark of success and therefore many of them are found "merantau" (emigrated) to other parts of the country. This is proof that many Minang or Padang restaurants, serve very spicy food, found in all major towns in the nation. The people are hospitable and eloquent in a poetic style of speech and ceremonies. Festivals are colorful occasions.

West Sumatra has a coastline where the capital is situated. The hinterland is a range of high mountains, which dip into picturesque valleys and lakes. Amongst them are the remnants of the old Minangkabau kingdom of Pagaruyung, (the art centers for silver, hand-weaving, embroidery and woodcarving).


West Sumatra province has about 49,778 sq km width, which is located between 0o 54' North Latitude and 3o 30' South Latitude and between 98o 36' and 101o 53'. The boundaries of this regency is:
North Side: Riau Province
South Side: Indian Ocean
West Side: North Sumatra Province
East Side: Jambi and Bengkulu Province

Wide Area

West Sumatra Province has 42,297.30-km2 areas. The West Sumatran coastline faces the Indian Ocean and stretches 375 km from North Sumatra province in the northwest to Bengkulu in the southeast. West Sumatra lakes include: Maninjau (99.5 km2), Singkarak (130.1 km2), Diatas (31.5 km2), Dibawah (14.0 km2), Talang (5.0 km2). West Sumatra rivers include: Kuranji, Anai, Ombilin, Suliki, Arau. The mountains & volcanoes of West Sumatra are included: Marapi (2,891 m), Sago (2,271 m), Singgalang (2,877 m), Talakmau (2,912 m), Talang (2,572 m), Tandikat (2,438 m).


The temperature of West Sumatra province has ranges between 22o C and 32o C, and the rainfall is 2,289 mm per year.


West Sumatra Province is divided among 8 regencies and 6 municipals with Padang as its capital city.

The people of this province have a strong tradition leaving their hometown to make their way of life. Indeed, West Sumatra communities (Minang) are easily found in each province of Indonesia. In 1994, the total population reached 4,265,900 people with its density amounted to 101 people per Km2. In the 1990-1994 period, the people grew at a rate 1.6% per year or in the lower level that of the population national growth amounted to 2.144% per year.


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Visiting Bukittinggi City in West Sumatera Province,Indonesia

What do tourists know about Bukittinggi City? Well, most of them recognize it as the capital of West Sumatra Province belongs to Indonesia. Some of them are even aware of its tourism potential, so they keep coming to the region over time, especially during long holidays. Not only it becomes the governmental center of West Sumatra, the city was once the capital of West Sumatra and Sumatra Province! Moreover, in the past, it was called Fort de Kock and known as the birthplace of a famous person named Mohammad Hatta. (the first vice president of Indonesia).  Visiting Bukittinggi, tourist might have known the magnificent Ngarai Sianok Canyon. For you who loves adventure destination, for sure is the best one.

Enjoying The Great View at Langkisau Hill,West Sumatera

Langkisau peak tourism object is located at the edge of the koto Painan with a height of about 500 meters above sea level and it offers an inspiring beauty. Langkisau peak is an area of excellent Pessel which have tourism potential that should be developed, because this area is at a height so that people who visit will be able to see the beautiful scenery and fascinating about the city Painan and Sago District IV of Jurai. At night, will be more lively enchanted by beautiful night scenery that  emanating from the fishing boats. Standing on the top of langkisau peak will be able to see the natural beauty of Painan City, Sago, natural beaches and the islands around the hill. Moreover, there are numbers of boat that lined up in the middle of the ocean, and the sparkling lights by fishermen chart that give enchanted hues at night.

Langkisau hill is very crowded by tourists,  not only by the beauty of natural scenery but also the romantic hill during sunset at the horizon; the orange hue that bounced above sea level will be obviously seen from the hilltop. What a tremendous moment seeing this scene with our love one and saying grace to the Almighty by His beauty.


Siberut Island,The Home Of Mentawai Tribe-West Sumatera

Becomes part of Mentawai Islands, Siberut is the largest island at the northernmost and becomes the main important island for Mentawai People.  The Mentawai tribe still maintains the lifestyle and traditions passed down from their ancestors from thousands of years ago. They live in houses locally called ‘uma’, made from wooden scaffolds which house contains several families each.

Siberut is located in the Indian Ocean, approximately 100 km off the west coast of West Sumatra, and separated from the main island by the Mentawai Strait. The island lies some 155 km from the province’s capital city of Padang. Those who love nature and craving for beautiful scenery, Pulau Siberut invites the adventure thirsty to come and explore all the wealth it possesses, including the rich culture, customs, and exotic tropical environment.

Exploring Siberut can be done by trekking in the protected tropical forests and this very much recommended, while, enjoying the scenery around the island, that is another interesting adventure to be had. Other activities during staying in Siberut is boating, rowing, trekking through the (sometimes muddy) forest paths, enjoying the beauty of the rainforest, as well as observations of the rare species of both plants and animals.

Much of the island is protected and it has been set to become a national park since 1993, known by the name of Taman Nasional Siberut. The Siberut National Park is one of the Biosphere Reserves working in conjunction with the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Program (MAB).

The Siberut National Park is home to four types of wildlife primates found only in Siberut, they are Bokkoi (Macaca pagensis), Lutung Mentawai / Joja (Presbytis Potenziani Siberug), Bilou (Hylobates klossii), and Simakobu (Nasalis siberu concolor) . In addition to these endemic primates, there are also 4 different types of endemic squirrel species, 17 mammals, and 130 species of birds (4 of which are endemic).

To explore the Siberut National Park, it will be better to have visiting report on the National Park Office, at Kantor Taman Nasional Siberut. Jl. Khatib Sulaiman No 46. Gedung ex. Kanwil Kehutanan lt. 3 Padang, West Sumatra.
To reach Siberut in the Mentawai islands, you must first fly to Padang, capital of West Sumatra. There are a number of domestic flights to Padang from Jakarta,Medan, Bali and other cities in Indonesia. There are international flights from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to Padang.

From Padang’s Minangkabau International Airport, which is the primary airport of West Sumatra located about 20 km from Padang, you will make your way to the port at Muara Padang by bus or taxi. From there, the visitors using the ferry or boat to cross the Indian Ocean to Pulau Siberut. Located approximately 155 km from Padang,  the trip to Siberut will take approximately 12 hours of traveling by ferry. The ferry will take you directly to Muara Siberut, the port on Pulau Siberut, the only island in the Mentawai Islands which has a regular ferry to Padang, West Sumatra.

If you depart from the Minangkabau International Airport there are small rental planes available on Tiger Air or SMAC which can take you toTuapejat on Pulau Sipora, part of the Mentawai cluster and near to Pulau Siberut. After that, you can rent a boat for a trip of around 3 to 4 hours to Muara Siberut on Pulau Siberut.

Mentawai Tribe

At Siberut, there are at least 30,000 people of Mentawai tribe, who live isolated from the modern community. The Mentawai tribe is said to have migrated to the Mentawai islands from Nias island to the north, living an isolated life here for centuries until been “discovered” by the Dutch in 1621.

The tribe has its own language, culture, customs and some still profess a belief in animism. Mentawai people has very humble and simple appearence , where Mentawai men wear only a loincloth made from the bark of the gum tree, while women only wear a simple skirt made of palm or banana leaves.

Besides clothing, they also recognize a certain “timeless clothing”; their proud and characteristic Mentawai tribal tattoo, which sometimes entails tattooing the whole body in the traditional way, following a variety of tribal rituals. It is a common to see Mentawai people covered from head to toe in tattoos. Their main food is sago and they raise pigs and hunt monkeys for their daily food.

The Old Town Sawah Lunto, West Sumatera

Sawahlunto is one of provinces in Indonesia, precisely in West Sumatera, Indonesia. This town is located in 95KM Northeast of Padang and surrounded by 3 districts in West Sumatera, which is Tanah Datar, Solok and Sijunjung. Sawahlunto is divided into 4 sub-districts and it has 273,45 km², with populated by 54.000 people. During Dutch civilization, Sawahlunto was popular as coal mining town. After being a death town, during the closing of the mining, Sawahlunto nowadays becomes the growing city with multi-ethnicity inside the community, and awarded as the best old city in Indonesia.

Sawahlunto was build since 1888, and there are so many old building standing still today, witnessing the times and facing many tragedies inside the city. Most of the buildings are decided to be cultural heritage building by local government and become one of attractions in this city.