HomeBlogs Padang City Padang is the capital of West Sumatra. The town is quite nice and
deserves a longer visit. The main sights in the city include
Adityawarman Museum (close to the bus station) in a traditional
Minangkabau house and featuring a good collection of antiques and the
cultural center where we can see traditional dances on Sundays. It is an
arts institute, which often stages Minang dance and pencak silat
(martial arts) performance. The cultural center also offers free tours
to the city.
Padang has several houses built in traditional architecture,
including Padang Museum, which houses objects of cultural and historical
interest. Its beach on Bungus bay with its white sands is good for
swimming, boating or just watching the fishing boats going out to sea in
the afternoon. Small boats can be hired from here to some small islands
nearby: Sirandah, Sikoai, Pagang, Parsumpahan.
Padang is a prosperous city and major ports, which has retained the
atmosphere of a market town. It is the third largest city of Indonesia
with a population of more than 300,000. South of Padang, the massive
Kerinci-Strait, Nature Reserve is Indonesia’s largest national parks
sprawls across a 345 sq km stretch of Jungle Mountain dominated by the
volcanic core of Mount Kerinci, which is Sumatra’s highest mountain.
Padang has some pretty beaches. The most popular ones are located south
of Padang. The beaches are good for swimming, boating or just watching
fishing boats going out in the afternoon. On Sundays, the beaches are
usually crowded with families and youngsters enjoying their weekly day
off. On other days, however, we will find the beaches deserted.
One of the most famous attractions in Padang is the renowned ‘Nasi
Padang’. Numerous restaurants serve it. One of the most famous is
Simpang Raya, which has branches throughout West Sumatra and Riau, but
also in other cities in Indonesia. When we sit down at a table, in no
time the waiter will fill the whole table with plates, containing Kari,
chicken and fish prepared in coconut curry, Rendang, meat in coconut
gravy and Dendeng Balado, thin slices of dried and fried beef served
with red chilies.
Since the 16th century Padang has been a trade centre. During the 16th
and 17th century pepper was cultivated and traded with India, Portugal,
the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. In 1663 the city came under the
Dutch authority. The city came under British authority twice, the first
time during the war between United Kingdom and the Netherlands
(1781-1784) and again when the United Kingdom managed the area for the
Netherlands during the Napoleonic wars (1795-1815). Afterwards the city
was transferred back to the Netherlands. Up to approximately 1780 the
most important trade product was gold, originating from the gold mines
in the region. When the mines where exhausted, the emphasis turned to
other products such as coffee, salts and textiles.