Traditional House Pedicab
Minang people are definitely friendly people, very rarely in bad moods nor with bad intentions, youngsters frequently approach foreigners in a charming and funny way, sometimes even forcing themselves to overcome their modesty. Padang is one of the safest city in Indonesia.
Although the population of West Sumatra is diverse, the main ethnic group is the Minangkabau people (buffalo in local dialect), well known over Indonesia for its matrilineal system and its uniquely buffalo–like roof architecture. They speak their own dialect of the Indonesian language known as Minang.
Islam is the predominant religion throughout the Province and Catholic and Buddhist minorities are well integrated; churches and temples stand next to the numerous Mosques in an open–minded atmosphere. The bustling and noisy historical centre of the city extends from the old harbour and merges old buildings from the Dutch colonial era with Chinese influences; it suffered sever damages during the 2009 earthquake.
The Padang spicy cuisine is famous all over Indonesia. 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 & green (!) chilies.
- Old Town of Padang. This historical town of Padang with many old buildings and a colouful harbour with Dutch architecture is Padang’s main attraction. It’s located beside the Muaro River. Walk along the beautiful pedestrian at the river bank with a row of old Dutch buildings. On the river there is a historical harbour of Padang built by Dutch. Now the harbour and the river is full of colourful little boats. There’s also a beautiful bridge on the river, Sitti Nurbaya Bridge with colourful lights on night. Still in the old town, there’s an old Chinatown with many old shophouses. There’s a beautiful old Chinese temple, See Hien Kiong Temple and a beautiful old mosque, Muhammadan Mosque.
- Adityawarman Museum. Jl. Diponegoro (Lapangan Tugu), +62 752 31523, 39587, Tu-Sa 08:00-16:00. A museum about culture and heritage of West Sumatra.
- Grand Mosque of West Sumatra, a new modern large mosque that is built with Minangkabau architecture. The Mosque is located on Jalan Khatib Sulaiman, city centre of Padang.
- The Great Mosque of Gantiang. Located in Gantiang, it’s the oldest mosque in Padang and one of the oldest in Indonesia.
- Air Manis 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.
- 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. It is recommended that you get a glass of naga (dragon fruit) juice from one of the stalls that line the beach and drink it as you enjoy a leisurely stroll down the shore.