How to come to Padang and other tourism destination on West Sumatra province
As the capital city of West Sumatra province, Padang have the international airport named Minangkabau International Airport/ BIM, situated at 23 KM of north west Padang city. The BIM have a frequent flights destination to several airport in Sumatra island, Java island, and to Singapore with Tiger Airways, also Kuala Lumpur with Air Asia.
The cheapest way to get in Padang city from the BIM is by DAMRI bus with fare IDR 15,000/ person (it can be change lately). Luckily DAMRI route will passes by a major hotel in Padang city, so that it is another advantage from it. Beside DAMRI, there are taxis and a rental cars, but unfortunately the cost not flat, very not recommended for backpacking traveler.
From Padang when you want to continue your trips to other tourism destination on West Sumatra you can take a public transportation-asking more information on your hotel front office-, but there are bad news; the cost will little extra IDR when you are a foreign and not an international standard kind of public transportation.
Just be sure you can speak Bahasa or at least you can understand it and never hesitate to bargain. And be sure to protect your worthy things when you take a public transportation or even where ever you go actually.
Shopping in Padang
In Padang city, there are several modern market;
1. Plaza Andalas, situate at down town, near by Padang beach and several major hotel in Padang.
2. Minang Plaza, located on north Padang city.
3. Matahari Dept. Store, situate at down town.
4. Damar Plaza, situate at down town, near by Padang beach and face to face to the big book store, Gramedia. etc
And when you need to visit a traditional market, you can come to Pasar Raya Padang, it is on down town; just side by side with Matahari dept. store, in this market you can buy fresh ingredient for your meal or other things and the best is you can bargain it.
For a souvenir, in Padang city you can find it at Silungkang store for a traditional/ hand made souvenir, Christine Hakim for the delicious keripik balado ( Minang traditional food), etc.
To be Understanding!
As the matter of fact, West Sumatra is very Islamic community, so when you need to drink an extra alcohol you have to go to the hotel’s bar. Never wore bikini on the public beach/ area.
Minang people is like to bargain, so never hesitated to bargain when you need to buy a souvenir.
Minang people is warm and friendly, they will love to help you when ever you need a help, just be polite; more polite you! than they will respect you more.
But if you not sure better you asking for help from the policemen, it is the secure way you have. And mostly don’t forget to have your own Padang/ West Sumatra travel map. Have a nice trips! /r.j