Padang, the capital of the province of West Sumatra, 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.
That said the city is very pleasant with a nice promanade 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.
You can visit and see :
- Museum Adityawarman, Jl. Diponegoro (Lapangan Tugu), +62 752 31523, 39587, TuS 8AM-4PM
- Taman Budaya (Cultural Park)
- 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.
- 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.
- Sitti Nurbaya Bridge, a beautiful bridge especially at night. Sitti 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 and take a bus, there is an [Angkot] that goes all the way).
- Ramayana. World class shopping area with a variety of goods. A must see