Berastagi & Bukittinggi

Passion Fruit ©onbangladesh/flickr

Passion Fruit ©onbangladesh/flickr

Sumatra has something for everyone to explore – lush rainforests, exotic flora and fauna, cascading rivers, sparkling crater lakes, beautiful white sand beaches, impressive volcanoes, limestone caves and an incredible diverse array of traditional ethnic groups who inhabit some of the most spectacular volcanic landscapes of the world.

Rice Store, Berastagi

Berastagi is a town on the main route linking Karo highlands of Northern Sumatra to the coastal city of Medan. t is also where the Dutch colonialists developed it in the 1860s, making it a dominating western region of Indonesia. Berastagi had a boarding school opened by the Dutch settlers for the villagers in 1920s. Now, it has a dominant enthic and linguistic group called ‘Karo Batak’.

Also, if you are on your way to Lake Toba, you will make a stop here as well. Be sure to pick up some fruits, and this place is famous for its passion fruit other than the touristic Gunung Sibayak with hot springs and Gunung Sinabung near Medan (the 4th largest city) in Indonesia.

Bukittinggi

Bukittinggi ©ET Hadi Saputra/flickr
Bukittinggi ©ET Hadi Saputra/flickr

Bukittinggi is a small town, tourist usually go there to see the Gunung Merapi or Mount Merapi which is the top attraction. It is a strenuous hike, so for those who are active and loves challenges, this is for you. Sianok Canyon or Ngarai Sianok and the Japanese Caves called “Lubang Japang” is a network of underground bunkers and tunnels. It was built by the Japanese during the World War II. You can climb up to the two-storey observation tower and see the Sianok Canyon and during dusk, expect megabats flying from gorges to forest for their feeding time.

Gadang

The Dutch built a fort (Fort de Kock) but only a water reservoir is there on the hill. Bundo Kanduang Park has a replica of a traditional house (Rumah Gadang) used as a muesum. You can see the Minangkabau culture with strange 2 headed and six legged stuffed animals, traditional costumes. When you cross the Limpapeh pedestrain overpass, it leads you to a small zoo.

On Bukittinggi, you can see the first Vice President of Indonesia’s house, House of Bung Hatta. Or you can also visit the Jam Gadang, that is the clock tower. For nature lovers, you must not miss the Belimbing River and Lake Singkarak, which are the two bodies of water special in Bukittingi. Lake Singkarak is the largest lake in West Sumatra.

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