Bukit Tinggi (which literally means high hill) is described in the Lonely Planet as the biggest tourist stopover point in west Sumatra….? I think I saw a total of 10 bule (farang) here over the past week….local tourists perhaps…it is a small town in the mountains, with not much to do, expect wander. There is plenty of cheap accommodation or you can stay at the The Hills+62-752 35 000 hotel[at]thehillsbukittinggi.com which used to be the novotel, it’s a good location, OK rooms and nice gardens [pictured] It cost about 750,000 p/n, ($75).
Bukkitinggi is surrounded by 27 mountains, or so the local bureaucrat on the front cover of the tourist guide at the front desk tells me. It is most certainly pretty, and almost right on the equator but at 950metres elevation reasonably cool and pleasant, in fact the first night we walked down the street and I froze my backside off. (well, I shivered a little bit)
There are 2 or 3 backpacker style cafe/beer shops, but other than that, nothing to cater for western tastes, plenty of street stalls, selling sate and fried rice etc. Aint really much to do in town itself. A centre clock tower. Woopeedoo some clapped out old zoo, (didn’t go there) some broken down old dutch fort. (4,000 rupiah (40 cents) to enter but 100,000 rupiah ($10) to take photos, and another 100,000 ($10) for video)
But having said that, it is still an interesting and picturesque town to wander, it is surrounded by mountains and volcanoes and the town centre itself is a split level town with a few little alleys and a couple of mosques. There is an interesting bridge across the main street connecting the old fort and a typically Indonesian underfunded and crappy zoo. A busy market place, food stalls. 2 or 3 quiet touristy style cafes and that’s about it. Plenty of horse carts to give you a ride.
A friendly guy/Travel agent resided at one of the Cafes and ran trips – sightseeing, trekking, jungle lakes 150,000 rp /day. (on the back of a motorbike, I said no – we wanted a car. he could do it, but cost about 500,000 Rupiah a day, which I though was a little high) Located at Bedual café;
+62 813 7453 7413 or fikar_bkt[at]hotmail.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or Picasa Web Albums – “Fikar” LITE’n’EASY
I’m sure there are more guides just ask at the cafes, or you can collect their brochures and hire a care to follow the tourist trail on your own.
The area of Bukkitinggi is famous for silver …. so the Missus bought some, of course.
There was some big bat cave… quite large and extensive, it had lights, and boadwalks and ladders all over the place. crap photos, so I will not bore you. Entry was about 3,000 or 4,000 rupiah again (30 cents US). some kid wandered into this pic, but too lazy to retake. we had a ‘guide’ attach himself to us, and you can pay good money for some stupid pics inside. Of course low entry price means low maintenance and of course the Indo tourists scramble all over the stalagmites….