Padang is on the west coast of Sumatra. It is a city that generally attracts two kinds of overseas visitors : Malay families who come to search for their deep roots; and Westerners arriving, in small groups, in pairs or often solitarily, to look for tall waves. For other intrepid types, this rain-soaked, creaky former Dutch colonial port town does hold a certain off-beat allure as I discovered almost a fortnight ago when I dropped by over the Chinese New Year which in these parts is called Imlek.
I went to Padang for four nights and five days, keeping close to the city, traveling south to Teluk Bungus and north to Lubok Minturun, triumphantly resisting (thanks mostly to the wet weather) the magic and temptation of the Minangkabau Highlands and offshore islands despite powerful pitching by Erison – a newly-made friend who drove and guided me through the potholed and puddled lanes of Padang on his butt-punishing scooter.
Copyright (c) Kerk Boon Leng 5 February 2023 All Rights Reserved