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Overview

Situated in the midst of a volcanic mountain range with cool air and breathtaking views everywhere you look, Bukittinggi is a hill town inviting explorations on foot. Dutch colonial architecture and a landmark clock tower whisper tales of yesteryear, looming Mt. Merapi continuously smolders and Ngarai Sinok Canyon is ready to be trekked. North of town are a Rafflesia sanctuary, canyons and caves for the more adventurous. Most people come here, though, to see how the Minangkabau people live, one of the world’s few matrilineal clans. Their beautifully carved, curved roof houses dot hillside villages, and wanderers are often greeted by the ...

Situated in the midst of a volcanic mountain range with cool air and breathtaking views everywhere you look, Bukittinggi is a hill town inviting explorations on foot. Dutch colonial architecture and a landmark clock tower whisper tales of yesteryear, looming Mt. Merapi continuously smolders and Ngarai Sinok Canyon is ready to be trekked. North of town are a Rafflesia sanctuary, canyons and caves for the more adventurous. Most people come here, though, to see how the Minangkabau people live, one of the world’s few matrilineal clans. Their beautifully carved, curved roof houses dot hillside villages, and wanderers are often greeted by the clacking sound of looms used by women who weave songket, a unique cloth decorated with silver- and gold-coated threads. In this society, men are encouraged to leave home to seek their fortune while the women own all the property and are the decision makers of the clan. Throughout Indonesia you’ll see "rumah makan Padang" or "rumah makan Minangkabau," small eateries serving fiery hot local dishes owned by Minangkabau men who send much of their income back home to Mom.

Linda Hoffman
About the Expert

Linda Hoffman is a contributing editor for five Periplus guides, including Bali (two editions), Papua, Java, Nusa Tenggara, and eight editions of Insight Guides Indonesia and the Indonesia section of their Southeast Asia guidebook.

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Linda Hoffman for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Bukittinggi is one of the larger cities in West Sumatra, Indonesia. It is situated in the Minangkabau highlands, 90 km by road from the West Sumatran capital city of Padang.
  • Language: Indonesian
  • Currency: Indonesian Rupiah
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Any time, if a few hours of daily rain doesn’t bother you.