If you took the bus then there is not much to see when you arrive in front of the lake. If you have a motorbike, then you can go around the lake and enjoy the landscapes, it takes 2-3 hours. There are some possibilities for trekking and there's a waterfall by the mosque to the north of town Maninjau.
The view from the top of the road winding town to town Maninjau.
A blood red sunset from a beach side resaurant.
The surroundings of the lake where badly hit by the September 2009 Padang earthquake. Many landslides all around the lake destroyed some houses. There's still the occational landslide damaging buildings and roads, which may make traveling around the lake troublesome.
Rent a motorbike and go around the lake.
Take a bus up the mountain road and walk down a path through the forest.
On the way too or from Bukittinggi, stop at one of the dozens of roadside stalls in the village of Matur for a bag of roasted peanuts in the shell.
Bagoes Cafe, Near the lake intersection, to the north. Serves good basic western and Indonesian food. Friendly owners. Has computers and wifi for RP7000 per hour. Can arrange treks around Maninjau and Bukittinggi, and tickets for bus and plane.mains 10000-30000.
Cafe 44, By the lake, north of town Maninjau. Serves OK basic western and Indonesian food. Also has rooms for RP40000
There are many budget alternatives, most with very basic facilities.
Muaro Beach Bungalows, (about 5 mins' walk from Maninjau town through a kampung (village) path). In a lush rustic setting near the lake. Has own restaurant by the edge of the lake. The bungalows are basic but OK, with an asian toilet and cold water shower. Friendly staff. There are ducklings to amuse kids. Compared to the other budget places which look run down, Muaro looks new. Rents out motorbikes (semi RP60000, auto 75000 per day). Canoe hire are free for guests, and the beach is good for swimming.Bungalows are 50,000 Rp (June 10).
Riak Danau, a bit further than Muaro, access is via a narrow path through a paddy field.. No bungalows, only rooms(50,000 Rp, Feb 09) but these are a spitting distance from the lake.
Arlen's Beach Paradise (Nova Paradise), Sungei Rangeh Bayur, Lake Maninjau 26471 (Follow the footpath through the rice paddy for about 300m from the sign on the road just north of the village of Bayur), ☎ +6281535204714, . Five simple bungalows on a small lakeside plot surrounded by rice fields. The location is far enough from the village fishing platforms make the appealing enough to swim in. Mosquito nets and attached toilet and shower in each bungalow. Small restaurant with good and healthy food. Very friendly and welcoming staff. The only drawback is that it's a very long walk to the nearest town at Bayur.Rp. 150,000 (Aug. 09).
Maninjau Indah Hotel, (Only a 3-min walk from town). .One of the few upmarket hotelsEconomy rooms start at 200,000 Rp (Feb 09).
Tan Dirih Hotel, (a 15 minutes walk from the town centre). Another upmarket hotel but it's further away than the Indah. Next door is the newish and stylish Water Front Restaurant. Pride of place is their sitting area which juts into the lake - lovely place for a meal or beer.Has a large playground and a small swimming pool for kids.The owner is voluble, and is proud to be known as Mr Porcupine (ask him why).Economy rooms are 175,000 Rp (Feb 09).