Minangkabau International Airport (Bandara Internasional Minangkabau - BIM) (PDG), located 23 km north-west of Padang, is the main gateway to West Sumatra, with frequent flights to destinations throughout Sumatra and Java such as Indonesia (Garuda-Indonesia), (Sriwijaya Air), (Lion Air), (Batavia Air), as well as Kuala Lumpur (AirAsia). Direct flight to and from Padang, are only available from 1. Domestic - Jakarta - Batam - Medan 2. International - Kuala Lumpur - Singapore. Visas are available on arrival. From the airport, the cheapest way to get into the city is by Damri (bus) for a fare of Rp15,000 per person. Its route passes by the major hotels in Padang. Other alternatives include taxis or pre-arranged rental cars.
A Rp 100,000 departure tax is levied on outbound international flights and Rp 35.000 on domestic flights.
Crazily-decorated Angkots run along the two main roads. Prices for a trip are approximately Rp2,000. You can get taxis from the Minangkabau International Airport to town for less than Rp50,000 if you speak the language.
Unfortunately if you are white or black, Minang people are well known to be good business people, and are quite skilled at making you pay a few extra thousand rupiah. That being said, don't start squabbling over 50 cents here or there.
There are several alternatives that you can choose for transportation in Padang, such as bus kota (for city bus transportation), angkutan kota (for transportation in the city), taxi, and car rental. Most public transportations are not very safe and clean compared to international standard. During rush hour, you can see the buses overcrowded. Be careful with your valuables as sometimes there are pickpockets and thieves taking advantage while riding on the public transport, though this is very rare.
If you're looking to spend a few days in Padang, car rental is the preferred way to go around. All car rentals include the driver, who can also act as your guide. It's not recommended for tourists to drive around because road signs are not followed by the locals and courtesy while driving almost do not exist in Indonesia.
Relaxing and breathtaking is the main thing to do in here. This city more to administrative city. Honestly there isn't too much to do here in the down town. But if you go to the up town, some interesting spots await to be explored. These include Sikuai Island", Lubuk Minturun river' (a 'natural jacuzzi') and Bungus Bay (crystal water river), all in southern Padang.
Pool is a popular sport to play and there are a few places dotted around.
The nightlife is relatively dull because Padang is a minor city and a rather devout Muslim community. Bars are available at Hotel Bumi Minang, but don't expect alcohol.
If you can find your way down to Chinatown and get some Kripik Padang (crackers, available in two flavors: spicy and sweet), that could be a good idea, too. In Chinatown, you also can explore the mixture of Minang-Chinese food.
There are a lot of stores on the side of the road, much like anywhere in Indonesia. There are two malls, Minang Plaza, which is smaller and better for your more supermarket / basic clothing needs. There is a bit of Western Food at Plaza Andalas in the form of Papa Ron's Pizza.
Shopping at Andalas is a little bit better, but at this point in time, the malls are more downscale, mainly local products and local shops. No big retailers here. Brand names aren't really easy to find. You could find a few surfing items at Andalas plaza - but that's about it.
There is a Gramedia across the road from Andalas Plaza also.
Padang is famed throughout Indonesia for spicy Padang food (masakan Padang). Ordering at a Padang restaurant couldn't be easier: just sit down at a table, and watch the dishes pile up. Eat what you like, as you'll only pay for dishes you've actually consumed. Famous dishes include:
Padang dishes can use rather unusual ingredients though, including internal organs like hearts, lungs and even brains. All Padang dishes are Halal, due to the Islamic root of Minang people.
Some Westerner-friendly restaurants:
The only real bars you will find are at the major hotels. This is a very Islamic community and therefore the influence of alcohol is minimal. That being said, beer is for sale at the major supermarkets, Suzuya, etc. Bintang is about all you will find. If you are feeling game, the traditional market could be something you might want to visit, as hard liquor such as Johnny Walker may be available there.
Hard liquor is also available at several warungs (small shops on the side of the road) and it is quite easy to obtain cheap vodka, whisky or rum. The going rate for a 250ml bottle of spirits is Rp. 23,000.
The best nightclubs in Padang are Hotel Pangeran Beach, Rocky Hotel, Ambacang hotel (the newest hotel) and Queen.
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Max = 6 surfer and min = 5 surfer
Mentawai islands with my surfer camp have facilities = electricily from 6 am until 10 pm, fan, shower, referigerator
Meals Menu (example) in my surf camp 1) Breakfast: 1 cup of Coffee mix / tea, Oats / Pan Cake, Omlett, fried rice, fried noodle 2) Lunch: Steamed rice, fish/chicken, egg, vegetables, snack and water 3) Dinner: Rice/pasta, soup/curry, fish/chicken, dessert and water
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Surf spots just onfoot
Beng Beng => A very consistent world class wave, an extremely rippable left. This spot is loads of fun and probably one of the easiest waves to surf in the Mentawai’s. It’s the deepest and safest wave in the area and also pick up a bit more swell than other locales. 5 more breaks in the area, including E-Bay and Pitstops. Nestled inside a small bay with one of the most scenic views imaginable all around you.
E-Bay => This is a hollow left that barrels off the take-off with a short wall down the line. A great option when a lot of swell is hitting. A hollow, fast, powerful left. A world class wave for experienced surfers. Watch out for the two rocks on the inside. Great barrels, and turns into a surfing paradise at 6 feet offshore. There is a heavy warble that hits as you are taking off. Make the drop and don’t get thrown by that first warble and chances are you’ll get a mean aqua blue barrel. The scenery alone will blow you away. Besides its aesthetic beauty, double overhead E-bay is a beast and forces to be reckon with.
Nipussi or Pussies => A shorter right that breaks down the point from Bank Vaults. Definitely fun and rippable. Usually has fairly deep water from the takeoff to the inside. Ends in a riptide that sucks all the water back out to sea. A good option when there’s not much swell, and usually the most consistent spot in the area.
Pitstops => This is the right off the peak at E-Bay. A playful right that can offer some cover-ups off the take-off, but mostly a high performance wave with air sections at the end. Ends in a sandy channel.
How do I reach Mentawai Islands?
By Ferry from padang, to mentawai islands or mentawai islands to padang, (west sumateran, indonesia) The most comfortable Ferry to Mentawai is Ferry Ambu Ambu (made from Steel). Since September 2009, the Ambu-Ambu Ferry travels overnight from Padang Bungus to Muara Siberut 2. and 3. Thursday nights of each month. From Muara Siberut to Padang Bungus, the ferry travels 2. and 3. Friday nights of each month.
The ferry departs from Padang at 9:00 p.m. and arrives at approximately 7:00 a.m. the following morning. The Sumber Rejeki traditional Ferry (made from wood) travels overnight from Padang Bungus to Muara Siberut every Monday evening. From Muara Siberut to Padang, the ferry travels every tuesday nights.
Padang lies right on a fault line and is frequently hit by earthquakes. The last one, in September 2009, killed over 1,100 people, and destroyed many buildings.