Padang, West Sumatra-Place where the Ground is Shaking

Posted by Fico , Friday, September 24, 2010 4:48 PM

It was last year when i saw the news about 9.1 scale earth quake in Padang West Sumatra. I could only see the news on TV that time. It was around September 2009 few days after Moslem celebrate Ied Fithr.

Sumatra called ring of fire as it had volcanoes that goes straight from top of Sumatra island (Aceh) to the very edge of it (Lampung). All the active volcanoes well known for it history of explotions e.g Krakatau (explode in 1880, you could hear the explosion sound with range of 4.600 kms from the mountain, with death toll up to 36.000 for its lava, tsunami, earthquake etc), or mount Kerinci (1838, 1999, 2002) that still in state of high risks mountains.
If you asks, how safe Sumatra is... the answer would be it is safe-like anywhere else in Asia or other part of world. If you travel alot and you aware of things, it is fun to do traveling in Sumatra island.

I started this journey with calling my fave travel minibus company "P.O Ratu Intan" there are several other choices for this, like "Safa Marwa" company etc. They do travel like "Perama" buses in Bali. You could travel in a mini van with other peoples, like 6 other passenger and a driver. The price of the ticket is Rp 200.000,- one way, the plus things, the drive you straight to your hotel around Padang area, so this would avoid hassles that might happens when you come to the unknown city!

The journey will took about 10 hours from Jambi to Padang (approx. 509kms) depends on the road and weather situation (sometimes landslide made the authorities have to close the road-so, try avoid raining season!), with amazing view of Sumatra island mountains area, rural places, valleys, and jungles. Its refreshing to see jungles and mountains.


I depart from Jambi at 8pm at night. The good thing about travel car is they will pick you up from your door step, so they did, they pick me up at 7pm.


There are two lady and two guys beside me cramped on the passenger seat. I got the back row, only for two passenger.


The road not as bumpy as if i were traveling to Lampung. I mostly slept during the journey. The first stop is a restaurant what i call out of no where but jungle. It was 9.30 pm so i think that time i was still somewhere in Jambi border.


It is hard to sleep when you had 173cms height on a small space, but i do my best to keep my beauty sleep.


I woke up when we arrive in Solok at 5.45am, very close to Padang already. We did our breakfast in a small restaurant, its fairly clean. After brushing my teeth and splashing my face, i decide to have a cup of hot tea and some Nasi Goreng, its spicy-but tasty!


Morning in Padang surprisingly not as busy as in Jambi. From the gate of the city, i still could notice the damage building, mosque and even street. After almost a year... there still much more work to do for Padang to repair the city.


After over 12hrs crammed on the back of the car like canned sardines, I finally arrive in Pangeran Beach Hotel around 9 am. I mail and call the hotel a day before i leave Jambi. The hotel is 3 star hotel, and to be honest, i don't really like it. The building is old, i even thought it was one of government building because its not that impressive and its just.... like an office building.... the room is quite small, and bathroom very basic, no hair dryer.


After checkin and store my stuff at room, i think, oh well... this is a beach hotel... maybe theres something about the beach. So i went down stairs to check the beach on the back of the hotel (thinking of small white private beach in Kuta beach... awesome!).


I went there just for a huge disappointment. Beach was very dirty, sand is black, and not far from the hotel back there was huge pile of garbage right on the beach. Great!!! (sigh)


The only good thing that i like is the view from the window. My room facing the street on the front of the hotel, but on the back ground there are mountains and amazing landscape of Padang city. I could see sunrise on the very next morning, and its calming...


But still.... i don't think its worth the money...


First day in Padang i don't want to waste my time, so i went to street and stop one of the public transport and went to Padang Beach.


Its not that far from the hotel, i just stop at Gramedia book store (its on the very same straight street, about 2-3kms from hotel). I did my exploration, its beautiful sunny day.


The beach was not like the beach that i remember.... back then, i think it had more beach, but now its more narrow, and the govt seemed build wave breaker from rocks... but still.. i love to sit and see the sea.


When i feel hungry, i start to stroll around the street and smell a very good smell of fish bbq... oh gosh... very good...


I stop by on that local restaurant and had very very tasty squids, huge prawns, and of course fish BBQ with Padang sauce.... Feels like heaven... very good!


After full, i take another stroll on the beach street. This time i went to the other way. I found that the beach street pretty good, and clean. As i pass the stalls i walk about 3 kms to the bay area...


When i check the map, i think i was closer to the Padang Museum, so i decide to visit the museum. The entrance fee about Rp 7500,-


I can't remember if i went to this museum before when i were here in Padang. But i like the traditional house, its really huge and stand still with grace. Wow... short of reminder how Padang people love their tradition very much!

The front of museum used as kids playground... its not really well taken care of... just too bad. The grass are pretty high in some places.. i bet back then like 10 years ago this place must be amazing.


There are pretty interesting stuff at museum, but i get bored so quick, so i end the tour about 1.5hour later...hehe after i quite finish seeing all the displays, took few pictures and i went on public transport again (after asking the security on gate how to get a ride back to the hotel).

Later that night i went to a shopping malls "Basko" apperently its the biggest shopping mall in Padang. Wow... Jambi had twice bigger than this.... its weird.. because I thought Padang one  step forward ahead Jambi in any field??? Its not even bigger than Matahari Shopping Mall in Jambi. But we can't judge a city from it malls right?

I also find out about the BRAND NEW hotel right next to it "Grand Basko Western Hotel". The room price about the same, but this hotel just 3 month old so the furniture and the hotel it self still in very good shape, and they had wifi on every room.. oh my!. Why i never saw this on internet???




I decide next day i will move to this hotel!!


Oh for your information, there are several hotels in Padang are collapse due to last year earthquake, but surprisingly few websites on internet not update the hotels status and still advert it for rooms and bookings! its quite freaking when you try to call the hotel that's not even operate anymore!


These are the hotels that i could see collapse/destroyed when i went there:
1. The Ambacang Hotel (closed)
2. Inna Muara Hotel (open for 40 rooms, but its under heavy construction for repairing)
3. Bumi Minang Hotel (closed)
4. Hayam Wuruk Hotel (closed)
5. Dipo Hotel (closed)
6. Batang Arau Hotel (closed)
7. New Mariani Hotel (closed)
8. Rocky Hotel (closed)


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