"Padang" Top 5 Page for this destination Padang by mansionion

Padang Travel Guide: 72 reviews and 166 photos

Mention Padang and what comes to mind is definitely its famous spicy local food - Nasi Padang or Makanan Padang (Padang food). Eventhough this is quite misleading since "Padang Food" is actually referring to the cuisine of the local Minangkabau people, it is commonly called Padang cuisine since Padang is the largest city of the West Sumatra region - the land of the Minangkabau. However, there's more to Padang then its spicy food.

Historically, Padang has been an important trade centre since the 16th century when pepper was cultivated here and traded with traders from India, Portugal and the Netherlands. The lucrative spice trade and other local produce resulted in Padang being colonialised by the Dutch and British later on. During WW2, it was occupied by the Japanese before later on together with regions in Sumatra became part of the independant Indonesian Republic.

The name Padang literally means "field" which is derived from its location - it is located on the coastal plain between the Indian Ocean and the Bukit Barisan mountains at the mouth of the Padang River. Padang's Teluk Bayur harbor is said to be the largest and busiest harbor on the West Coast of Sumatra. Hence, it is not suprising that Padang is a bustling port city and an important transport hub for journey to Indonesian islands on the Indian Ocean and the Minangkabau highland.

Modern day Padang, it is the capital and largest city of the West Sumatra region. It is a suprisingly clean city with a newly open modern airport outside of the city centre. Padang city centre is characterised with its traditional architecture - the "buffalo horn" roofs which symbolising the Minangkabau culture and architecture. There are also some well preserved colonial architecture in and around the city.

Apart from being the centre of administration and culture, Padang is also the educational centre where few universities are located. It is the seat of the Andalas University, the oldest university in Sumatra and the first state university outside of Java.

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:More than just nasi padang - it's the birthplace of Minang's culture.
  • Last visit to Padang: Nov 2008
  • Intro Updated Jul 21, 2009
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Reviews (12)

Comments (5)

  • boocik04's Profile Photo
    Sep 24, 2007 at 6:21 PM

    great tips on padang! my ancestors were from here so it's an honour to see a good review of the place :-)

  • i-s-a's Profile Photo
    Feb 13, 2007 at 7:51 PM

    i love the folklore...thanks for sharing. also noticed similarities in indonesian language with our own.

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Jan 24, 2007 at 8:25 PM

    Cool page of Padang. Have not been there, so real eye opener. Enjoyed your selective pictures and well written tips.

  • Wild_Orchid's Profile Photo
    Aug 1, 2006 at 8:55 PM

    a good tip-always be grateful to your mother! :)

  • muddybok's Profile Photo
    Jun 6, 2006 at 8:13 AM

    And 1st to reach/comment here.

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