"Bukittinggi" Bukittinggi by jungles
Bukittinggi Travel Guide: 117 reviews and 262 photos
Bukittinggi is the centre of the Minangkabau culture. According to their beliefs, the Minangkabau people are descendants of king Maharjo Dirajo, the youngest son of Alexander the Great. In the local dialect the word 'Minangkabau' means 'champion buffalo.' The animal's warrior spirit has been cultivated for centuries, and the buffalo fights still attract large crowds in the nearby villages even today (see my tip on Buffalo fights). All traditional Minangkabau houses have roofs with tall, curved edges in the shape of buffalo horns.
Another interesting feature of the Minangkabau culture is that it is both muslim and matriarchal. It is the wife who presides over the house and the finances of the family, and it is her last name that is passed on to the children.
Coming up from southern Sumatra, Bukittinggi was our first step onto the beaten track in Indonesia, otherwise known as the 'Banana Pancake Trail.' Seeing all those tourists was a bit of a shock, as we were under the impression that tourism was dead all over the country because of the recent Bali bombings. It does have its advantages though, like having conversations with people other than each other and, well, eating banana pancakes.
Bukittinggi itself is pleasant enough but is not really a beautiful city; not many cities in Indonesia are. But it does have several attractions nearby, notably the Sianok Canyon and the traditional Minangkabau architecture.
Since I don't have access to many of Nick's Indonesia photos at the moment, a couple of photos on these pages are taken from Wikipedia which has a good article on the Minangkabau people.
- Pros:Interesting cultural and natural sights, good food
- Cons:A bit touristy, but attracts more backpacker types than high-end package tourists
- In a nutshell:Definitely worth visiting
This beautiful, lush green canyon is 150 metres deep and is easily viewed from Panorama Park on the outskirts of... more travel advice
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