Kerinci Seblat National Park is the largest national park in Sumatra Indonesia. It has a total area of 13,791 km2, and spans four provinces: West Sumatra, Jambi, Bengkulu and South Sumatra. It is located between 100°31’18″E – 102°44’01″E and 1°07’13″S – 3°26’14″S. The Park area includes a large part of the Barisan mountain range, including the highest peak in Sumatra, Mount Kerinci (3,805 m). The park includes hot springs, rivers with rapids, caves, scenic waterfalls and the highest caldera lake in Southeast Asia ( Lake Gunung Tujuh).

The park is home to diversity of flora and fauna. Over 4,000 plant species grow in the park area, including the world’s largest flower, Rafflesia arnoldi, and the plant with the largest unbranched inflorescence, the titan arum. The fauna include Sumatran Tigers, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Sumatran elephants, Bornean Clouded Leopard, Malayan Tapir, Malay Sun Bear and 370 bird species including the Schneiders Pitta and Sumatran Cochoa, both considered extinct for much of the 20th century.

There is a belief society that in the area of Kerinci Seblat National Park while forest edge farmers continue to report occasional sightings of the mysterious orangpendek, a large, bipedal primate resembling an orangutan (which are not recorded in Kerinci Seblat).

Getting There
Most visitors arrive from Padang’s Minangkabau International Airport which offers quickest access for the Kerinci area of the national park (278 km or about seven hours). You may want to call your hotel or homestay in advance to arrange for personal transport (you can hire a car, van, or bus) for your trip, however there are good ‘Travel’ minibus and Share Taxi services from Padang to district capitals which border the park. Padang to Kerinci (Sungaipenuh) is a six-seven hour bus drive.

It is also possible to take public buses or local angkot minibuses , although the ride may be uncomfortable as public buses are often crowded, may not have space if you are carrying a bulky backpack or luggage and make frequent stops.

To Do
1. Climbing the vulcano Kerinci and jungle tracking
The national park offers superb trekking and climbing opportunities for both novices and the more experienced as well as bird and wildlife watching

Climb Mt Kerinci(3805 m asl): the popular trek up to either Camp 2 or 3 usually takes 2 days and 1 night, including the descent, Avoid rainy season months and weekends. Climb up to Lake Gunung Tujuh – one day return or camp over night by the lake. Avoid weekends. Trek (2 days, one night) to forests of Mt Kunyit (Kerinci area) to see sulphur pits and hot springs. More adventurous forest treks for the experienced include Lempur-Sungai Ipuh (in Bengkulu) five days; Lempur to Rantau Kermas via the ancient enclave village of Renah Kemumu (4 days) or stay in forest villages in Muara Siau, Merangin like Durian Rambun or Lubuk Bira. Tiger watching- unlike India it is difficult to see wild Sumatran tigers but national park officers will advise on areas where tigers are present and suggest experienced guides.

The Muara Imat area on the Kerinci-Merangin district borders is one of the best places to hope to see wild tigers, ask at the national park offices.

2. visit tea plantations
Tea plantations at Mt Kerinci – you can tour after getting permission from the locals. Hot springs at Mt Kunyit, Talang Kemuning, Kerinci or at Semerup, Kerinci. Traditional dance ceremonies and maybe a Tiger calling ceremony by a Kerinci shaman Lake Kerinci. The view of the Kerinci valley and Lake Kerinci from Bukit Kayangan (above Sungaipenuh) The elephant sanctuary at Seblat, Bengkulu (ask permission from KSDA Bengkulu first). Remote, rarely visited traditional forest-edge villages in Jangkat and Sungai Tenang and Muara Siau areas of Merangin district. Megaliths in the Kerinci valley and at isolated Renah Kemumu village in Merangin district. Lake Gunung Tujuh – South East Asia’s highest crater lake and still surrounded by pristine forests.

3. Camping
It is more advisable to camp with a guide, as there have been rare cases of people who disappeared while attempting to climb Mt Kerinci alone and you should always do forest treks with an experienced guide and will find it more rewarding. You can ask your local accommodation to arrange for a guide for you or request advice from national park officers. The national park’s tiger protection rangers can be asked to act as guides during their leave periods (25-2 of each month) A highly recommended guide is Pak Ahmad, with around 30 years of experience bringing people up Mt Kerinci, Sahar, is another excellent trekking guide in the Mt Kerinci Gunung Tujuh area. He can be contacted through Homestay Pak Subandi. The homestays also provide equipment rental, and your guide, or porters if you choose to hire any, will bring his own (basic) equipment and tent.

The basic fee for a guide is about Rp 100,000 Rupiah per day.

source: wikipedia and wikitravel

West Sumatera located on the western coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, directly opposite the world famous surf site, the Mentawai Archipelago. Due to its geographical location, West Sumatera have some of spots of traditional fishing and show you some of traditional technique of dealing with the local whoppers. Some of the most popular fishing locations are Padang, Pariaman and Mentawai island.

All over island in Padang fascinating coastal area know as one of the best-kept secret fishing spots in Indonesia for jigging, popping, open reefs, baited rigs, etc abound with fish of all types like giant trevally, big eye treavlly, threadfin treavally (sagai), grouper, red snapper, dogtooth tuna, barracuda, bonito, spannish mackerel (batang), sailfish, Amberjack, etc.

For those who like the challenge of fishing, please visit Padang as one of good spot fishing.

Pariaman located on north coast city of Padang, West Sumatera – Indonesia. It is situated on the edge of the Indian Ocean, because that Pariaman has a amazing maritime tourism potential. Some of them is Arta and Kata beach, both these places are popular beach resorts for beach holiday. Arta Beach located about 23 km from the center of Pariaman, and Kata beach is about 2 km south of Pariaman.

Both these places known for its beautiful pine trees along the sea shore. The pine trees can protect you from the direct sun rays and gives coolness to visitors. The sandy beaches, clean water and bright sunshine are perfect for swimming and sunbathing. The process of setting of the sun (sunset) is a must-see sights travelers here, both these places known for its very dramatic sunset because there are small islands in front of the beach. These place is highly recommended for someone who want to capture photographic sunse.

Spending time waiting for the sunset at the beach will be more impressive while enjoying a meal with rice (“nasi sek”) and Piaman seafood, such as “sala lauak”, “rakik udang”, “rakik lauak”. Various other traditional food is “gulai kepala ikan”, “ikan bakar”, complete with “sambalado”.

Bungus beach is beautiful natural scenery, the shape resembles a crescent beach.  Bungus beach dominated by the Impressive hills which tower above the pleasant ricefield the crescent shaped bay is unspoilt. The beaches with white sand that is suitable and perfect place for a variety of recreation such as to relax, sunbathing, swimming or hire canoes, surfboats and snorkeling equipment and boats to the islands nearbay. The islands just 5- 15 miles to south of the beach. Two of them, Sikuai and Cubadak islands are developed as tourist resort. A short journey (4 KM) from losmen carlos Bungus beach is beautiful 3 pool waterfall set in A Tropical rainforst.

Getting There
Bungus beach located in a quiet bay Bungus, 20 kilometers south of Padang, West Sumatera. Just 45 minutes to 1 hour from Padang city by Opelet (minibus). Pick a blue Opelet in town for 5000 Rp started from 5.30 AM until 8.00 PM, Oplets or buses are available at oplet terminal. JI. M. Yamin in Padang. There is sign Bungus Teluk Kabung at the oplet shelter. Also, you can rent a manual motorbike in Carlos or Tintin for 50,000 or 60,000 Rp, depending on your bargaining skills. If you need more convenient way, takes a taxi.

To Do
Beach umbrellas and chairs available for sunbathing. Warm seawater and is safe for swimming. From here, you can explore nearest ocean to the coast of Padang such as Sikuai and Cubadak islands. To get there, you can rent a boat or a sailboat in the Bungus citizens. From Bungus beach to the islands takes ± 75 minutes. If you do not want to wasteful of energy, enough to relax on the beach while enjoying the sunset at this amazing bay. Sitting under the shade of coconut trees surrounding the beach is also exciting, it was a beautiful palm beach. Or eat seafood and other dishes at the restaurants that dotted the shore. There is one activity that is often did the travelers of Bungus beach, which is fishing. There was silence waves will provide for your own pleasure. About the inn, there are resort around the beaches that you can use to relax after a day of sightseeing.

The beach is available tourist facilities such as beach umbrellas and chairs for sunbathing. There are many homestays along the beach with reasonable price and restaurants as well, here’s some of them :

1. Losmen Carlos (
Telp. +6281363973411,
3 beach cottages, with a nice view of the evening sunset.
There are basic rooms for Rp.100,000. With bathroom outside,
There are 2 rooms at Rp.75,000.
Pickup from Padang Rp. 120,000.
On the evening, if there are enough tourists, Carlos will pay a guitarist to play around a beach fire.
You can book an island day-trip for Rp.200,000 per person including lunch on the island.

2. Losmen Tintin.
Not far from Carlos, similar family guesthouse next to the beach.
Very basic rooms from Rp.50,000

Indonesia has 2 (two) railway museums, one of them located at Sawahlunto, West Sumatra. There are approximately 80 collections of railway equipment at this museum such as clock, signal / communications equipment, photos documentation, safety box, jack rail, plant labels, scales and guards bell in the museum. In addition, in the museum yard are several kettle carriages, coal carrying compartments, some touring lorries and two wood-paneled carriages.

Sawahlunto operates 2 (two) touring trains. First, it is the train on the touring route Padangpanjang – Sawahlunto (80 km) withdrawn by diesel locomotives and equipped with BB204 rack gears equipped with executive and business class compartments. The 3 hour travel doesn’t seem to be tiring when the train passes the famous Danau Singkarak (Lake Singkarak) which is famous for its beautiful scene. Here’s detail touring train route, schedules and ticket prices.

Padang Panjang (Singkarak Lake) – Solok – Sawahlunto every Sunday and public holiday.
Dep. Padang Panjang 07.30, arr. Sawahlunto 10.35.
Dep. Sawahlunto 14.30, arr. Padang Panjang 17.38
Stops: Batu Tabal, Solok and Muara Kalaban.

Ticket price:
Padang Panjang – Sawahlunto:
Executive class IDR 80,000.- / person, Economy class IDR 60,000.- / person

Solok – Sawahlunto:
Executive class IDR 50,000.- / person, Economy class IDR 30,000.- / person

Muara Kalaban – Sawahlunto
Economy class IDR 20,000.- / person

Group charter (Mon – Sat) IDR 15,000,000.- (2 coaches [50 seats], snacks, drinks, lunch,     and run passes). Extra coach IDR 10,000,000.- per coach.

The second is the tourist train on the route Sawahlunto – Muara Kalaban (7 km) drawn by a steam locomotive, E1060, that carries wood-paneled cars. The E1060 steam locomotive manufactured by Esslingen (Germany) in 1966 which is also nicknamed ‘Mak Itam’ contributes to the uprising of Sawahlunto and introduces the town as one of the historical tourist destinations. (Name) ‘Mak Itam’ according to the black locomotive. What brings the incredible sensation and nostalgia is when the train enters the Kalam tunnel accompanied by the smoke and the shrill sound of the steam locomotive. It will be a great ride in beautiful countryside to make a special journey. This steam locomotive jouney is very short (30 minute journey time is generous in the extreme) but through a tunnel and features quite a stiff climb – note that this is a rack locomotive but this is not a rack section. Here’s detail touring train route, schedules and ticket prices.

Sawahlunto – Muara Kalaban v.v., every Sunday and public holiday 10.00 – 12.00.

Ticket price:
Group charter IDR 15,000,000.- (1 coach [35 seats], beverages, local delicacies, art    performance).

In the case there is no group chartering the train, it will run on a regular basis on Sundays and public holidays,
dep. Sawahlunto 11.00, arr. Muara Kalaban 11.30;
dep. Muara     Kalaban 11.50, arr. Sawahlunto 12.20.
dep. Sawahlunto 12.20, arr. Muara Kalaban 13.10;
dep. Muara Kalaban 13.30, arr. Sawahlunto 14.00.

Ticket price: IDR 50,000.- (Sawahlunto – Muara Kalaban v.v.). The train will have two wooden coaches (105 seats).

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What is Weaving?
Weaving affairs or weave is the process in making cloth by plaiting woof thread between lungsi thread by using a loom made of wood, sticks, bamboo and metal.

Weaving Produts?

From this weaving process will be produced cloth, songket, and gloves. Songket  is one of Minangkabau woven products which is best known by the people and having the high quality, not only because the beauty of golden thread sparkle in a unique variety of motives but also because of its social function as a traditional costume fittings. Songket plays an important role in the ceremonies of birth, circumcision, marriage and death in Minangkabau.

One of the famous songket local weavers in Minangkabau is Silungkang village. Art lovers should visit the weaving village at Silungkang for a look into how the beautifully colored silk songket sarongs and scarves are made.

Getting There
Silungkang village is located in the edge of Sumatera highway approximately 95 km from south-east of Padang City or 12 km south of Bukittingi.

Getting Around
Silungkang village is also famous for its art such as woven rattan craft, stick, bamboo, brooms and weaving.

Songket Weaving Process
Songket is derived from sungkit or leverage that is way to add woof thread and golden thread in manufacture variety of adorn done by embroider lungsi thread. The materials used for weaving are the thread from cotton, fiber, silk and macau thread (gold and silver thread). Thread that generally used is imported abroad such as India, China and Europe.

Songket Motifs
Decoration or motif on songket called Cukie, some are using thread macau (gold and silver thread), silk and colored cotton. A uniqueness of the old Minangkabau songket there is a combination of two or three types of thread in a single motif.Silungkang woven in general have Batabua types, songket that is decorated not fulfill the field of cloth, and with some basic of songket are plain and some boxes. Silungkang woven motifs derived from the natural environment such as pucuak rabuang, flower, bird motifs, sirangkak, balah katupek and others. Its form is quite simple when compared with songket pandai sikek and not so complicated in the process so it can be completed in a relatively short time.

Manufacturing Techniques
In the development of Silungkang weaving today is there also combination between the ikat technique with songket technique with a variety motives of songket.  The materials used today except cotton, there has also been decorated with silk thread, macau thread and colored cotton thread. The Results of  Silungkang weaving, except made clothing there is also a need for decoration and other accessories. Now, Silungkang songket have good enough quality of materials, manufacturing techniques, decorative motifs and marketing, has even produced also weaving machines with a variety of motives and a relatively cheap price. Silungkang also well known as a local supplier of colored thread woven for needs of weavers in West Sumatra.

Songket and gloves Silungkang woven already well known in West Sumatra. Songket Silungkang also made traditionally, with a loom similar to loom in Pandai sikek but slightly having larger size from the loom in Pandai sikek. Since 1860s weaving industry in Silungkang was basically home industry and managed by the family members, which resulted in small scale production with small capital.

adapted from sawahlunto-tourism

The saluang is a traditional musical instrument of the Minangkabau people of West Sumatra, Indonesia. It is similar to the flute in general and made of bamboo. It is related to the suling of other parts of  Indonesia.
It is made of thin bamboo or “talang” (Schizostachyum brachycladum Kurz)[1], with 4 hole. Saluang more simple than other kind of flute because it is made just adding 4 holes and finish. The dimension of saluang is 3-4 cm in diameter and 40-60 cm in length. Minangkabau people believe that talang which is collected from rack of clothes dryer or found drifting in the river is a good material for making saluang.

Dendang Saluang is one of the traditional musics / song of Minangkabau. It is  a combination of ‘Saluang’ (bamboo flute) and Minangkabau classic songs. Saluang is usually played by male musicians, but the singer can be man or woman, sometimes accompanied with talempong ( a small kettle gong which gives its name to an ensemble of four or five talempong, produce a static texture consisting of interlocking rhythms ) . The songs are usually formulated in terms of poems or sonnets carrying special message intended to special listeners such as love message, one’s economic situation.

Saluang player can play that music instrument without interrupting for taking breath from start to end of song. They have developed special breath technique in blowing that instrument without stopping for breathtaking. This technique is also called as manyisiahkan angok techniques (set aside one’s breath)

It’s hard to explain the tuning system that is applied to music saluang. Some of the scales used in the repertoire; intonation often unstable, and there is no absolute system of tunings. To saluang with the basic tone C = DO, we may assume that the principal scales played out as tones do, re, mi, fa, sol. But in reality, the tone sometimes do tend toward the DI (1). Likewise for the other tones obtained by closing half of the finger holes. There are times when players saluang play tunes that are above and below the principal tone.

Style of saluang tune for example : Singgalang, Pariaman, Koto Tuo, Ratok Solok, Cupak, Salayo and Pauah. Singgalang style is quite difficult for the beginners. High skilled saluang player can play many styles and audience can request any style to them.

In the past, Minangkabau people believed that saluang player have pitunang (mantra) or magic power for hypnotizing the audience. That mantra called as Pitunang Nabi Daud.

Randai, the popular folk theater tradition of the Minangkabau ethnic group in West Sumatra. which incorporates music, singing, dance, drama and the silat martial art. Randai is usually performed for traditional ceremonies and festivals, and complex stories may span a number of nights.

It is performed as a theatre-in-the-round to achieve an equality and unity between audience members and the performers. Its uniqueness lies in the presentation of the shape of a circular pattern. Closeness between players and spectators, make Randai very familiar with the community. In each performance, spectators may be interrupted dialogues delivered or may be cheering for the players to give passionate players

Randai played by a group, usually, one Randai group numbered 15 to 25 peoples. Technically, Randai performances are a synthesis of alternating martial arts dances, songs, and acted scenes. Stories are delivered by both the acting and the singing and are mostly based upon Minangkabau legends and folktales such as Kati Alam, Samsudin, Siti Bariah, Alam, Saedar Siti Janela and others. Randai originated early in the 20th century out of fusion of local martial arts, story-telling and other performance traditions. Men originally played both the male and female characters in the story, but since the 1960s women have also participated.

Tari Piring (Plate Dance) is the art of dance held by the Minangkabau. This dance reflects the life of traditional Minangkabau community at the time of working in the ricefield. The dance expresses happiness of the farmers as well as their thanks to the God for the very successful harvest.

Plate Dance is done in pairs or in groups with a variety of movements that are done quickly, dynamically and interspersed with plate knock sound carried by the dancers. Usually formal occasions conducted in West Sumatra presents Plate Dance. Dance has become very popular dish even in neighboring countries such as Malaysia.

The dance is accompanied by a song that is played with Talempong and Saluang, while the movements are done quickly while holding the plate in the palm of their hand. The dance has a motion that resembles the movement of farmers during cultivation, harvest and so create employment. The dance begins with the initial work in the field and proceeds to the final process until harvested rice (paddy) is taken home. Sometimes these plates they throw into the air or they fling to the ground. At the final stage of the dance is male and young lady dancers will trample broken plates without fear nor wound, trampled on by the dancers are barefoot does not at all hurt. This fact should not interpreted as a magic work, as many people may think, but it religiously signals the acceptance of the dancer’s pray by God.

West Sumatra is very Islamic community, so when you come to this city, here are some things you can consider to make your trip more enjoyable:

1. Don’t doing consume alcohol beverages in public places
If you ambition to consume alcohol beverages, you have to go to the bar or hotel. If you doing that in public places, local peoples will stay away from you, or maybe they away you go.

2. Don’t wear bikinis
If you bathe or swim in a public place, you should not wear bikinis. Use a bathing suit that covers your thighs and anatomy perfectly. Or you can try the traditional way, namely by using clothing or traditional cloth.

3. Never hesitate to bargain
On average, the peoples of West Sumatera are humans who like to trade and bargain. Just be sure you can speak Bahasa or at least you can understand it and never hesitate to bargain.

4. Show a friendly attitude
Minang society is people who are warm and friendly. They will love to help you when you need help. Show a friendly attitude, and be polite, then they will respect you more.

5. Never hesitate to ask for help
If you have any trouble, don’t hesitate to ask for help from the police. Of course, this is the most secure way you have.

6. Accept a road map of west Sumatra
It would be better if you don’t forget to have your own Padang/ West Sumatra travel map.

7. Accept a Minangkabau languange dictionary
There is aswell a acceptable if you have a local language dictionary. Community will be pleased to see you learn their language.