Thursday, April 14, 2016

SOLO BACKPACKING SERIES: PADANG, SUMATERA Pt.3

This is the final post on my first solo backpacking trip to Padang, Sumatera, Indonesia.

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Day 5

I woke up early in my guesthouse in Bukit Tinggi. So early that the town was still asleep. I decided to walk about and find the clock tower I'd read about the night before while researching things to do in Bukit Tinggi.


Successfully found the clock tower (it wasn't too far off from my guesthouse) with horse-drawn carriages standing at the ready for the influx of tourists which would normally stream in during the afternoon.

I walked back to my guesthouse and sat in the cafe downstairs, having breakfast and mulling what to do with myself that day. 


Cup of chai tea with 4 hardboiled eggs for breakfast. :)

As I sat there eating, two people walked in. I immediately knew they were backpackers from the way they looked and the friendly vibe they gave off. They introduced themselves as Joshua from Netherlands and Suzanne from Holland. They were looking for a guide to take them out to the waterfalls and old palace, and for a 3rd person to fill in to split the cost of scooter rental and guide.

The very friendly cafe owner overheard our conversation and had a guide and two scooters promptly brought to our doorstep.


Our guide in the red helmet, Suzanne in the white helmet, and Joshua in the black helmet.


And we were off. :)

Landscapes along the way.





The first waterfall we came to.


Joshua looking tiny in contrast with the waterfall.



Stayed for a while and enjoyed this serenity. Sadly it was really cold and no one had bathing suits so we didn't swim.

Set off for more sights and adventures.


Green paddyfields.



Second waterfall we came across. Not as nice as the first.


Climbed up to a lookout spot with views of the entire valley.


Our guide then took us to Pagaruyung palace.


Group photo.


Palace grounds.

Although this is Indonesia, we were in the highlands and it was cool and dry (if you're wondering why everyone's wearing scarves / sweaters). Turned back after this palace and got lost, but eventually got back on track and returned safely to our guesthouse.

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Day 6 & 7

I got back into Padang town and met up with my couchsurfing host for my final night. The next day marked the end of my trip as I flew back into KL (but not without begging for money at the very last minute to pay for airport tax which I was obliviously unaware of).

*** 
In hindsight, I absolutely WOULD NOT recommend a place as rough and rugged as Sumatera to a solo backpacker on their maiden first trip. I dived in and made it through with some scrapes and scratches, but it would be better to head to a country like Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, or even more developed parts of Indonesia where accommodation is aplenty and infrastructure / logistics are well maintained by way of buses, trains, and boats.


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