Padang is the capital as well as largest city in West Sumatra, Indonesia. It is also the third largest city in Sumatra and one of the fastest growing. Padang has a population of 750,000 people, many of whom are ethnic Minangkabaus. The city is located on the west coast of Sumatra island facing the Indian Ocean. It has been an important trading centre since the 16th century. The city came under the rule of the Portuguese in the 16th century. Then it fell to the Dutch, and was ruled by the British twice, and finally transferred back to the Dutch until the independence of Indonesia.
Guide to Padang Hotels
It's never easy finding the hotel that's just right for your stay. Still, by taking a little time to do your research, you increase your chance of getting a good hotel at the best price. Go through the list of hotels in Padang which we've put together, with full description, star rating, address, location map and evaluation. Pick the hotel of your choice and view the rates offered by different booking sites. Yes, we show you prices from different websites, so you don't have to visit them one by one.
Located in a geologically unstable region, Padang has been hit a number of times by earthquakes and quake-related tsunamis, with the earliest recording being a tsunami that hit it in 1797. Another tsunami inundated it in 1833 following a quake that hit neighbouring Bengkulu. The latest severe quake to hit Padang was the 7.6 magnitude quake that occuered on 30 September, 2009, just 50 km off the coast of Padang, claiming 1,100 lives, of which 313 were from the city.
Budget Travel to Padang
The newly opened Minangkabau International Airport or Bandara Internasional Minangkabau (PDG) is the main gateway to Padang. It replaces the old Tabing Airport in 2005. The 2009 quake only did some minor damage to the airport.
You can fly Garuda Indonesia to Padang from Jakarta. Budget travelers can fly AirAsia from KLIA, Kuala Lumpur and Firefly from Subang, Kuala Lumpur, to Padang. Lion Air also flies from Jakarta.
From the airport, you can catch a bus, called Damri, to Padang. The fare is Rp. 15,000. A taxi to downtown will cost RM50,000.
The most ubiquitous form of transport in Padang are the minivans called angkot (meaning "transport"). A ride on these garishly decorated angkots will cost you around Rp. 2,000. An alternative is to rent a car with driver. You can certainly cover more places with one.
To travel around Padang with a touch of finesse, ride a bendi (horse-drawn carriage).