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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Bukittinggi, Sumatera Bara, Indonesia

Jun 27, 2012 - Sumatra - Day 10 - Merapi Valley Motorcycle trip

Today we departed our friends; Lee, Ekky, Neil and Ikbal. We all exchanged contact information. Ekky and Lee kindly offered for us to stay with them in Medan, once we arrive there, if we have time before our flight out to Bangkok. Ikbal has been a great host here at Abdis, we thanked him for everything. Our stay here has certainly been a memorable one. Ekky and Lee did not go on a jungle trek today, not because of the late night last night but because Ekky was bit by a large millipede during the night on one of his toes. It had crawled up...

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Jun 26, 2012 - Sumatra - Day 9 - Harau Valley Motorcycle tour

This morning we were graced with sunshine and blue skies. For breakfast we were served each a chocolate pancake, accompanied by a delicious Sumatran coffee, enjoyed by the surrounding views of the towering valley karsts limestone mountains. We took a group tour of Harau valley with our guide, ‘Ricky’ a friend of the family. Jason and I on our motorcycle, Neil doubled up with Ricky and Lee and Ekky borrowed Ricky’s bike for the days journey. First stop was a picturesque roadside view of the valley, from there we stopped and did a short hike...

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Jun 25, 2012 - Sumatra - Day 8 - Harau Valley Cow Races

We grabbed a motorcycle rental and put tire to pavement just a little after 10am. Getting out of Bukittinggi was difficult, hords of traffic polluting your every breath, horns going off in all directions, mosque speakers blaring, motorcycles zig zagging in and out of every available piece of open road just to get ahead of the line - it’s mass chaos. Finally after over an hour of fighting our way out of the city we had success. The views to Harau valley were not disappointing. Rice paddies dotted with workers adorned with cylinderical sun...

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Jun 24, 2012 - Sumatra - Day 7 - Sianok Canyon Walk & Japanese Tunnels

Today we did a 7km trek into the Sianok Canyon just outside of Bukittinggi. A wonderful sunny morning aided our journey into the high walls of the karsts limestone mountains. The walk down into the valley was filled with noise from passing and honking motorists, many of them motorcycles that had modified exhaust pipes, needless to say the vibrations and echo's from these beasts were a bit much to take at times. The fumes were another whole ball of wax to deal with as well but once you rounded a corner that opened up into the Sianok Canyon,...

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Jun 23, 2012 - Sumatra - Days 5 - 6 - Bukittinggi

The market town of Bukittinggi sits high above the valley mists as three sentinels, fire-breathing volcanoes - Merapi, benign Singgalang and distant Sago, all look on impassively. Modern life seems far removed until 9am. Then the traffic starts up and soon there's a mile-long jam around the bus terminal and the air turns the color of diesel. The mosques counter the traffic by cranking their amps to 11. Such is the incongruity of modern Bukittinggi, blessed by nature, choked by mortals. Lush, fertile, busy and at 930 meters above sea level,...

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Nov 20, 2009 - Minangkabau

“When a new house is built, the plan is based on the number of daughters: there will be a (bed)room for each daughter. Girls are married off very young, around fourteen, arranged marriages are still the norm in the Minangkabau. The oldest daughter and her husband will come and live in the first bedroom and the parents who have been living up there, will move one room down to the second bedroom“. We are in what I think is a ‘middle-class’ Minangkabau home and my guide, Arman again, is pointing out how the matrilineal principle is reflected...

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Nov 18, 2009 - Bukittinggi, Lake Maninjau

Bukittinggi is on the 2000 kilometres long Trans Sumatran Highway, well highway…, from Bandar Lampung to Medan and then on to Banda Aceh. At an altitude of 950 metres in the Bukit Barisan range and some 20-25°C, it is nice and cool, compared with the heat and humidity of West-Sumatra’s capital Padang, 90 kilometres west on the coast. Padang was hit by a 7.6 strong earthquake just 7 weeks ago, on September 30th, is still reeling from the extensive devastation and not being too much into disaster tourism anyway, I decide to give it a miss and...

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Nov 14, 2009 - Theft and 'Souvenirs'

“What is your faith?” “I have no faith.” “You have no faith?” The disbelief, bordering on indignation, is palpable in the police lieutenant’s voice (I am not certain if he's a lieutenant, but he is the centre of power here in the police station). You are not a Muslim, a Christian, or a Jew? He still can’t believe somebody has no faith and his underlings surrounding the table with the exhibits of my being robbed, are bobbing on the same waves of incomprehension. Better change the subject before he arrests me for being an atheist. I was...

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Oct 5, 2005 - Bukittinggi, West Sumatra (27-29/09/05)

Après une nuit de bus à travers Sumatra, nous voici à Bukittinggi, petite ville très sympathique qui permet de visiter la région des Minangkabau, à l'architecture (voir photos) et aux traditions assez particulières. En effet, d'après ce que nous avons lu puisqu'il est assez difficile de le savoir de visu, les Minangkabaus, de confession musulmane, ont une organisation matrilinéaire, dans laquelle c'est la femme qui a un rôle central, par exemple en héritant de tous les biens de sa famille ou en cédant son nom et non pas celui de son mari, à...

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