Top 10 Best Food to Eat Bandung

Unlike many other cities in Indonesia, Bandung doesn’t have such a set food scene, and it can be hard to find ‘traditional’ food that is unique to the city. Instead, Bandung is most famous for its dishes that originated in other parts of Indonesia but which have been given their own ‘Bandung twist’.

Much of the food found in Bandung is Sundanese in origin and although you may find similar dishes across Indonesia, the Bandung varieties are usually unique in their own right even if they can’t claim to be the original version of dish.
Despite its lack of a definitive culinary identity as opposed to other cities like Medan in Sumatra, you definitely won’t go hungry here, and a trip to this part of Java is the perfect opportunity to eat your way around the city.

Here are the recommended 10 best foods to try in Bandung.

Eating out in Bandungfood, Indonesia

Eating out in Bandung. Photo by Phalinn Ooi

Serabi

Serabi, also known as Surabi, are Indonesia’s answer to pancakes which are made with flour and then cooked in a special clay mould over charcoal to help them keep their shape. Sometimes the pancakes can be flavoured with pandan which produces a pretty pastel green version of serabi. The pancakes are usually thick and more like a mix between a cake and a pancake and are served with a sauce of palm sugar and coconut milk which is drizzled on top to give them a sweet kick. Nowadays some serabi can be served with different toppings like shavings of cheese, chocolate sprinkles, or sliced banana. This is usually a street food and can be found at breakfast time although you can also eat them as a snack at any time of the day. In other parts of Indonesia, serabi may come savoury as well.

Serabi of Bandung food, Indonesia

Serabi with sweet sugar sauce. Photo by Serenity via CC

Batagor

Batagor is eaten all over Indonesia although it is said to have originated in West Java and is one of Bandung’s specialities. The name comes from an abbreviation of the ingredients used in the dish, bakso tahu goreng, or fried meatballs and tofu. The dish is usually eaten as a snack rather than a full meal and is served with fried fish balls that are usually encased in a crispy batter or are stuffed inside the chunks of tofu for which this dish is famous. The fish balls and sit alongside shredded cabbage and are doused in a delicious peanut based sauce.

Lotek

Lotek is a Sundanese dish that is basically another version of Indonesia’s most famous salad, gado-gado. Lotek is made from vegetables like bean sprouts and water spinach, and also includes pillowy chunks of tofu. The salad ingredients are covered in a spicy peanut sauce which is reminiscent of gado-gado although the two dishes use slightly different seasonings in the sauce. Lotek also comes with prawn crackers called krupuk and is served with compressed rice cakes named lontong.

Lotek of Bandung food, Indonesia

Lotek. Photo by Okkisafire via CC

Pisang Molen

Pisang molen is a quintessential snack found all over Bandung and consists of bananas encased in pastry. The bananas are then deep fried so that the pastry puffs up to provide a kind of crunchy shell around the soft interior. This snack is so popular that many people buy pisang molen as presents to take home at the end of a trip to Bandung although they are best enjoyed piping hot from a roadside stand.

Pisang Molen of Bandung food, Indonesia

Pisang Molen. Photo by Midori via CC

Soto Bandung

Soto is a kind of soup that is famous across Indonesia and varies according to each region, and Soto Bandung is no different. Many soto recipes call for chicken to be used as the main protein, although Soto Bandung is traditionally made using beef. Unlike some soto dishes like Soto Medan which uses coconut milk to thicken the broth, Soto Bandung is clear and is pepped up with the unusual addition of slices of radish which give it a peppery kick that mixes with the hearty beef stock.

Soto of Bandung food, Indonesia

Soto Bandung. Photo by Gunawan Kartapranata via CC

Cilok Bandung

Cilok gets its name from aci which is the Indonesian word for starch. This delicious street food snack is made from tapioca which is rolled into the shape of a ball and then boiled. It may not sound exciting but the balls are then threaded into skewers and served with a spicy dipping sauce that makes this a delicious snack to eat on the go. 



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Mie Kocok

Mie Kocok is quite different from many Indonesian noodle dishes and is made from flat noodles that swim in a delicious beef stock. Depending on how it is made it can come served with kikil or cow tendons and tripe. The broth is then spiked with celery leaves and topped with fried onions. Sometimes it can also be made with chicken and may include chicken’s feet or other variations use beef meatballs.

Mie Kocok stall in Bandung, Indonesia

Mie Kocok stall in Bandung. Photo by Phalinn Ooi

Karedok

Karedok is similar in many ways to gado-gado and lotek. Essentially it is a salad made up of crunchy vegetables such as beans, bean sprouts, cabbage, and cucumber although it omits steamed potato which is often found in both gado-gado and lotek. The salad is tossed in a thick peanut dressing mixed with chilli and the signature difference when it comes to keradok is the use of basil leaves which add an aromatic herbal hit to the dish.

Sundanese Food in Bandung, Karedok, Indonesia

Sundanese Food in Bandung, Karedok on bottom left. Photo by Gunawan Kartapranata via CC

Gepuk

Another Sundanese favourite in Bandung is gepuk which is a dish of spicy fried beef which is sometimes likened to Indonesia’s famous beef rendang curry. The dish is usually made using beef flank which is pounded to soften the flesh and then mixed with aromatic spices like coriander, lemongrass, galangal and Indonesian bay leaves. The meat is then cooked in coconut milk and is slightly sweet thanks to the addition of palm sugar. Gepuk is usually served with rice and is topped with fried shallots.

Amanda Brownies

Brownies may not immediately sound like a quintessential Indonesian dish but if you are looking for dessert in Bandung then these are not to be missed. The brownies here are steamed rather than baked which means they are incredibly soft and fluffy with a deep hit of cocoa that makes them rich and incredibly moreish. The most famous spot to buy brownies in the city is Amanda Brownies so make sure to come and pick up a box before you leave.

Related articles:
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Top 10 Things to Do in Sanur, Bali

Finding things to do in Sanur, this charming seaside town of Bali, may seem not possible as it is on the quieter side. Backing onto a long strip of sandy beach, it lacks the pounding waves of other areas of Bali which makes it a good pick for relaxed swimming and a safe spot for a beach holiday with children. There is a good range of accommodation options in Sanur * as well as a plethora of eateries where you can truly enjoy and dine freshly caught seafood as you take in the beachside views close by.

Sanur does not have many attractions as such, like temples or galleries, but there are still several spots of interest here. One of its charms is its laid back atmosphere without the crowds and throbbing nightlife of areas like Kuta. If you are travelling with a family or simply want to spend some time in a calmer corner of Bali, then Sanur has everything you need.

Here are some of the things you can do in Sanur, yourself or with your family, besides chilling around:

Boat at Sanur Beach, Bali, Indonesia

Boat at Sanur Beach. Photo by Exaudi Ebennezer

View the Blanjong Pillar

The Blanjong Pillar has the claim to fame of being the oldest historical relic in Bali as it dates from 914 AD. If you enjoy uncovering hidden archaeological finds then the pillar is well with a stop when you are in Sanur. The pillar is an inscription related to the first king of Bali named Sri Kesari Waemadewa although it has still not been fully translated due to the ancient Sanskrit and Balinese scripts engraved on the stone. The pillar is located down an unmarked lane off Jalan Danau Poso. Walk down the street until you are facing Pura Belanjong and it is the alleyway directly on the left of the pura.

Belanjong Pillar of Sanur, Bali, Indonesia

Belanjong Pillar of Sanur, Bali. Photo by PHGCOM, via Wikimedia Commons

Try out kitesurfing

Sanur doesn’t have any waves which mean that it is often overlooked by those who want to surf in favour of other spots like Kuta and Uluwatu. Many people don’t realise however that Sanur is well known for its water sports and its strong winds make it the perfect place to try your hand at kite surfing. Many of the beaches in Sanur offer kitesurfing activities where you can glide through the water while strapped to a billowing kite.

Kitesurfing / Windsurfing at Sanur, Bali, Indonesia

Kitesurfing / Windsurfing at Sanur

Visit Museum Le Mayeur

Museum Le Mayeur used to be the home of a Belgian expatriate who moved to Bali to make impressionist art. Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur de Merpres lived in Bali until 1958 and his home has now been turned into a showcase of his work. Many of his pieces are portraits of his wife, a famous Balinese dancer name Ni Wayan Polok Tjoeglik. After the death of Le Mayeur, the house became a museum. You can also enjoy the garden and the traditional Balinese compound that the collection is set in.

Eat good local food at Jalan Danau Poso

The centre of Sanur is surprisingly small and there are basically two main roads in the form of Jalan Danau Tamblingan and Jalan Danau Poso. It is on Jalan Danau Poso that you will find some of the best restaurants in Sanur, and many of these focus on local bites rather than Western fare. Look out for Warung Dapur Sanur and Warung Jawa which offer up cheap but delicious Indonesian nasi campur, mixed rice with curries and side dishes.

-> Check out our Top 6 Local Restaurants (Warung) to eat in Sanur

Warung Dapur at Sanur, Bali, Indonesia

Warung Dapur at Sanur, Bali. Photo by Balikutours

Shop on Jalan Danau Tamblingan

The centre of Sanur is quite compact and much of the action takes place on the main artery of Jalan Danau Tamblingan. Here you will find a huge range of arts and crafts shops selling gifts and souvenirs including traditional Balinese trinkets like colourful kites, masks, and wood carvings.

-> Find places to stay in Sanur at Booking.com. Free cancellation. *

Visit the Griya Santrian Gallery

The Griya Santrian Gallery is part of the Griya Santrian Boutique Hotel and is the only real gallery space that you will find in Sanur. The gallery has a range of rotating exhibitions that feature the work of local artists as well as events such as book launches and other arts related showcases. In the past, collections have included paintings, sculpture, photography and even Balinese textiles.

Enjoy the beachfront promenade

One of the signature features of Sanur is the paved path that runs along its coastline. Unlike other parts of Bali which are tricky to walk around, Sanur is the ideal place to go for a stroll. If you are travelling with children then the promenade makes walking around easy even with a stroller. You can hike pretty much the entire length of Sanur along the path. The best times of the day to visit are early morning before the sun gets too fierce and at night under the stars.

A nice walk at Sanur's beachfront promenade, Bali, Indonesia

A nice walk at Sanur’s beachfront promenade. Photo by Matt Croxson, via Wikimedia Commons

Sign up for a dive class

You can’t dive in Sanur exactly but there are a few good dive sites that are just a short boat ride away. If you want to learn to dive, there are a wide range of dive shops and classes to choose from here. The waters close to Sanur are known for teeming with underwater life like puffer fish, lion fish, moray eels, and pygmy seahorses.

Diving at Sanur, Bali, Indonesia

Diving at Sanur, Bali. Photo by Ilse Reijs and Jan-Noud Hutten

Visit the Turtle Conservation and Education Centre

The Turtle Conservation and Education Centre is nestled on Serangan Island, close to Sanur and is the place to come if you love turtles. The centre is on a mission to educate visitors of the dangers facing turtles in Bali. They also rescue sick or injured turtles before releasing them back into the wild. This is a great stop especially if you are travelling with young children, who will enjoy seeing the cute baby turtles which are born at the centre. You can also spend the rest of your time of Serangan Island exploring a quieter and less visited part of Bali.

A turtle in a sanctuary at Bali, Indonesia

A turtle in a sanctuary at Bali. Photo by Steve Deeves

Soak up the sun at Pantai Indah

Sanur has a long stretch of coastline but the sands here are actually separated into different beaches. It is not clear here where the one beach ends and another begins. As a rule of thumb, one of the best beaches in Sanur is Pantai Indah which is located half way along the main road of Jalan Danau Tamblingan. The best way to get here is the access point in front of Bali Deli which will also take you to Warung Pantai Indah, a beachside cafe. In this cafe, you can also get a range of dishes like tasty satay, curries, and fresh juices or a cold bottle of beer.

Sunrise at Sanur Beach, Bali, Indonesia

Sunrise at Sanur Beach

Beside relaxing and spending your time on the beach in Sanur, you find that there are also quite a number of other activities to choose from. If you are thinking whether to stay in Sanur * during your holiday in Bali, whether you’re on a couple trip or a family trip with kids, you can see that Sanur may be just the place to be.

Related articles:
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Top 5 Fine Dining Restaurants in Bali

Bali has an exciting and vibrant culinary scene, inclusive of many fine dining restaurants. The dining choices here are growing year upon year. Although this is a good news for food lovers, it also means that there are too many choices and it is difficult to know where to start. There are, of course, a huge number of small local warungs and cafes still, but if you are looking for fine dining as a special treat, then Bali certainly won’t let you down.

Here are our recommended top 5 fine dining restaurants in Bali.

Swept Away Restaurant at The Samaya Ubud

Swept Away Restaurant is part of The Samaya Ubud * that overlooks a picturesque river in Ubud. If you are looking for a relaxing lunch or dinner surrounded by nature then this is one of the best choices in Bali.

Swept Away Restaurant, Samaya Ubud, fine dining Bali, Indonesia

Swept Away Restaurant, Bali. Photo by Samaya Ubud

You can try its toothsome lunch menu with highlights such as Pulled Chicken in Rice Paper Rolls at IDR 90,000 or the late afternoon snack menu with a range of tapas options like mini burgers and satay. These tapas tasting plates begin at IDR 40,000.

In the evening you will find a dinner menu that starts at IDR 550,000 for 4 courses or IDR 650,000 for 6 courses. The dishes on this menu include fine dining favourites like wagyu beef, lobster, and crab. If you are looking to treat yourself while you are in Bali then this is a great spot to choose.

Opening Hours: 11:00–22.00
Address: Jl. Raya Sayan, Sayan, Ubud, Bali
Telephone: +62 0361 973606

Blanco par Mandif, Ubud

Blanco par Mandif is known for its delicious local Indonesian food that is served with a modern twist. The restaurant sits in the cultural capital of Bali, Ubud. It operates out of the beautiful Blanco Renaissance Museum overlooking the mighty Tjampuhan River. As it can only seat 10 diners at one time, it is the perfect place if you are looking for an intimate and relaxed dining experience.

Fine Dine at Blanco Par Mandif, Bali, Indonesia

Fine Dine at Blanco Par Mandif, Ubud. Photo by Blanco Par Mandif

At Blanco par Mandif, you will find local ingredients sourced from across Bali. Their signature dishes and Indonesian desserts are typically a street food, known as Jajanan Pasar. Some of these are the Balinese duck and Lapis Legit, which is a kind or layer cake and Lepet, a sticky rice dish served with coconut milk. You can expect prices to begin at IDR 850,000 for a seven-course degustation menu, IDR 950,000 for the nine-course degustation menu, and IDR 1,100,000 for the twelve-course menu. The menu comes with wine, so while the prices may seem a little steep they are actually quite reasonable for the amount of food and drinks provided.

Opening Hours: 12:00–14:00, 18:00–20:30, 21:00– 24:00
Address: Kompleks Museum Blanco, Jl. Raya Tjampuhan, Ubud, Bali
Telephone: +62 0361 702222

-> Find places to stay in Ubud at Booking.com *

The Dava Bar & Grill at Ayana Resort, Jimbaran

The Dava Bar & Grill at the AYANA Resort & Spa * is located in pretty Jimbaran and is styled as a steak house and seafood grill. The restaurant looks out over the glittering ocean below and is famous for its sunset vistas.

View over Ayana Bar, fine dining Bali, Indonesia

View over Ayana Bar. Photo by Simon_sees

The emphasis here is on delicious meat and seafood. You can get dishes such as the Stockyard Silver Label Wagyu Tenderloin (IDR 180,000 for 120 grams), or the Canadian Lobster (IDR 830,000). You can also try a traditional Indonesian dish called Babi Guling (IDR 350,000), which is suckling pig that has been slow cooked for hours. The restaurant’s desserts, such as the passion fruit soufflé (IDR 130,000) and the vacherin (IDR 90,0000) that incorporate local tropical fruits, are also well loved.

Opening Hours: 07:00 – 11.00 and 18.30 – 23.00
Address: AYANA Resort and Spa Bali, Jl. Karang Mas Sejahtera, Jimbaran, Bali
Telephone: +62 0361 702222

Boneka Restaurant at St. Regis, Nusa Dua

Boneka Restaurant is located inside the beautiful St. Regis Hotel *. It is covered with puppet imagery, as ‘boneka’ means ‘puppet’ in Indonesian.

St. Regis Hotel pool, fine dining Bali, Indonesia

St. Regis Hotel pool, Bali. Photo by Wicker Paradise

As this restaurant is open all day, you can start early with the buffet breakfast. One of the well known dishes are its smoked fish, oysters, and sashimi. You can also opt for decadent bites like the lobster omelette or the lobster ragout filled egg. Bruch packages begin at IDR 690,000 which includes cocktails at the iconic King Cole Bar.

If you dine in the evening, you can enjoy another buffet which has lobster, steak, and oysters. It also comes with tasting plates such as short ribs with truffle oil potato puree. This buffet package is IDR 790,000 excluding drinks. The price may be steep but it will definitely be an unforgettable experience.

Opening Hours: Breakfast 07.00 – 11.00, Brunch 12.00 – 15.00, Dinner 18.00- 22.00
Address: St Regis Bali Kawasan Pariwisata Lot S6, Nusa Dua, Bali
Telephone: +62 0361 3006796

Sangkar Restaurant at Bulgari Resort, Uluwatu

For some opulent fine dining with stunning sea views, you can consider the Sangkar Restaurant at Bulgari Resort Bali* in Uluwatu. The restaurant is located on the side of a cliff offering some of the best vistas across Bali.

Fine dining at Bulgari Resort, Bali, Indonesia

Fine dining at Bulgari Resort, Bali. Photo by Simon_sees

There are lunch and dinner menus which feature a range of Indonesian ingredients served with a modern twist. Sample dishes are tuna and scallops cooked in Balinese chilli paste (IDR 195,000) and Satay Lilit (IDR 165,000), minced fish grilled over hot coals.

If you are in the mood to splurge, you can opt for the Gourmet Lobster Menu, costing IDR 1,320,000. It comes with three dishes that feature lobster and a dessert including a glass of sparkling wine. If you prefer a more local flavour, then the Balinese Dining Experience Menu, costing IDR 1,320,000 will not disappoint, pairing Balinese dishes a glass of local wine. Some of the dishes are seared prawns in traditional coconut broth and grilled giant prawns rubbed with Balinese spices. This restaurant delivers an amazing fine dining experience in one of the most spectacular settings in Bali.

Opening Hours:12:00 – 15.00 and 18.00 – 23.00
Address: Bulgari Hotel & Resorts Bali, JL. Goa Lempeh, Uluwatu, Pecatu, Bali
Telephone: +62 0361 8471000

As you can see, there are many fine dining options in Bali. Whether you are in Bali for honeymoon or in the mood to celebrate and indulge, you can be sure that Bali has enough choices for you to pamper yourself and your loved ones. If you are a food lover, these restaurants will be sure to impress your palate and well worth your money.

Related articles:
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Mentawai Islands, Sumatra Travel Guide

The beautiful Mentawai Islands are a small archipelago that sits off the west coast of Sumatra in Indonesia. They are famous for their surfing conditions, being on of the top 10 surf spots in Indonesia. It even rivals those found in the surfer’s paradise of Bali.

As such, many surfers come to the Mentawai Islands after the surf season in Bali has finished. But surfing is not the only activity on offer here. Many of the islands provide delightful opportunities for trekking as well as fishing and snorkeling. If none of these appeals, then you can also spend time relaxing on the beaches here or learning more about the Mentawai culture.

Beautiful view at Mentawai Islands, Indonesia

Beautiful view at Mentawai Islands. Photo by Warm Winds Surf Shop

Where is it

The Mentawai Islands are located around 150 kilometers off the west coast of the island of Sumatra. They consist of Pulau (island) Siberut, Pulau Sipura Pulau Pagai-utara and Pulau Pagai-selatan. To visit here, you will have to first go to Padang in West Sumatra before making the journey across by boat.

Fishing village at Bintan Island, Indonesia

Map of Mentawai Islands

Why go

If you are a surfing aficionado, then the Mentawais offer some of the best surfing in the country. These islands are not to be missed as part of your wider surf trip in Indonesia. If surfing is not your thing, the Mentawais still offer you the chance to see a far less touristy side of Indonesia, with a fascinating culture that many visitors don’t get to see. With relatively good travel links to Padang, the Mentawais are also quite easy to visit, especially for intrepid travelers looking for some adventures a little off the beaten track.

Surfing the waves of Mentawai Islands, Indonesia

Surfing the waves of Mentawai Islands. Photo by Colm Walsh

When to visit

The best time to visit the Mentawai Islands is after the rainy season, which starts around November or December and then runs until approximately March or April. During this time it can rain every day, and if you want to spend time surfing or sunbathing then, this can be a rather damp time to visit. Months like September and October are good picks as the weather is pleasant and this is also low season after the summer holidays and before the winter rush for Christmas and New Year. The flight tickets and accommodations are often discounted during this time. The overall general best time to visit the Mentawai Islands is during the dry season of May to October.

People of Mentawai Islands, Indonesia

People of Mentawai Islands. Photo by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

What to see

The Mentawais are islands of sand and surf so bear in mind that most of the things to see here are focused on beach life.

Siberut Island – the biggest of all the islands and where most of the population lives. Most of the island is made up of tropical rainforest, and for this reason, it is a UNESCO reserve. It is also the spot where you will find Siberut National Park where you can go trekking and explore the unique flora and fauna of these islands.

People of Mentawai Islands, Indonesia

River at Pulau Siberut Island. Photo by viajar24h.com, via Wikimedia Commons

Sipora Island – If you want to see a more developed side of the Mentawais then head over to Pulau Sipora. It is the home of the ‘capital’ city of the Mentawais called Tua Pejat. The local government offices are also located here and it is the urbanest of all the Mentawai Islands.

Pagai Islands – separated into Pulau Pagai Utara in the north and Pulau Pagai Selatan in the south. Travelers hardly ever make it out that far, but you can charter a boat and cruise around the waters here if you want to explore further afield.

What to do

If you like islands and beaches then you will find much to do on the Mentawais.

Surfing – the top activity here with consistent surf breaks. Some of the popular surfing spots here are E’bay, Beng-beng, Nipussi and Pitstop. Here you can get many islets and flawless reef with sun blue waters, and also offshore winds and spitting tubes.

Fishing – the usual fishing using a rod, or spear fishing using a spear gun are both popular on the Mentawais. You will find a huge number of fish living in the shallow reefs around the islands.

Snorkeling – also a great activity on the islands and the visibility here is excellent. You can rent snorkeling equipment easily from many guesthouses and hotels.

Boat for surfing and snorkeling Mentawai Islands, Indonesia

Boat for surfing and snorkeling. Photo by Warm Winds Surf Shop

Trekking and hiking – For anyone who prefers to stay on dry land, these are the best activities to do on the Mentawai Islands. There are treks to suit all levels of ability and you can either take a guided tour that lasts for a full day or go for an easy hike independently for a few hours. One of the popular trekking places is the Siberut National Park

Shaman traditional ceremony – If you are looking for a bit of local culture then make sure not to miss out on this. The indigenous people of the Mentawais are the Sikerei tribe. You will find the traditional performances information in hotels and guesthouses on the islands.

Where to stay

The most choices of places to stay on Mentawai Islands would be on the big island of Pulau Siberut *. You may also find some remote and luxurious choices at Sipora Island, for example, the Simakakang Villa *.

Mentawai Islands at night, Indonesia

Mentawai Islands at night. Photo by Bruno Ahlgrimm

How to get around

The Mentawai Islands are easy to get around. You may be able to walk around on foot if you are just going from your guesthouse to the beach. If you want to explore further, however, then it is a good idea to rent a scooter or a bicycle which can be easily arranged from a local hotel or guesthouse.

How to get there

To get to the Mentawai Islands, you first need to travel to the city of Padang in West Sumatra. There are flights from Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta to Padang. There is also a range of domestic airlines that make the journey from other parts of Indonesia. Some of the local airlines that travel to Padang are Garuda Indonesia, Air Asia Indonesia and Lion Air.

Local fishermen returning at Padang beach Mentawai Islands, Indonesia

Local fishermen returning at Padang beach. Photo by Fadillah Jafar, via Wikimedia Commons

Once you have travelled to Padang, you will need to get a boat to the Mentawai Islands. One of the best ways to do this is to take a fast ferry that leaves every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Note that the ferry leaves at 7 am from Padang Harbor, so you will need to come to Padang the night before. The ferry will then travel to Sikabalua Port arriving at 10 am and then on to Siberut at 12 pm where the majority of hotels and guesthouses are.

Where to go nearby

Padang – a coastal city with Dutch colonial buildings and fishing boats
Pekanbaru – the capital of Riau and well known for its modernity and cleanliness while maintaning the many of its unique heritage architectures.

Related articles:
Sumatra Travel Guide
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