To Bukkittingi, in the heart of the highlands, it is a two-hour drive through the beautiful countryside of the Anai Valley and up to the Agam Plateau. A little park, overlooking the spectacular Ngarai Sianok is a centre of attraction. This is the grand canyon of Sumatra, which separates Bukkittingi from Kota Gadang, 12 kms away overland.
Then there is the clocktower of the town topped by a hornshaped roof and referred to by the people as Jam Gadang. It overlooks the market square and its magnificent surroundings.
Located 930 metres above sealevel, Bukkittingi, formerly named Fort de Cock by the Dutch, has a cool climate and is surrounded by three volcanoes: Tandikat, Singgalang and Merapi. Bukkittingi is a great place if you want to discover the highlands.
On the other site of the canyon is the village of Kota Gadang. the place is reknowned for its fine silver filigrane work and for its hand-embroidery. All over the village you can find silverworkshops where craftsman making the filigrane juwelery and small sculptures. Most workshops have a shop where you can buy souvenirs. To visit Kota Gadang walk to the bridge over the Sianok canyon. At the other side of the bridge steep stairs will lead up to Kota Gadang. It is also possible to catch a minibus from the bus station in Bukittinggi.
A new option is to climb up from the canyon to Kota Gadang via the greatwall. the old stair is completely restored beside other renovations in the canyon.
Access to 2890 meter mount Merapi (Fire Mountain) is from Kota Baru, 12 km south of Bukittinggi. Typically, the climb witch is strenuous rather then gruelling if you are reasonably fit takes 6 hours up and four hours down. Most people climb at night to arrive at the top for the sunrise. The first four hours or so are through the forest and then across bare rocks leading to the summit. The top, actually a plateau area, with the still smoking crater in the middle. You may spot bats, gibbons and squirrels in the forest.
The village of Pandai Sikat is 10 km away from Bukkittingi, with hand-weaving and carving industries.
The village has 1000 looms and turns out richly interwoven cloth. Carved wooden ornaments and furniture are also made here.
“Ngarai, the Indonesian word for canyon, Sianok “ lies at the outskirts of Bukkittingi. It is a steep canyon of about 100-150 metres high ( deep? ), It is very beautiful and this panoramic landscape is hard to describe, it is as if there are no words to express the beauty of this geological wonder. We can see a perfect view of the Ngarai Sianok from Panorama Park, which is located inside the town of Bukittinggi. In this park there is also a famous Japanese hole. The garden is very beautiful and spacious, cool weather was a typical Bukittinggi will make an amazing atmosphere.
From there, we can see a perfect landscape. This valley has a cliffs covered by the green forests. The extent up to tens of kilometers.
From Panorama in the evening you can see a spectaculair natural event when the flying foxes go hunting. and a few kilometers insite the canyon you can find Taruko a cafe-restorant/hotel with a beautifull view. The place is populair by students.