Posted by: Mark | March 29, 2008


In January, I took a short jaunt to Padang, in West Sumatera, for the wedding of AIYEP alumni, Mely, and fellow Minang, Wen. Leaving on Saturday morning, Bintang and I made it to the reception at about 10am, and began eating. We also greeted the happy couple, who were dressed as such:


The head wear weighed about four kilograms apparently. Mely didn’t seem that happy about it.

Having eaten, napped, and, in Bintang’s case, busted out a rendition of “Eternal Flame”, I was ready to do a little sightseeing. Having obtained keys, helmets, registration and a motorcycle, we were ready to go. Note that I didn’t include “directions” in that list.


People come to Minang weddings not out of obligation, nor the free grub, but for the sweet karaoke action.

Deciding that a trip to the beach was in order, we headed west, and an hour later had arrived. Unfortunately, we were to find out that the beach is in fact east, and only 15 minutes away. Anyway, we settled down to some “young” coconuts, and took in the view.


Looks kind of quaint and village-like. Nevertheless, about 10 metres to the right of frame is raging traffic and a bustling market.

Next on the agenda was this bridge. It has a name, and probably an interesting back story, but I’ve forgotten all of that. It was picturesque though.


Apparently barbecued corn is the bridge specialty, but sitting around seemed unwise, considering it was getting dark and I had no idea how to get home.

After a fairly frustrating time trying to get home, with only an address and not even the vaguest idea of where it was, some good samaritans who were heading that way led us to the area. After some further searching we made it, just in time to watch Mely open her presents. Hilariously, she got about seven of the exact same tea set. I’m guessing Padang isn’t quite a shopping mecca.

The next day, we borrowed the bike again, and headed off, this time with some clearer directions. First, we took in some Minangkabau architecture, which is quite different from anything I’ve seen before. Examples as follows.





After buying traditional Minangkabau snacks, kripik balado, a kind of cracker with sweet chilli sauce, and having lunch at a traditional Minangkabau restaurant, Pizza Hut, we decided to head home to pack, so as not to miss the flight to Jakarta. After a quick nap, Wen and Mely chauffeured us to the airport, and we were on our way back to the Big Durian.


Throughout my time in Padang, I was rocking this haircut. This photo betrays the fact that it was getting dangerously close to mullet length at the back.



  1. Finally got a chance to check the photos. All very nice with lots of detail when you zoom in. That Minangkabau architecture building would make a killer Lego kit. Haircut looks dashing as well.

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