Go West of Sumatra pt 2
The places I mentioned in my previous post was situated around the Bukit Tinggi town. Bukit Tinggi most famous icon is Jam Gadang, a clock tower which was built in the 1800s. To be honest I am not really that impressed by it, maybe I have just missed the point of the attraction.
Bung Hatta’s House
As an Indonesian, I think this one of the place a person should visit at least once in their life. Bung Hatta, or Mohammad Hatta is one of the founder of Indonesia, he was our first vice president. He and Soekarno proclaimed Indonesia as a nation.
The house where Bung Hatta grew up in is large but also humble, it is clean and well kept. I was really taken by it and felt very patriotic. Lots of thought run through my head, which I wouldn’t share with you because they would be too long too explain.
A quote from Bung Hatta
Tiap tiap orang harus merdeka mengeluarkan buah pikirannya,memeluk agamanya sendiri,merdeka mengritik yang dianggapnya salah asal dalam batas kesopanan,merdeka bernegoisasi dan bebas dari pada ancaman.
translates to: Every person should have the freedom to speak their mind, to hold whatever their religion, free to criticise politely what he/she think to be wrong, free to negotiate and free from any threat.
It is free to go in the house, donations are welcome, and please do donate.
This is the more famous tourist destination compared to Lembah Harau, as it is nearer to Bukit Tinggi. It also has the province attempt in copying the great wall of China.
I am going to let you judge by yourself from these pictures.
Kerajinan Amai Setia
Now as I mentioned to our driver whether there are anymore traditional craft that the local produce he took us to this place Kerajinan Amai Setia, in Koto Gadang, they produce lots of silver and hand embroidered craft. The house looks really old but it was so quiet and sleepy, I tought they weren’t selling anything. Anyway it is worth a visit I bought 2 pairs of silver earrings they were pretty, I wanted to buy some of the embroidered things but ran out of money hehehe.
After the trip to the place I checked online about them and it is really interesting to find out that Kerajinan Amai Setia was founded a long time a go (1911) as almost like Women’s Institute, to modernise women in the area by giving them working skills etc. I never knew such things exist in Indonesia. Another thing I found out about Indonesia. For Indonesian, the article about it is available here.
Before going back to Padang for my flight the next day, we stopped at Istana Pagaruyung or Pagaruyung Palace in Batu Sangkar
Also known as Istano Baso, the palace is a representation of the Pagaruyung palatial abode. The original palace was burnt down in 1804, which was rebuilt but again burnt down in 1966 and again in 2007, it still hasnt had its official opening. The current palace was built in a different location to the original. Why I said a representation not a replica, some sources told me that it is not exactly like the first palace in some area like the fact that it is 3 storeyed.
Pagaruyung was thought to be the name of a kingdom located where the modern West Sumatra is, there are different years circling the kingdom, some say it started in the 1300s some said it is between 1500s to 1800s there is little to almost none information about it. There is a possibility that the country was run by Adityawarman, who was born at the Majapahit period (Majapahit is the kingdom that used to govern most part of Indonesia). This is based on an inscription they found on a stone, but again there are some doubts about it.
Anyway, I’ll find out more and one day write about it, but won’t bore you just yet. Unfortunately I couldn’t really go inside the palace, for some reason or another I wasn’t sure particularly why.
Museum Adityawarman in Padang was I thought really good in terms of having a lot of information and object, but I am not sure about the interpretations. If there was not as much of a beaurocratic culture in Indonesia as we know it has, I would love to volunteer and just do their intrepretation for them. Specially in making it more accessible to the public and children. I could probably even do it without having to be there for them.
Anyway I digress, I would thoroughly recommend his museum to those interested in the culture and would be spending time reading the labels, otherwise it could be boring. I enjoyed my visit as I get to learn about the different types of West Sumatran traditional houses, the best thing I learnt was about songket and songket design. The entry was Rp.3,000, as per usual, really cheap.
That wraps up my visit to West Sumatra which was done in 3 days 2 nights.