Tourist town in the hills above Padang is the perfect base for exploring the surrounding attractions, and has a fabulous market
Bukittinggi is in the heart of Minangkabau country, another Highland people in Sumatra, with their own distinct architecture, which is already visible from the villages in the approach to town: steeply convex roofs ending in high sky-pointing ends at both sides of the houses. The town itself is pleasantly relaxed, with a small center, a huge and colourful market, an old Dutch clock tower and Fort de Kock, the old Dutch castle of which not much more than the location, overlooking the town, and the odd canon, remains. Bukittinggi, at 930 m altitude is also the weekend resort for the Padang crowd seeking a break from the coastal heat and humidity.
Overall a pleasant town, and a great base to explore the surrounding area. Panorama Point at the southern edge of town provides great views over the local volcanoes, always exciting. Gunung Singgalang is to the SW, and to the SE is Gunung Merapi, not to be confused with the volcano of the same name in Java. In between is the steep Sianok Canyon, quite spectacular, further afield the beautiful Danau Maninjau, and the impressive collection of traditional houses in Sumgayang.