Nestled in the highlands north of Padang in the Agam valley, the town of Bukittinggi or ‘high hill’ is West Sumatra’s cultural center. While Padang may be the modern commercial and administrative hub, Bukittinggi is a bustling market town.
Although it is less than a degree south of the equator, Bukittinggi has a refreshingly cool climate due to its elevation – over 900 meters above sea level. While it rains here often, this is not enough to deter travelers who come to enjoy what many claim is the most hospitable city in Sumatra.
The town also has an alternative name, Tri Arga, which refers to the three majestic mountains that shape the regions fortunes.
Many visitors come to Bukittinggi to visit the remarkable Sianok canyon where giant rock cliff faces, rugged trees which grow on top and the dramatic surrounding mountains make this canyon a spellbinding view.
This is an ideal place to go if you want to get beyond the average tourist trail. Compared to other spots in Sumatra, Bukkitinggi only receives a handful of visitors that use the town as a base for nearby hikes or to take cultural tours to the Minangkabau highland.