Thursday, July 10, 2014

Indonesia: Bukit Tinggi, West Sumatera (Day 3rd)

After breakfast, we visited Taman Panorama Lubang Jepang (Japanese Tunnel Panorama Park) juz nearby our hotel [Entrance fees IDR10k (RM3) for 2pax (expense9)]. Visitors may go through the tunnel by map stated on the wall at the tunnel entrance or with assistance of the local guide. Normally the local guide charged RM5 per pax if tour group, however only both of us so the local guide charged us RM10 per pax and we paid RM20 for 2 pax (expense10). The guide accepted both IDR and MYR currency.

This tunnel was built as Japanese bunker by Indonesians under forced labour (as slave) by Japanese military in 1942 till 1945. Inside this tunnel, there are area to store ammunition, meeting rooms, prison, torture room, the Romusha (forced labourer) dining room, kitchen, surveillance room, ambush room, and the escape gate. When walking along the tunnel, it was cold ambiance, quiet, creepy and sorrowing surrounding.

According to the local guide, the Japanese force the locals to excavate the ground by hand/hoe tool to build the tunnel. He also mentioned 3 mysteries of this tragedy were first, where was the digged soil has been placed as none slopes or pile of earth were found at the nearby area. Second, didn’t found a cluster of skeletons/bones of the labour corpse. Third, general Watanabe went missing and none declared him dead. Total length of the tunnel is almost 1.5km however, we managed went through 400m (shorcut) to the end of this tunnel. Actually, the end of tunnel is the real entrance of the original tunnel.

Ngarai Sianok is a canyon or steep valley or cliff and visible from Taman Panorama Lubang Jepang. Mount Singgalang is one of inactive volcano in West Sumatera and visible from this park as well.

We noticed some of the Minang houses along the way to kerajinan perak (silverwork) at Kota Gadang. Beside silver items, we found out some precious stones such as jade were sold over there as well.

We enjoyed Panorama Desa Sungai Landia green countryside, blue sky, fresh breeze and spectacular scenery.

We had gone through Kelok 44 (the 44th curve road) to reach at Lake Maninjau peak. A board was set at each curve corner and it stated the number of the corner started from 1st till the 44th curve corner. Plus, along the road there was a board reminded us 99 names of Allah (Asma Ul Husna). We astonished cuz we saw bats flown away in the sky at daytime as normally bat flies at night and sleeps at daytime.

Danau Maninjau is a caldera lake which was formed by a volcanic eruption more than 50,000 years ago. Some linked the Lake Maninjau with a legend of Bujang Sembilan (nine bachelors). Lake Maninjau is the second largest lake after the Lake Singkarak. Not to worry as around this lake there are tourist facilities such lodging and stalls. According to Pak Yas, sometimes we unable to see the lake due to thick fog. Fortunately there was less fog and we managed to witnesses the magnificent landscape of Maninjau Lake. Beside the blue lake and green paddy fields, from the peak we spot the karamba/kelong (fish farming) and transmission tower amongst the village area.

We passed by Puncak Lawang which wasn’t in my itinerary cuz I was not aware of this peak. It is a highest peak in Maninjau Lake and one of the best locations for paragliding in South East Asia.

Later we went to Museum of Buya Hamka. He was an author, mostly he wrote about value in Islam, and he was also respected religious expert and a politician. The museum actually is the house where he was born and now was taking care by his kinn. The portrait of Hamka on above was captured in the museum and looks alive.

On the way back to Bukit Tinggi town, we passed by and managed to take photo of karamba/kelong. Karamba is a floating net cage normally made from bamboo or wood frames and nets. It is common method to farm fish at Lake Maninjau and one of typical fish farmed there was nila fish.

Then, we stopover at Bundo Kanduang and tasted Cendol Labu (pumpkin iced cendol) and Dahlia ice-cream. The shop was juz aside the road and bundo kanduang (bunda kandung) means biological mother. We bought some crackers and chips such as pumpkin crackers, jering chips, lala snacks and many more. They helped to packed nicely inside boxes and it was trouble-free for visitors to carry as luggages. We managed to observe scenery and landscape behind this outlet before we proceed to next location.

We had a lunch at Pondok Salero Keluarga, and the masjid juz beside this restaurant.

On the way back to hotel, we enjoyed some of the countryside as above.

We still have time and we dropby horse riding site at Bukit Tinggi town and once again this spot wasn’t in my itinerary as well. For those may ride the horse here, not to worry cuz there is a guide to train visitors a technique to horse riding.

We have a short break at Kantor Walikota Bukit Tinggi and some landscape taken from there. This venue is an office actually, however we juz dropby to pleasure some countryside.

Before end the day, we stopover Yenie Sulaman and Bordir again and bought several hand/machine embroidery fabrics and cotton telekung. As for dinner, we munched gado-gado at Family Restaurant which located juz besides our hotel.

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