Bukittinggi is a large town in the centre of Sumatra, nestled in between Mount Singgalang and Mount Marapi. Because it’s 930 metres above sea level it’s quite cool in temperature, especially at night which is refreshing.
The town itself isn’t that visually appealing, but there are pleasant parts to it. Dutch colonial style buildings still stand in the centre, such as the clock tower which now has an Indonesian style roof.
We stayed in Bamboosa Guesthouse which was comfortable and budget friendly, but they did have a number of birds in cages which wasn’t great. We caught up on sleep the first night in the comfy beds complete with duvets, which was a nice touch.
The following morning, we had breakfast then walked to the Japanese Tunnels – a series of 40 metre deep underground tunnels that were around 1.5 kilometres in length. They were built by Indonesian slaves when the Japanese occupied Indonesia from 1942 to 1945. No noise can be heard from the outside because the tunnels are so deep and soundproof. They were used for prisons, meeting rooms, residences and for storing ammunition. The entry to the tunnels was only 20,000 IDR (just over £1) and we paid extra for a local guide to take us around which was certainly worth it, as there weren’t any information boards inside.
After the tunnels, we walked back to Bamboosa and accidentally past the horrific zoo where we saw a large monkey in a tiny cage. After reading TripAdvisor reviews and hearing some of the animals in distress, I really encourage people not to visit.
By 4pm, our guesthouse had dropped us off at the bus station, ready for our sixteen hour bus journey to Lake Toba. They’d managed to get us the last four seats on the bus which was really lucky!