03 May - 04 May 2012 Padang

Republic of Indonesia
Jalan Veteran 33
Hotel Tiga Tiga +6275122173
Large but still overpriced twin room (no. 307) with air-con, slimmer’s breakfast for two and the usual Islamic noise pollution from the encircling mosques as early as about 04.30 a.m., all inclusive for IDR 160,000.- or US$ 17.30 per night. Indifferent staff.
Beer: Dry Muslim hotel; 620-ml bottles of ice-cold Bintang Beer (c. 4.7 % alc./vol.) available, from the icebox under the table, for a proud IDR 28,000.- or US$ 3.- per large bottle, from the ever-reliable Chinese street vendor c. 30 m south of the hotel entrance (no GPS necessary), cheers aka pro!

Click below for an interactive road map of the Hotel Tiga Tiga in Padang and for directions:

Imbibing the essence of West Sumatra and feasting on the pescetarian/vegetarian components of the mouthwatering but mostly fleishig and LDL-cholesterol boosting Padang Cuisine, which is extremely popular across the island and the archipelago, and having a taste of (i) telor balado (hard-boiled eggs dusted with red chilli), (ii) the Padang version of ikan panggang (fish baked in coconut and fiery chilli sauce) and (iii) a variety of deliciously cooked, non-artery clogging local veggies (e.g. jackfruit, beans, spinach, kangkong, cabbage, potatoes, bean sprouts) with fried coconut shavings, tempe and sambal, all accompanied by a load of steamed rice aka nasi putih, traditionally eaten with the fingers (of the right hand) and washed down with a glass of warm and reasonably halal water aka air putih panas; bluebottles flies freely available as additional but non-vegetarian protein, add to taste...

Catching one of Padang’s many cruising angkots (short for angkutan kota [city transport]) from our hotel straight to the airport’s departure hall (20 km, ¾ hour, IDR 25,000.- or US$ 2.70 per person), changing our watches from Western Indonesian Time (GMT/UTC + 7:00 hours) to Malaysia Standard Time (GMT/UTC + 8:00 hours), flying uneventfully with Air Asia Indonesia (“Now Everyone Can Fly”) in a well-worn Airbus A 320-200 from Padang’s modern Minangkabau International Airport (airport tax for international departures: IDR 100,000.- or US$ 10.85 per person) over the Strait of Malacca to Kuala Lumpur’s KLIA-LCCT at Sepang for only US$ 27.60 per person, one way, all inclusive, and being issued with another 90-day-visit pass for a “social visit” to Malaysia on arrival, free of charge, thus leaving Sumatra where we spent the previous two exciting months between (i) the mind-altering depth of 55 m below sea level (DM Konni, diving the wreck of the “Sophie Rickmers) and (ii) the mind-altering altitude of 2,891 m above sea level (Matt, on top of the Gunung Merapi volcano): “Terima kasih banyak. Selamat tinggal, Sumatera!”

Masking Asia
© Konni & Matt

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