West Sumatra is a truly spectacular experience that provides valuable insights into the diversity and richness of Indonesian culture.

West Sumatra is a heaven for explorers at heart in search of authentic secret nature and tribal life experiences. The ancient culture offers a glimpse into a world that is deeply rooted in tradition, spirituality, and a strong connection to the natural environment. Visitors who have the opportunity to witness the less known culture firsthand are often captivated by its authenticity, resilience, and profound wisdom. It is a truly spectacular experience that provides valuable insights into the diversity and richness of Indonesian culture.

Let’s start from Mentawai, culture, off the western coast, home to an animist population of semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers, one of the oldest tribes in Indonesia that broke away from the Sumatra mainland around 500,000 BC. Recognizes with distinguished Mentawai’s tattoo on their entire body, it identifies their role and social status become an interesting their distinctive body art. Both men and women are adorned with intricate tattoos, which hold deep cultural and spiritual significance and still worship Sikerei local shamans. Shamanism is an integral part of their society, with shamans acting as mediators between the human and spirit worlds. These spiritual leaders play a crucial role in healing, divination, and maintaining the balance between the physical and metaphysical realms.

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Furthermore, the Mentawai people have a profound knowledge of medicinal plants and traditional healing methods. They rely on natural remedies to treat various ailments and maintain their overall well-being. This knowledge has been passed down through generations and continues to play a vital role in their daily lives. because of their perceived ability to heal sickness and communicate with ancestors and the spirits of nature.

Next on West Sumatra, visiting tourism villages is the right course of action to support grassroots traditions and locally based creative economy. Nagari Sijunjung or Kubu Gadang are great examples of communities known for their thriving ancestral rituals: Berkaul Adat processions where villagers show gratitude for abundant harvests, Silek Lanyah, a variation of Pencak Silat martial art performed in muddy fields and Randai folk theater performances featuring music, singing, dance and drama, are only a few notable celebrations in a wealth of fascinating Minang customary practices.

Nature lovers will travel through magnificent landscapes over volcanic slopes and beautiful coffee or cinnamon plantations and explore the fertile Harau Valley, known as the Yosemite of Indonesia, with towering granite cliffs, lush greenery, and rows of cascading waterfalls. The conservation area is a paradise for photographers, hikers, and rock climbers. Lake Maninjau nestled in a huge caldera is another breathtaking natural attraction of West Sumatra, but its ecosystem needs to be protected against overfishing and water pollution, so this fragile environment can be sustainably managed.

Discovering the land of Minangkabau in Bukittingi, a charming city surrounded by the breathtaking Ngarai Sianok, a canyon in a green valley with Mount Singgalang looming at its background, and one of the finest sceneries all around the province. Songket hand woven fabrics, recognized as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage can be acquired from Pandai Silek, a nearby village with a long history of craftsmanship. Tasting traditional foods of West Sumatra is a delightful way to get acquainted with the local lifestyle. Enjoying delicious dishes such as Sate or Nasi Padang, Gulai Ayam or Rendang, cooked in curry sauce with coconut milk and spice mixtures, even though available all over Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, is a must do while exploring the Padang city vibrant culinary scene.

‘West Sumatra is a fascinating destination with spectacular geoparks and a thriving ancient local culture to explore’ I Putu Winastra, the head committee of BBTF 2023 and the chairman of Travel Association (ASITA) Bali chapter commented.
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