Maestro Travel from Bukittinggi to Padang

It’s so easy to order travel and bus services in Sumatra Island. Pick up the phone, mention the destination, convey the departure time then ask what time to get ready at travel or bus office!….No need to pay in advance….Then you will arrive at your destination if you aren’t late to come to their office.

INTRA Bus from Pematang Siantar to Pekanbaru….

Travel Annanta from Pekanbaru to Bukittinggi….

Now, an easy procedure was repeated for Maestro Travel from Bukittinggi to Padang….


The last day in Bukittinggi or if calculated from the beginning of my journey is my sixth day in Sumatra land, I recounted my journey with Maestro Travel when I began to phone call a woman front office staff at eight in the morning on departure day.

You will sit in the back seat and please come half an hour before departure time, Uda (Uda is designation for brother in West Sumatra). Prepare a fare for about USD 3! “, She simply said.


I rushed to De Kock Hotel after my last visitation in Panorama Park. No time to took a shower again, I thought only one, tonight I would arrive in Jakarta and would soak with warm water in my bucket at home ….As long as I want….Hahaha.

Black Vixion (Vixion is brand name of Yamaha motorbike in Indonesia) picked me up on hotel terrace then drove fast through density of Sudirman Street to Maestro Travel office, three kilometers away. In fifteen minutes I arrived. Entering the office, I was greeted by a veiled young woman, I handed over the fare and held a ticket to Padang.

There were still twenty minutes left before travel car arrived. According to the front office staff, travel car were still driving around to picking up passengers at their respective homes. I just decided to go to a small restaurant around the office and order a serving of “Pecel Ayam” (Pecel Ayam is rice with fried chicken and chili sauce) and a glass of water. This time I ate it very quickly, like a snake swallowing a hedgehog….Uppsss.

I arrived back at travel office in situation that travel car was ready and all passengers seemed to be looking towards me. Apparently I was awaited by all the passengers, I hope they weren’t upset.

Middle seat and next to the driver were occupied by a small family package. Husband and wife, their little daughter and husband’s mother-in-law. While I sat in back seat with a Slovak named Boris. A young postman, bald-headed, thin-bodied and a hobby looking for silence.

In back seat we talked all the way. The story began with impression of his journey in Kazakhstan where no one bothered him when he went up the mountain alone. Then it continues on to his habit that he will feel dizzy when working in an office, therefore he chose to be a postman in Slovakia.

Why is this car passing a small road like this? Can we arrive at the airport on time?”, he said to me.

I think that driver is trying to get through the faster road, Boris …. Hahaha”, I answered.

If he fails, It’s not funny….Not funny”, he was panicked. Indeed, his flight schedule was only one hour from estimated time of arrival which was said by Google Maps on my smartphone.

I tried to distract by continuing to talk. I didn’t know how the begining theme, so we could talk about Indonesian 0 km point in Sabang, Ijen Crater, Probolinggo, Lazada e-commerce, and secondhand iPhones which he thought it was cheap if purchased in Indonesia. One more thing, we discussed about direct flights from Manado to Manila. Until family head who sat next to the driver explained to Boris that that flight didn’t exist.

I passed a waterfall at the edge of road, I knew it was “Lembah Anai” Waterfall. That means I was forty kilometers from Padang City. Boris asked me to stopping the driver and allowed him to buy some mineral water, expensive if he had to buy it at airport. I thought it didn’t need to stop, I have some supply of bottled mineral water. It was result of collected it from Sri Indrayani Hotel in Pekanbaru, Annanta Travel and De Kock Hotel in Bukittinggi. I gave him two bottles. “I really appreciate you, Donny … very much appreciate,” he said while patting my arm.

That was my farewell to him, he must get off at Minangkabau International Airport and heading to Malang. That family package would go to Bandung. While I would head to Padang downtown to explore it for four hours, considering I would back to Jakarta at eight o’clock at night.

Bung Hatta Proclamator Monument Park and Its Unpretentious Story

One hour I have peeled heroic story in Unknown Hero Monument. Now I would study other history in a different park. It’s precisely east across of that dragon-shaped black monument. Only need to cross for a moment on Istana Street.

From a signboard display at park front gate, apparently West Sumatra was preparing to hold a race series belonging to Union Cycliste International on a week ahead.

The 9th Tour de Singkarak, the fifth ranked bicycle race in the world.

Climbing twenty-two black stairs, I reached park courtyard. Named as Bung Hatta Proclamator Monument Park, this park features a intact statue of Mohammad Hatta in his four-pocket safari dress who with his charisma waved his right hand toward a T-junction of Istana Street, Haji Agus Salim Street and Sudirman Street.

Park front gate.

If I had been under road surface when I was at Unknown Hero Monument, now I was high above road surface when I visited Bung Hatta Proclamator Monument Park. Two days exploring the city, it began to realize that I was sometimes briefly down, then suddenly I was on high. It isn’t Bukittinggi if it don’t like that.

Face to face with Bung Hatta.

Looks behind the statue, there are three wall pages which tell the story of a character struggle whose real name is Mohammad Ibn ‘Atta.

On the first wall page, you can see Bung Hatta’s life in his simple house, Hatta story who studying Islam at Batuampar and then continuing his education at MULO (Meer Uitgebreid Lager Onderwijs).

On second wall page, It is tell about a time when Hatta led “Perhimpunan Indonesia” Organization in Netherlands when he studied.

The first and second pages are on right side of Mohammad Hatta statue.

Third wall page is a beautiful period when Hatta managed to proclaim Indonesia independence with Ir. Soekarno on August 17th, 1945 until his struggling from one negotiating table to another negotiating one for world’s recognition of proclaimed independence.

And like a normal scenario, fourth wall page is Hatta’s retirement from his political world to the time when he received an award from President Soeharto (The second president of Indonesia).

Third and fourth page.

Streets have seemed crowded with activities, one by one residents who were exercising seemed to visit this park to just cool down after jogging, sat relaxed at park and took a picture with Bung Hatta statue which became pride figure of small city of Bukittinggi.

The park still looked wet as rest of heavy rain overnight.

Just thirty minutes for me to visited this park. I would continue Bukittinggi exploration by visiting Janjang Ampek Puluah, a connecting market link which is quite famous in this city’s tourism.

Sudirman Street situation was starting to get crowded with vehicles.

Come on….Continued to walk again….

7 Fast Destination at Pematang Siantar

Sitting in waiting room, my gaze focused on my watch and INTRA bus office yard….Never saw when he arrived, from right side of the yard, he shouted to me. It was nice to meet an old friend.

His kindness and simplicity was still the same as Erwin who I met in Kuala Lumpur 2013 ago. Remembered again when he gave me a small box of red cakes on Kuala Lumpur’s Hop on Hop off. And now, he gave me four hours of his time to enjoying Pematang Siantar.

Come on, bro, ride up!“, He said while turning backpack to his chest. I Instantly glided on his 90’s Japan motorcycle towards his home. He had to change a teacher uniform which he wore before going around the city.

1. Warung Miso Pematang

Let’s have lunch first, bro! There is something special for you. Come on!“, His smile ignored my rejection because he just wanted to be a good host. Tracing the “rat path” which I never knew its exact location, I felt the rear tire was a bit shaky. It made me believe that Erwin is a sincere and simple person.

Warung Miso Pematang. Oh, is this the special dish that is meant?“, I muttered. Erwin rushed into the restaurant with its front door at the back. While I was still in the yard, busy capturing the picture. It was amazingly delicious, a bowl of Miso, a mixture of yellow-white noodles which are flushed with soup mixed with fried tofu, chicken liver-gizzard and mushroom for USD 1.3.

The dish was closed with fresh orange juice….Yummy.
The first Siantar specialty food which I tasted.

2. Pedicab Monument BSA (Birmingham Small Army).

Come on, I’ll show you the Siantar icon!“, He spoke while cranked the motor starter. I give a thumb as agree sign. Riding along Sudirman Street until finally arrived at a motorized rickshaw-crowned monument. Supposedly said that this city has almost 1,000 war motorbikes. Therefore you have to queue to be able to take a picture in front of the monument.

The main character this time.

3. Sintong Bingei Public Library

Right behind the monument is a public library owned by the city government while on the right opposite is Pematang Siantar City Hall where the Mayor worked.

Sintong Bingei Public Library. Sintong Bingei is father of the North Sumatra “Cigarette King“-Edwin Bingei Purbo Siboro.

4. Pematang Siantar City Hall

Pematang Siantar City Hall is a century-old Dutch building.

Gecko ornaments in most of large buildings in Siantar made me to asked a question about it. Erwin briefly explained that gecko is a wisdom and wealth symbol for the Batak ethnic. Local people call it as Gorga Boraspati.

5. Hangout Area near Pedicab Monument

While on right side of the monument is a coffee shop row which seems to only wait for short time to be filled by city millennials to hang out at night.

Unfortunately I didn’t have time to sip the coffee.

6. Pematang Siantar City’s Bunga Park

While right behind hang out area is Bunga Park. As a Child Friendly Public Open Space makes this park as a favorite place to spend time with family after work.

The perfect place to celebrate a weekend for city dwellers.

7. Ganda Bakery

Bro, it’s almost dark, let’s go back to INTRA office!“, Erwin reminded me. I jumped on his motorcycle and hurried to INTRA bus office. Upss ….”Why Bakery?“, I suspected.

Don’t flatter yourself, I don’t buy bread for you, but I will buy it for my family at home“, he thinly smiled. I was burst out laughing when seeing his act. I took a moment to enjoy storefronts with fragrant aroma of tempting bread.

Ganda Bakery is legendary since 1979.

Ten minutes later, I was standing outside and waiting for him to complete payment at the cashier. And then….He held two packs of bread in his hands.

This is for your breakfast tomorrow on the way“, he said while offering a packet of bread with srikaya jam which was famously delicious. It was forbidden to refuse it, so I accepted it with many thanks.

Come on, now it’s really going to INTRA Bus office and not stopping by anymore!“, He said with a laugh. That was the end of my fast journey at Pematang Siantar.

Thank You Erwin. See you later.