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Flights to Padang

Minangkabau International Airport serves the city of Padang on the west coast of Sumatra, an island in Indonesia. The largest city and capital of the province of West Sumatra, Padang has a population of over a million and an area of more than 200 square miles. It sits about 25 kilometres from Minangkabau Airport, which was named after the Minangkabau indigenous people who used to inhabit the area.

Minangkabau Airport has been operational from 2005, when it took over Tabing Airport as the region’s main air transport hub. Though considered an international airport, the vast majority of flights from Minangkabau Airport are domestic; it is served mainly by domestic air carriers such as Garuda Indonesia, Sriwijaya Air, Mandala Airlines and Lion Mentor Airlines, and flights to Jakarta, Bandung, Subang and Bata are most common. Only a handful of international flights from airlines like AirAsia and SilkAir to neighbouring countries such as Malaysia and Singapore are available from Minangkabau Airport.

Getting around

Though local buses do ply the route between Padang city and Minangkabau Airport, bus routes and timetables could be difficult for non-Indonesian speakers to understand as they are generally not written in English (as of March 2015). As such, tourists are recommended to grab a cab direct to their destination in the city from the airport. To be on the safe side, choose a cab that has a me-ter installed and insist that the meter be on during your ride so as to avoid being overcharged.

A taxi ride from Minangkabau Airport to Padang should not cost significantly more than Rp100,000, including airport parking tax.

What to see and do

Though sometimes overlooked as nothing more than the gateway to the scenic area of Bungus Bay, Padang is not without its own attractions; an old Dutch colonial town, the city boasts some amazing colonial architecture such as Jam Gadang, an immensely beautiful clocktower in the cen-tre of Padang city. An iconic attraction, it was a gift from the then-Queen of the Netherlands in 1926. Besides that, the city’s colourful Chinatown is also worth a visit; due to the city’s history as a successful trading port and harbour in the past, Padang was second home to many immigrant Chinese who subsequently set up spice shops and restaurants in their own little district. Take a walk around the historic area, admire the well-preserved old buildings, and have some local deli-cacies in the coffee shops.

If you tire of the city, a short bus or cab ride will bring you to the beautiful beaches of Bungus Bay for a fun day in the sun, sea and sand. Padang is also a good starting point for trips to the idyllic Mentawai Islands or Kerinci Seblat National Park.

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