Sunday, May 11, 2008


Sumatera has a series of volcanoes, active, inactive and dead. Few of the dead ones have now transformed into huge crater lakes which offer breathtaking sceneries especially from atop. On the third day, we started off early to Danau Maninjau about an hour northeast of Bukit Tinggi. Before maneuvering down the zig-zag road to reach the lake, it is routine to scramble up a separate route to Punchak Lawang, where there are 2 popular panoramic spots to view the scenic lake. From here, the sight was heavenly. The lake was vast that it almost looked like a sea with undulating mountains all around it. It’s no wonder why Hamka was highly esteemed of it to the extent of making an exaggerated analogy of the picturesque crater lake being the giant foot-print of Adam as that is the shape it takes.

Sitting at the edge. Punchak Lawang

Danau Maninjau (View from Punchak Lawang)

Boogey and wife 'feigning' a romantic pose (hehe)

Danau Maninjau (view from one of the hair-pin bends)

I was forewarned of the hair-pin route down to Lake Maninjau and being an extremely motion-sickness person, I got myself ready with some anti-emetics in my bag. Altogether there were 42 bends or ‘keluk’ as they call them there, and surprise, surprise, I survived the ‘ular kena palu’ road, unscathed! The driver was quite careful in negotiating each bend , sounding the horn each time.

The town at Tasik Maninjau. Take left or right , here.

At the bottom, there’s a small town facing the edge of the lake and we either take a right or left turn. As visiting Hamka’s house was our main agenda, we turned left to Kampung Sg Batang, about 15 -20 km away. The road system essentially covers the lake’s perimeter and it measures 60 km altogether and it takes about 4 hrs to complete a journey by car encircling the lake on an average pace. Even over here, paddy is grown rampantly on terraces or flat land.

Rumah Hamka

Surau lama tempat Buya Hamka mengaji semasa kecil.

Buya Hamka’s (as he is fondly called there) house is perched on a hillside, facing the lake. It was refurbished recently by ABIM and inside, amongst Hamka’s paraphernalia's, we can also see their acknowledgement for ABIM. We spoke to the caretaker who gave us an insight of the place and history. We bought some of his books as money is needed to maintain the house. Several kilometers from the house we stopped to snap pictures of some people working on a paddy machine and accidentally stumbled upon Hamka’s father’s house and tomb. Over here, we were shown the old hand written manuscripts that belonged to Hamka and his father, all in jawi.

Studying the old hand-written Quran belonging to Hamka's dad

Old pictures of Hamka's family

Yellow paddy fields. Tasik Maninjau, background

During the journey we had close encounters with some of Minang kerbau and iKelah made a passing statement that the kerbaus there had a slightly different demeanor than their counterparts in Malaysia. He even went further stressing that they had sexy eyes which set us in a bantering mood instantly. Boogey attributed this strange opinions made by his brother to the high altitude of the place.

On the way, we encountered this realm of trapdoors and tarantula. iKelah was exuberantly excited, he could smell the tarantulas from far!

On the way back, almost reaching Bukit Tinggi town, our guide detoured down Ngarai Si Anok road to one of his favourite eating spot that prepares gulai itek, kambing etc. Unfortunately the eatery was already closed but our guide managed to coax the owner to dish out some gulai kampung for our dinner that day.


Buyono said...

siapa kok cewek yang berdiri depanya rumah almarhum buya HAMKA?

easylady said...

kak roza the bends ada 44 semuanya. Sepanjang perjalanan dok kira kelok ke berapa sampai tertidor.

Jamil said...

On ikelah's comment about Minang buffalo: I must remember to keep my mouth shut whenever I go beyond 500 feet above sea level, lest something weird comes out of it (which DITH is sure to be quick to pick on!)

dith said...

Buyono- Jangan menyamar ya! Aku tahu kamu siapa! Buyono= buaya kuno. Hehe

Easy- Kok tertidor tapi masih ingat bilangan keluk nya bu? :))

Jamil- You don't have to wait to be in high level to utter weird stuff, :P

Jamil said...

DITH - And you don't have to wait to pick on me too, it seems :P

Queen Of The House said...

Very quaint and really nice. Kali ni tak shopping ke?

Anonymous said...

Salam, drroza. What an amazing trip.

No tarantula photos? ;)

crimsonskye said...

Sorry the anon above was me. :p

dith said...

Jamil- :p

QOTH- Only bought things yg orang pesan. DIdnt do much shopping I daresay.

Bibah- How are you dear? Here are pics of taran for you

Has said...


:-) tumpang sama.

maklang said...

seronok tumpang tengok gambar...kami tak sampai lagi kat situ2 tu...

Tabib said...

Waduh! cantik sekali fotonya. :-)

we also went there last two weeks.
Best regard.

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