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After catching our flight to Padang and a bus the next day to Bukittinggi, due to an illness in my girlfriend’s family we had to go back to Medan.

We only had about a half-day sightseeing in in Bukittinggi. All of the flights were full back to Medan so we had to take the economy bus. It was about an 18-hour trip, which was a little painful at times, but an interesting experience.

If you look at a map the distance isn’t so great, but the roads are very windy and hilly and in parts they have been washed away. I can’t believe we didn’t even have one breakdown.

They seem to be suffering an even bigger downturn in tourism in West Sumatra than North Sumatra, with only a handful of tourists spotted in Bukittinggi. One tour guide complained to me, “It just hasn’t been the same since the Bali bombings”.

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