The nearest airport to Bukittinggi is the Minangkabau International Airport at Padang. So the fastest way to get to Bukittinggi is to fly to Padang and transfer to a bus. For my maiden trip to Indonesia, I wanted to try out a variety of local transports. From Singapore to Bukittinggi, my original plan was to take a ferry from Singapore to Batam, a ferry from Batam to Pekanbaru, then a bus to Bukittinggi. But I missed the connection between Batam and Pekanbaru.
As a result, I took a roundabout route by taking a ferry from Batam to Kuala Tungkal (near Jambi), then multiple transfer of buses/mini-vans to Bukittingi. For the return trip, I opted for a straightforward flight from Padang to Singapore.
In Bukittingi town, I rented a motorcycle for an eastern loop to explore the Minangkabau region and a western loop to Maninjau. The total distance traveled on motorcycle was around 300km. All roads covered on the motorcycle were in excellent asphalt condition. Road signs and petrol stations are available. The road to Maninjau is famous for its 40 sharp bends around hilly terrain. It’s a key reason why I rented a motorcycle.
Since I brought along my Garmin GPS receiver during this trip, I tracked my routes and took down my waypoints. If you would like a copy of the files, just post a comment and I will send the download link to your email. The size of the file is around 712KB.
Tourists renting motorcycles aren’t popular in Bukittinggi. At least, I don’t see any shops specialising in motorcycle rentals. Instead, I rented a simple Honda Wave directly from a staff of Hotel Khartini at 65,000 Rp per day. The staff handed me some motorcycle documents which I had to carry with me in case I was stopped by police.