Padang itself has not much tourist attractions going on, beside being the main gateway for the Mentawai Islands. Padang is easy to reach by airplane and then you go on an 11 hour trip on the slowboat to the Mentawai. One of the things these islands are famous for, are their excellent surfing conditions. But they are quite expensive as well...
That is why we decided to go a bit further south to Teluk Kabung for a short break at the beach within our budget.
Indonesians like their music and they like it loud. Every car or bus turns into a small disco the moment they start the engine and start to drive. And with the music pumping loud and the bass on level 'are you nuts?' we managed to get from Bukittinggi to Padang and from there to Ricky’s Beach House.
In Bukkittingi we took the red minibus (without the nose) to the bus terminal (5.000 Rupiah p.p.). At the terminal we changed to a bigger bus going to Padang (30.000 Rupiah p.p.) and we were dropped of 10 km before Padang. An orange public car picked us up and drove us to the centre called Pasar Raya (5.000 Rupiah p.p.). There you will find a big line of blue minibuses going to Teluk Kabung. This bus will stop at a corner near Teluk Kabung. Surprisingly at that point there are a lot of people with motorbike’s who are happy to bring you to Ricky’s Beach House (50.000 Rupiah p.p.). This last part can be a bit rough but is quite beautiful. Try to avoid traveling this part when it’s dark.
This trip took us 7 hours, which includes waiting at the busterminal and a stop at the local market for some time. Tip: Know your prices beforehand, because they like to charge a bit more when you are a tourist. Read: double or triple the price mentioned.
We spent our time at Ricky’s Beachhouse at Teluk Kabung Beach. You have two options, the bungalows at the beach near the village (200.000 Rupiah p.p.p.n), or the bungalows on a private beach (250.000 Rupiah p.p.p.n.). Because we heard it is not appreciated to wear a bikini on the beach near the village, we choose to stay at the private beach. A wise decision. The bungalows are quite big and clean. The bathroom is nice and the shower area has an open ceiling so at night you can see the stars while taking your shower. From the bungalow you have a nice view over the water. The food is included. Nothing fancy but ok. You have to let them know in advance if you have any special wishes and they will cook you something else.
Another option is Rimba Ecolodge at Muaro Duo Beach. We heard really good stories about them and we kind of regret not going there (as well).
Nothing? Because Ricky's Beachhouse is situated on a private beach, it is a perfect place to chill, relax and do nothing and watch the ocean reclaiming pebble's and seashells from the beach.
We stayed at Ricky’s for 2 days and didn’t do that much. Besides some tanning, walking up and down the beach a couple of times to look for seashells, watched an amazing sunset combined with thunder and did some snorkeling. (We saw our first sea turtle there!)
We wanted to walk to the village when it was low tide, but unfortunately it started raining so we missed out on that. We kind of regret that later on we did not have enough time left to visit the real authentic village, because it seems nice to walk around. It is also supposed to be really nice to see the fishermen pulling in their nets from the beach as well.
If you want a bit more action than we had, you can go on an island tour (200.000 Rupiah p.p.). And it is also possible to go fishing with the local fishermen or walk to a nearby waterfall.