Much of its highland is formed by the Bukit Barisan Mountain range; virgin jungles inhabited by elephants, tigers, leopards and rhinos. Minang people have spicy-hot dishes and ancient matriarchal customs. The women own property and the men leave home to seek their fame and fortune. Traveling is considered a mark of success, Padang restaurants are found in all major towns across the nation. The people are hospitable and eloquent. They primarily speak bahasa Minang, with poetic style of speech.
Getting There : Padang's Tabing Airport is the main gateway to West Sumatra and is serviced by Merpati Nusantara Airlines. PELNI's ship "Kerinci" sails every two weeks for Jakarta from Teluk Bayur Harbour. Smaller vessels from Muara Harbour sail to small towns along the entire west coast of Sumtra. Regular bus services run between Padang, Bukittinggi and other major cities of Sumatra, as well as via the trans-Sumatra Highway to Jakarta. West Sumatra days are filled with colorful ceremonies and festivals. Legend of the Minangkabau is descendants of the youngest son of Alexander the Great, King Maharjo Dirajo. During the early 19th century, the area was disrupted by wars between the followers of the traditional Islam or Padris, and those adhering to the traditional law (Adat) of the Minangkabau.