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Padang is the economic centre West Sumatra. During colonial times Padang harbour was called Emmahaven, nowadays named Teluk Bayur. Up to approximately 1780 the most important trade product was gold, originating from the gold mines in the region. When the mines were exhausted, the emphasis turned to other products such as coffee, salt and textiles. In 1797 Padang suffered from a tsunami and afterwards also quakes had been felt in the Padang region.An important export product from the region is coal from the Ombilin mine fields in Sawahlunto. As a result of coal as fuel a cement industry has established in Padang, the so called Padang Portland cement. PT. Padang Cement is the oldest cement manufacturer in Indonesia founded in 1910.
One of the landmarks of the city is the Bukittinggi Big Ben. The friendly city in the beautiful Minangkabau highlands of West Sumatra is a pleasant place to stay for a few days. From here you can make nice trips in the environment like to the Harau nature reserve, the Pagaruyung Minangkabau palace and Lake Singkarak.
Bukittinggi is one of the few cities on Sumatra where one can ride in a sado. The horse carriage or sado (dos a dos or back to back) provide a colorful charming transportation through the town.
The mysterious lake Lake Maninjau Descending via the road with the forty four curves, while clouds drive by at eye-level, you have breathtaking views over the lake. Madelon Szekely Lulofs about Maninjau The author Madelon Szekely Lulofs lived during her youth in Maninjau. Later she remembered the Padang Highlands
The impressive Kerinci Seblat nature reserve is one of the few places which is still home to the Sumatran tiger. In the Kerinci reserve are two volcanic mountains, the Gunung Tujuh and the highest mountain of Sumatra, the 3805 meter high Kerinci.
On the feet of these mountains grow cinnamon trees which give the impression of an Indian summer due to its red color leaves. Both mountains can be climbed with a guide. The highest crater lake on Sumatra is located on the mountain Gunung Tujuh at a height of 1905 meters.
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