Sunday, March 22, 2009

Padang boosts tourism with its new Sikuai "honeymoon" island

The scenery of Padang, capital of West Sumatra province, tens of years ago with its Gunung (mount) Padang relating to the legend "Malin Kundang", but now the condition had drastically changed with more places of tourist interests.

Besides Gunung Padang, the Padang city administration had also built the Siti Nurbaya long bridge over the Muaro Padang river where many commercial ships cast anchor at the Muaro (estuary) small port.

Near the Muaro Padang, visitors can easily enjoy the spicy and delicious Padang food, especially from afternoon until night.

Many food stalls at Padang beach serve lots of well-known Padang food including "Talua Katuang" (boiled sea turtle eggs).

According to Padang mayor Fauzi Bahar, in an effort to provide better access from the city centre to the Minangkabau International Airport (BIM), the city administration has started constructing a 25-km main road.

Sikuai Island enchantment

Only recently, several Indonesian artists including noted movie actress Christine Hakim and foreign journalists visited the new Sikuai Island resort, some 30 to 40 minutes trip by boat from Muaro Padang.

With the wind blowing softly, the boat ride to Sikuai island became more interesting.

Sikuai (meaning come here), which is about 40 hectares wide and some 400 meters above sea level, is one of 19 islands in the Padang mayoralty, or in Bungus sub-district, West Sumatra.

In the island's waters, tourists can enjoy snorkeling, diving, fishing or just swimming while enjoying the sight of marine animal species and coral reefs.

By only swimming some meters away, one could enjoy the sight of marine animal species including coral reefs in a huge aquarium, and the white beach on which they could easily walk.

In addition, the island's natural forests with a lot of coconut trees are also very interested.

According to Rikwan, the new island resort manager, many visitors, including honeymooners, to the island stayed there for several days, while enjoying delicious foods and the island's young coconuts, as well as spending their leisure time in the open air.

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