Tour de Singkarak 2011 Photo Essay

June 21, 2011 § 1 Comment

From the elevation of merely 12 meters above sea level in the city of Padang, and continued ascending to Pariaman and Bukittinggi via Lake Maninjau at more than 1,000 meters a.s.l., Tour de Singkarak 2011 routes were set to have passed the most scenic surroundings of West Sumatra. While reaching the finish line and making an attempt to be the first among the cyclists, all racers could still appreciate the extraordinary cultures and heart-stopping natural beauties along the way.

All photos taken by Anggun Nugraha, except no.2 and 3, taken by Himawan.


The house of West Sumatra is called rumah gadang, meaning ‘the grand house’.  The locals call the part of the roof as ‘gonjong’ or ‘bagonjong’, the horn-like roof structure that becomes the distinctive component of the house. Most offices’ roofs in Padang adopt this type of structure.

One of the dancers sat around at the back of the stage, waiting for her turn to show what West Sumatra hospitality has to offer before the participating teams of Tour de Singkarak 2011.


Aside from the traditional show, the local government of West Sumatra as the host was capable of presenting modern music ensemble, since one of the music institutes in the country flourishes here.


The lively barongsai performance was combined with the traditional West Sumatran drum, the gendang tasa.


The vivid colors and delicate ornaments that decorate the overall enhancement suggest the advanced local knowledge, cross-cultural interaction, and also natural resources that West Sumatra has.


Team members from Plan B of Australia waited for their fellow racers to start the sign up before the race began. The locals could not be more patient to watch the cool-looking guests in action.


Only appearing in glossy magazines or TV screen, these racers with tight colorful jerseys are of extraordinary to the locals.


Enjoying a roadblock, a bendi driver took his passengers a ride on an empty street a few hours before that very spot became a tight race track.


Leaning on a high street curb, these bicycles were ready to serve their masters, the racers from United Bike Kencana, Malang, Indonesia.


Harvesting from the recurring influx of crowds during the opening of Tour de Singkarak 2011, a sate Padang seller found his stock sold out in less than half a day.


Gondoriah Beach in Pariaman was unusually quiet due to multiple roadblocks in its surrounding areas. Soon after the race was concluded, mass of resuming traffic clogged up the street along the beach.


Pariaman train station was one of the oldest train stations in West Sumatra, connecting Padang, Pariaman, and Padang Panjang, all the way to Sawah Lunto.


Traditionally, outside the train station was a conventional market, piling up local produce and distributing them via the railways to and from the inner regions of West Sumatra.


An outrigger boat with small engine was floating off the coast of Gondoriah Beach in Pariaman. Sea port of Pariaman started to decline as the railway was developed.


Chan Jae Jang and his fellow racers from Terengganu Cycling Team were enjoying their time under the shade in Gondoriah Beach, Pariaman, after breezing through the finish line with the rest of the leading pack.


Pariaman is known for the beautiful people living in its vicinity, and culturally, it was also second to none. Indang Pariaman was the type of dance that would hypnotize its spectators, especially when these beautiful girls hit the floor.


Almost similar to that of Saman Dance from Aceh, Indang Pariaman combines dynamic movements, emotional lyrics in its song, and the fast-paced percussions, giving a sensation of Bali, Aceh, and West Java, all in one.


Locally known as ‘beruk’, this macaque found in Thailand, Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, and Borneo, is a type of primate (macaca nemestrina) trained to pluck coconuts from the treetop. Its strong hands and legs make it an effective coconut picker, and ready for the work after the age of 15.


Also dubbed as the pig-tailed macaque, ‘beruk’ is traditionally trained to pick coconut since its early years. In Pariaman, this coconut-picking macaque is an attraction exhibited to interested tourists.


Minutes after sitting on his master’s lap, pig-tailed macaque climbed a coconut tree in seconds, and immediately chose one of the ripe coconuts. After spinning it with its strong legs, the coconut dribbled down on the grassy ground; a success of the trained primate.


One of the masters gave order to his macaque lurking up on the tree. His extensive communication with the macaque for more than 15 years was the trick for the trained primate to understand the command.


Not only do they pick coconuts, these dark-brown furred macaques are also prepared for the controlled fight, giving them a sense of superiority and masculinity among the gang members.


Pariaman is accessible by train from Padang. The train station is located conveniently at the local market, very close to the well known Gondoriah Beach.


Fish cage culture in Lake Maninjau is one of the fastest growing businesses as the lake provides ample natural water circulation and healthy habitat for the cultured fish.


Owned by those from the larger cities, like Padang or Bukittinggi, these fish cage culture had provided opportunities and employment for the locals.


Distribution of harvested fish was made possible by sufficient means of transportation and good infrastructure. Lake Maninjau with its nearby Kelok 44, is a perfect place both for agriculture and tourism.


The notorious Kelok 44, ascending 44 turns, is part of the route going to Bukittinggi, passing Lake Maninjau. The view was breathtaking, although the long way to reach the 44th turn could leave anyone out of breath.


Bukitttinggi was one of the producers of excellent traditional fabrics and embroideries. One single fully decorated sheet of fabric might need 4 to 6 months to finish, and might be valued millions of rupiahs. She wore one of the most expensive clothing, especially designed for valued guests.


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