Text by Wan Azfarozza Wan Athmar
Photos by Azril Izuan
Short-sightedness can be a blessing for those who live in cities. This is because we usually do not want to see that long congestion on the road or cramped tall buildings from afar which can be somewhat suffocating. But when one is traveling to Bukit Tinggi, West Sumatra, the view is too precious to be missed. Miraculously, in my case the short-sightedness was not an issue once I stepped foot at Padi Ecolodge. I could see acres of green paddy fields, scenic mountains, and terrain. The landscape looked vast, it felt freeing, and it was a feast for my eyes.
The Walk of Shame
This will only happen if you are out of breath or get easily exhausted walking through a narrow path in between the paddy fields heading towards the lodge because that’s the only way for you to get to the place from the main road. It would hit you that you are not at your optimum level of health because you skipped all those gym sessions and the shame and guilt will start seeping in. But, the view will compensate those feelings and actually, you will enjoy the few meters walk. Don’t worry about your luggage, the friendly staff are there to help you carry them unless you want to do that extra workout and carry them yourselves.
The Roof that Looks Like Buffalo Horns
When I decided to travel to Bukit Tinggi I did not want to stay at a hotel or resort that looked like the typical modern square buildings. I wanted to embrace all things that are Minang Kabau and stay at a place that has beautiful ornate traditional architecture. I wanted a roof above me that looked like buffalo horns. It is Minang Kabau’s signature architecture. Looking from outside of the lodge, each villa carries a traditional architecture from the roof, the walls, to the pillars and right down to the stairs. Once you get inside, the interior design is very much modern and minimal. So you get both worlds, modern-day comfort with a touch of traditional Minang Kabau ambiance. What’s not to love.
I see green.
When I arrived, it was already dark. I made my way slowly to what I assumed was a small pedestrian path amidst the paddy field or it could be coarse weedy long grass. At the time, your guess is as good as mine. From afar I could see the lights splashed from the lodge illuminating the darkness. It felt like I was walking towards a magical place. The next morning I opened the glass door of the balcony of my villa. Lo and behold, I was mesmerized by the vast landscape of green paddy fields, hills surrounded by lush forests, and the sound of flowing rivers behind my villa. If green is your favorite colour you will live and breathe for this moment.
Would I recommend those coming to Bukit Tinggi to stay at Padi Ecolodge? Not if you hate the color green or despise walking. But trust me, once you get yourself to this lodge you will be a newborn fanatic for everything green and walking would be your favorite activity. For more information go to its Instagram account @padi_ecolodge or log on to padiecolodge.com