Monday, February 9, 2015

A Quick Stop at Solok Tea Plantation, Padang

Been hearing the Trans Sumatra Highway for the longest time and has always wonder what is so great about this Trans Sumatra Highway or any Trans-highway in Indonesia for that matter. Well, in this trip, I managed to experience it first hand. Certain an awe-inspiring (gawking) experience.

And it was made more special when the journey was taken with great friends.

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En route to Padang, from the Village of Thousands Rumah Gadang after the Twin lake or Danau Di Atas and Danau Di Bawah, we arrive at the serene Solok Tea Plantation; wallpapered with the scenic Mount Talang covered by the morning mist. You can see locals walking towards the plantation to snap a few photos or just to chill and sip a cup of jo by the road stalls. Either way, it is a place where I recommend travelers to stop and witness one of Indonesia's beauty while having Indomie with teh botol. Ahaks.

To get great and awesome pictures, best to arrive early in the morning before the crowd swarm the place, and as usual, pray for a beautiful sunrise. In my case, it just wasn't my luck, no egg yolk to capture.

Having tripping to Cameron Highland a couple of times before, I came to realised that both our tea plantation are similar yet not the same. Instead of planting it at the high hill or steeper slope like the one back home, here it was on flatter ground which allows us to walk almost everywhere and feel safe. But when it comes to picture taking, I prefers the one at Cameron Highland... more majestic *smile*.

I decided to ditch my friends and walk up alone to explore over the other side, nothing much except more tea and tea and even more tea. I also noticed that there some empty areas where food/rubbish was thrown there, I guess either it is the workers' recess ground or tourist picnic spot. The latter was more likely. Tsk tsk tsk... they should seriously take back their rubbish and discard it properly. 

Caught some lavender blooming, ahh.... I was so excited as I was hoping to seeplenty, hemm.... they should consider planting it on a larger scale. I bet it will be a popular local tourist spot *wink. hink*.

Trying to capture the whole landscape in panoramic view. Oklah.....

Despite the distance being 71km from Bukit Tinggi, the journey takes you between 4-5 hours to get here and if you are coming from Padang which is about 65km away, it will be about 3-4 hours depending on road condition and traffic. 

Form the information I gathered, the size of this tea plantation is approximately 540 hectare and the teas are exported to The Netherlands, Japan, Poland and a few other big countries. One can also stay at the villa, homestay or hotel at a nearby town if one wish to wander around or perhaps trek at Mount Talang. For those backpackers or lone travelers out there, there are public buses that can take you here but for us; we chartered a van to take us from Pekan Baru to Padang (a 6 days trip), this way, we have more control on the places we want to visit.

If you plan to drop by at this beautiful place, a 30 minutes pit stop would do unless of course you wanna enjoy their Indomie with teh botol *cheeky smile*.

Travel the world, one step at a time.

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