Luckily, all these places of interest in Bukittinggi are so closed to each other. We reached our next destination, Fort De Kock, in just 6 minutes. This place is connected to another recreational area that is Taman Margasatwa Budaya Kinantan. The entrance fee for both places was Rp10,000 each. While walking towards the Fort De Kock, our eyes were treated with beautiful birds…and birds. Yeah, birds. Pfft.
We walked further up Bukit Jirek and saw few canons on it. Four canons at every angle, to be exact. This fort was built by Captain Bauer in 1825 as a defense in Paderi War which was led by Tuanku Imam Bonjol. The commandor was Baron Hendrik Merkus de Kock, hence the fort was named after him. During this era, most of the hills were taken by Dutch to develop their own complexes. In Minangkabau, it was called “tajua nagari ka Bulando” that means unintentionally sold to Dutch.
There was a building with watchtower in white and green color that pretty much look empty to me. The guys in the group took their chance to explore this place while the ladies and kids stayed on the ground. Hubby did make his way up the roof top, but nothing much he can see as the trees were covering almost all his view over the city.
On the other side of the hill, there were Taman Margasatwa Budaya Kinantan and Museum Rumah Adat Baanjuang. They are connected via Jembatan Limpapeh, a bridge over Ahmad Yani street. This bridge is considered as one of the tourist attractions in Bukittinggi, pretty much because it links the two hills. The material was quite simple as it is built using steel, plate, and wire suspension.
TIPS : If you want to access either sites, you must cross this bridge. Else, it will delay your visitation if you go via the road.
The moment we crossed the bridge, the first animal that we saw were two elephants. Unlike other animals in the area, I was devastated to see them cuffed with short shackles that limit them to move around. I tried to ignore the feeling and walked towards other animals like tapir, tiger, deer, camel, and etc. It was pretty much like a mini zoo, enough for the children to learn to know some animals.
At the same area, there was Museum Rumah Adat Baanjuang, beautifully carved in colorful carvings. The three sets of pointed roof really notified the trademark of Minangkabau. It is built in 1935 during Dutch time, and the wall is using half wood and half bamboo, with 100% wood floor. They categorized the internal area into ethnography, numismatic, and biology, where they keep artifacts like mummified animals.
TIPS : If you want to appreciate the culture, do not visit this place during school holiday as it will be too noisy and hectic. You may also try the traditional costume here, similar to what you can get in Istano Basa Pagaruyung. While we enjoying the surrounding, hubby and my nephew got inspired with one of the cannon, and being innovative enough to make smoke out of it. Hahaha!
We then went out from the area and walked towards the town, where we passed by the Masjid Raya Bukittinggi. We continued walking and went to Pasar Atas and Pasar Bawah where Kak Ngah, my stepmom, and I, had gone crazy buying “telekung”. Do excuse us.
TIPS : If you want to spend, spend here. Their products are variety but you need to know how to negotiate as vendors might have different starting price. Certain expensive-but-good materials can go down up to 50% of what you get in KL.