Lembah Anai, An Eye Catching Waterfall On The Trans-Sumatran Roadside
West Sumatra is a lush beautiful province of Indonesia and Lembah Anai is a relatively small green valley near its capital city, Padang. Lembah Anai waterfall is one of the easiest waterfall to reach because it is located literally next to a main road connecting Padang and Padang Panjang.
From Minangkabau international airport, one can decide wether to start the road trip through the province to the south, to the sandy beaches and smaller islands or to the north where the mountains and picturesque lakes lie. We decided to go north, to Bukit Tinggi through Padang Panjang.
Padang is a port city and the ground is mostly flat. Its outskirt is mainly farmland for rice paddy, which is the stapple food of this island. After one and a half hour drive to the north, the road started going uphill and winding into the hills. The scenery change into a slightly darker shades of green and the wide deep river becomes much smaller shallow streams.
If you are going north, the waterfall is on the left side of the street (Indonesians drive on the left by the way). There are some area to park the car if you want to have a short visit to the waterfall, or as the locals call it, Aia Tajun. Taking a break from a drive even if its not too long is always good when you are not in a hurry especially if you have beautiful landscape.
If you want to go near the waterfall, you have to pay around Rp.7000,- (less than 1 USD) for the entrance. There is a small pond directly underneath the waterfall. I don’t know wether it is natural or manmade, but people can have a quick dip. Oh, the air and the water is clean and refreshing! The sound of waterfall is also not so loud. I prefered to stay near the water and just enjoy the scenery while watching children playing. If you are up for a short adventure, you can have 15 minutes hike to reach the other two waterfalls just a little bit deeper in the jungle. And yes, there are 3 waterfalls in this area.
The waterfall in Lembah Anai may not be the most spectacular, but it has its own charm and it’s really easy to access. It is a perfect place to take a brake from driving for the road trip through the province.
The valley of lembah Anai is evergreen. From the edge of the pool, you can can stand on higher ground or a taller rock overlooking the trans-Sumatran main road and an old rail road bridge which was built during the Dutch’s occupation. Depending on the season, sometime you can see a flock of monkeys playing around on the trees near the side of the main road and maybe you can have a little interaction with them. There are several manmade swimming pools near the waterfall which are mostly visited by children. We did not really have the time to stay longer and check them out, but I guess it’s a different experience to swim in a pool on the edge of a tropical jungle.
It suddenly rained when we were enjoying the view, so we stayed only about half an hour in Lembah Anai. But at least I took a couple a pictures and did indulge the greenery and fresh air. It was not long before we arrived in Padang Panjang where we stopped to get lunch. There is a nationwide famous restaurant in Padang Panjang and I will tell you about the traditional and local food we had later in a separate post. So for now, that was the first stop on our trip through West Sumatra. Stay tuned!