Pandai Sikat Village
Pandai Sikat or Clever Craftsmen is famous for songket (silver- or gold-threaded cloth) weaving and carving building decorations out of wood. Here, we can find any silver or gold threaded cloth that manualy been made by the local people that already skilfull since the ancient time of Padang ancestores. The village is 13km south of Bukittinggi. The famous weaving village Pandai Sikat is located between Gunung Singgalang and Gunung Marapi in the far south of the Agam Valley.
Weaving in West Sumatra, has been very important since 1780. Cotton was grown in the western lowlands, but the demand for it was so high that they also imported it from Surat in India. Nowadays weaving is still important, together with wood-logging, iron- and copper working.
To reach Pandai Sikat, we can take the main road from Bukittinggi and turn right near Kotabaru, and follow the small road. Along the road young men cut decorstive materials and furniture, while the girls are busy weaving with making traditional gold and silver songket. Those who think the songketin Bukittinggi are too expensive, can see how much work it is to make one: a full working day produces about ten cm of fabric. It makes those clothes worthy. .
West of Pandai Sikat the sleeping volcano of Gunung Singgalung (2877 meters). A good path leads from a tv-station to the top in four hours. On a plateau at the top is a small lake. Go out early, when it's most likely to be clear weather. For the way back you can take another route, but that will cost you twice as much time. This will bring you to Kototua, along the road to Maninjau. From here the Merapi can also be climbed, however this is a much more risky. If you really want to, you can better start from the other side, which is the southeastern side.