Gadang Clock Tower and Around
The Gadang Clock Tower is the icon or landmark of Bukittinggi and as well as West Sumatera Province. The clock belonged to a Dutch commander, who once worked in Bukittinggi during the Dutch colonial era. He received a giant clock from the then queen of the Netherland but did not know where to put it. Finally, he asked Rook Maker, the secretary of the then Bukittinggi Mayor and two local resident, Yazid and Sutan Gigi Ameh, to construct a clock tower in the center of the town in 1926.
The top section of the tower has been changed three times. During the Dutch colonial era, it had a circle with a cock statue above it. Then during the Japanese occupation period, the Japanese changed the circle into a Japanese traditional house roof, later when Indonesia declared its independence, the Indonesian government changed the top of the tower by installing a traditional Minangkabau house roof, as we see today. A unique thing about this clock is the number four, is written as IIII, instead of IV.
The Gadang Clock Tower is surrounded by Plaza Bukittinggi, Bung Hatta’s House, tourist information office, restaurants, hotels, and many more. This distict is the busiest area in Bukittinggi. There are many souvenir shops in the southend of the Gadang Clock Tower, selling weaving clothes, electronics. You can find internet cafes and restaurants as well in this area, which is known as “Pasar Atas” (Upper Market) or “Pasar Wisata” (literally means Tourism Market). Pasar Atas is connected to “Pasar Bawah” (Lower Market) that is located in Jalan Pemuda. Pasar Bawah also has plenty souvenir shops.
It is worth visiting this area. Jam Gadang or Gadang Clock Tower is located in the center of Bukittinggi town making it easly reached from any direction. One track that visitors may take can be started from the Panorama Park and Japanese Cave, then to the Zoo and Fort de Kock, Kinantan Museum, ”Pasar Wisata then Jam Gadang. Horse carts are also available here as an additional tourist attraction. Half an hour trip costs about Rp. 50,000 per cart. One hour trip will cost about Rp. 100,000 to Rp. 150,000 depending on negotiation. They operate daily from 9am to 5pm.
|Location||:||at the center of Bukittinggi town|
|Facilities||:||sitting area, parking area, public toilets, public telephone booths|
|How to get there||:||from Bukittinggi bus terminal in Jl. Aur Kuning, take the red angkot to Gadang Clock Tower. Expect to pay Rp. 2,000. You can also use a taxi from the bus terminal to Gadang Clock Tower. Expect to pay about Rp. 20,000!|
|Remarks||:||although there is no entrance fee, visitors won’t be able to to enter or climb up the Clock Tower unless a written permission from the “Dinas Pertamanan” is obtained. You can get further information from a tourist office in the area. Specific days that people mostly visit are Saturday night or public holidays.|