Travelling to Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto





Sumber: asset.kompas.com

A friend once told me that Sawahlunto is a civilization in its own right. Nestled on a crater-like landscape guarded by the hills around, Sawahlunto is a sight to behold. It is a quaint city with diverse culture and beliefs still adorned with remnants of dutch colonial buildings that to this day still function as hospitals, hotels and government buildings.





Little did anyone from outside the city knew that this city was once at the brink of destruction. The crater-like landscape was the remnants left from an era of plundering. Sawahlunto was once a small village in mid-19th century surrounded by forest with population of 500. It all changed in 1867 when a huge coal deposit was found beneath the ombilin river by a dutch geologist, Ir. W.H. De Greve.

Coal has always been intertwined with the history of Sawahlunto. In 1891, coal deposit in Sawahlunto was estimated to be at 205million tonnes and the coal mines in Sawahlunto reaches its peak between 1920 and 1921. The coal mining went on for over a century and was eventually depleted. Soon the mine workers started departing the bustling town leaving it back the quite town it used to be.
2001 was the turning point for Sawahlunto as it was declared a historic site and opened for tourism. Tourism spots was established throughout the city including info box and coal mining gallery, Soero pit left from the coal mining days, Museum Goedang Ransoem and Train and Rail museum of Sawahlunto.

Sawahlunto becomes the capital city of coal mining tourism of Indonesia

In June 2019, from what was an almost forgotten relic of the past, Sawahlunto was restored to where it should be and was named as one of the UNESCO world site heritage, “Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto”. It was named as the UNESCO world site heritage through the unique architecture of the city and the mining technology of the time marking an advancement of technology development by mankind.



Sumber: whc.unesco.org

Traveling and Exploring Sawahlunto

Surrounded by rows of hills and situated in the province of West Sumatera, this city is roughly one third the size of Jakarta or is estimated to be 283 km2. The city is well equipped with various tourist destinations to satisfy the curiosity of travellers.
When in Sawahlunto, don’t miss visiting the now defunct coal mines that were newly crowned as UNESCO World Heritage Site, commemorating the rich history that this city has to offer. Traveling to the city takes a bit of extra effort which will all be paid off by the beauty of the city. You would land in Padang, a more well-known nearby city, Minangkabau International Airport. From the airport you can take a number of transportation option, travel minibus to directly head to Sawahlunto or for the more adventurous, take public busses and go through several terminals before reaching Sawahlunto.
sumber: republika.co.id

The trip to Sawahlunto from Padang using a travel bus would take 4-5 hours and costs around Rp. 100,000.- which would take you directly to the city only stopping for toilet rests. While if you are feeling a bit more adventurous and is on a budget trip, taking the public bus will be a better option which will costs you around Rp 25,000.- to Rp. 35,000.- and takes around 5-6 hours to reach Sawahlunto. You can directly find the public bus named Tranex from the airport, from there you would want to go to Solok Terminal and exchange towards Sawahlunto Terminal from there. However, the West Sumateran government now provides a direct route using Tranex bus from Padang Terminal to Sawahlunto terminal that costs Rp. 30,000.-.
The trip will take you through Padangpanjang city in the Sitinjau Lauik area. The route will be a bit steep and will have a number of sharp turns. However, the view on either side as you are sitting on the bus will be hard to miss. You will enjoy the view of the city of Padang from above and afar, giving you a magnificent view of the whole city.



Sumber: beritagar.id


The city is well-accommodating for tourists as it offers a wide range of accommodation choices that varies with price and facility. It ranges from homestay to hotel. The costs will be in the range of Rp. 200,000.- to Rp. 700,000.- per night depending on the facilities and location of the accommodation. You can easily book the accommodation via traveling apps like Booking.com. Hotels are also available nearby the Ombilin river which still preserves the dutch colonial style building.
Traveling around the city itself can be done by riding the city’s public transport, named angkot (a public minivan) or ojek (motorcycles operated personally). Travelling by renting a car is also another option, which is more convenient but is much more costly. Several travel agents provide cars to be rented and also local day tours so that you don’t need to plan the trip yourself.

Not only rich in history, being in West Sumatera, the Minangnese food here is also a must-try experience. It will provide wary travellers with flavorful culinary experience. The foods here are rich in flavour combining savouriness and spiciness from the spices used to prepare the foods. We recommend that you taste the Gulai Banak (Savory and spicy curry with cow’s brain) and Pical (mixed vegetables and noodle in peanut sauce), a delicacy of Sawahlunto and West Sumatera.

Aside from the famous coal mines and museums, there are several other attractions such as waterfall, park and lake that you can visit. The ticket price varies but are relatively cheap ranging around Rp. 10,000.- to Rp 15,000.-. The attractions and tourist sites information including opening time and costs can be found here. Another option is to sightsee the picturesque view of the city still adorned with colonial building can be observed from Cemara hill in the outskirt of the city. Of course, you cannot forget to bring back some delicacies and souvenirs on your way back home, there are Keripik Balado (Spicy cassava chips), also a Minangnese delicacy, and handicraft made from coal. 


Sumber: kebudayaan.kemdikbud.go.id


This is a story of an almost forgotten city in Sumatera where thousands of people once flooded in to extract the riches of mother earth over a century ago. Now, it is restored to what it is supposed to be, a famous mining city of Sawahlunto. Its past are eternalized by its museums and its history is recognized worldwide as a UNESCO World Site Heritage.


This is a guest post from dearest colleagues of Anak Rantau

37 comments:

  1. Keren banget, deh. Baru tau kalau tambang batubara di sawahlunto ini udah disahkan sebagai salah satu warisan dunia oleh unesco

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sawahlunto is an amazing place for us to visit. Went there in 18, I had such an amazing experience. To witness the history, the culture, the culinary, and the nature. You should visit Danau Biru it's amazing

    ReplyDelete
  3. Gulai banak dan pical, dua kuliner khas sawahlunto yg daku mupeng bgt buat cobaaaa.

    Wah, artikel ini ngasih informasi yg baru banget buat aku mba.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sawahlunto emang lagi ngehits mulai tahun lalu, suka banget sama pemandangan disana. Ku mantengin Kang Aip waktu explore disana, seruu..

    ReplyDelete
  5. Belum pernah ke sawahlunto tapi sepertinya seru ya mengeksplor sawahlunto, makanannya konon enak enak

    ReplyDelete
  6. Belum pernah sama sekali ke Sawahlunto tapi baca tulisannya sepertinya menarik dan ada banyak hal yang bisa dieksplore ya di sana. Doakan aku bisa kesana juga ya, Mbak.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Masya Allah, beneran baru tahu kalau Sawahlunto punya warisan Unesco. Selama ini nggak pernah kepikiran kalau kota ini layak untuk didatangi. Tengkyuh.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Aku belum pernah main ke Sawahlunto, sepertinya menarik juga ya suatu hari bisa jalan2 ke sana 😄

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dari awal baca aku kira sawahlunto itu jawa tapi ternyata deket padang ya, hihihi jelek banget pengetahuan umum ku.baru tau banget kalau sawahlunto Sesepuhnya pertambangan batubara indonesia

    ReplyDelete
  10. aku suka sedih kalau baca post mami, karena aku belum pernah ke luar pulau jaawa-bali huhu.. pengen juga main ke Sawahlunto, kebetulan saudara ku ada orang Padang, bisa melipir deh kesitu XD

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wooww keren banget Sawahlunto ini. Aku baru tau ternyata sudah diresmikan oleh Uneso sebagai salah satu warisan dunia.
    btw, menikmati sekali membaca tulisannya. Ditunggu tulisannya lagi ya, mbak :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sawahlunto saya belum pernah kesana :D ada banyak tempat menarik untuk dikunjungin disana. Mudah-mudahan ada kesempatan bisa main kesana

    ReplyDelete
  13. Baca Sawahlunto ini nampak familiar. Namanya aja tapi, kalau tempatnya nggak kebayang. Cakep juga ya.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow keren sudah diresmikan UNESCo yass Mba In? aku belum pernah ke Sumatra Barat dan memang masakan Minang itu paling uenak :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. selalu seru baca travelling mba Indah nambah info tentang kota-kota yang didatangi Mba sukak sekali :)

      Delete
  15. Indah banget ya Sawahlunto. Belum pernah ke sana tapi saudara banyai juga di sana. Pengen kalau liburan jalan jalan ke rumah saudara tapi belum ada rejeki. Moga setelah membaca ini rejeki bertambah dan bisa jalan ke Sawahlunto.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Aku belum pernah jalan-jalan ke Sawahlunto nih jadi pengen juga bisa segera jalan-jalan ke sini

    ReplyDelete
  17. Aku belum pernah main ke Sawah lunto kak, tapi serius ikut bangga ada warisan dunia yang diakui UNESCO di sawah lunto

    ReplyDelete
  18. sawahlunto ternyata dah diakuin sebagai warisan dunia toh. telat banget saya tahunya. update begini tuh kudu baca situs unesco kah?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Aku baru aja lihat di TV mengenai nerita ini, di tampilkan juga kalau kawasan ini luas, bangunannya pun udah pada tua gt ya. Bersyukur juga sih kalau Sawah Lunto ini sudah diresmikan UNESCO.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Alhamdulillah, salah satu kekayaan Indonesia nih, Sawahlunto jadi salah satu kawasan heritage dunia ala UNESCO. Jadi semakin oenapenas pengen main ke sana deh.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Coal mining di Sawahlunto ada kereta di dalam gua atau akses ke dalam mining-nya kayak di Chili sama di coal mining pada umumnya ya..

    ReplyDelete
  22. Ternyata di Sawahlunto ada tambang batu bara ya mbak, aku keman aja baru tau hihihi apalagi sekarang sudah disahkan sam aUNESCO jadi wrisan dunia ya

    ReplyDelete
  23. Wah menarik banget jd kepo huhu..semoga ada takdirnya bs ke sana ah..

    ReplyDelete
  24. Eh "Anak Rantau"? Siapakah itu? Guest post di blog ini? #dibahas
    Oh iya dulu zaman kecil sering dengar Sawahlunto, oh krn sejarah pertambangan batu baranya ya?
    Kalau ke Padang kudu mampir sana nih

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Penasaran aslinya makanan Minang/ Padang di sana kyk apa, apakah mirip2 dengan yang dijual Warung Padang di sini hehe

      Delete
    2. Kami merupakan sebuah blog dengan misi memperluas wawasan anak bangsa untuk melihat dunia diluar maupun di dalam Indonesia mba :). Kami membagikan konten tentang belajar, liburan dan bekerja yang semoga dapat menjadi sumber yang informatif dan berguna bagi anak-anak bangsa.

      Silahkan bila berminat dapat mampir dan membaca-baca kontennya di www.anakrantau.id.

      Terima kasih.

      Delete
  25. Can we go inside the coal mining mbak Indah? I've never been to West Sumatra and I'll definitely put Sawahlunto on my destination list. What are other delicacies we can buy beside keripik balado mbak?

    ReplyDelete
  26. Seru deh kayaknya kalau ada film dengan setting Sawah Lunto ini. Jadi lebih kenal dengan daerah ini.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Seperti mimpi lihat Sawahlunto yang indah.
    Sumatera memang masih ayu alami yaa..
    Eksotis banget.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Sawah Lunto sungguh indah dan menggoda untuk dikunjungi. Pengen juga main ke sana. Mba Indah ngajak jalan2 aku ke Sawahlunto nih. Semoga ada rejeki bisa main ke sana. apalagi udah diakui dunia. Kere!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Wahh terima kasih mba Indah sudah bersedia berkolaborasi untuk guest post dengan kami. Sangat senang melihat artikel ini dapat menambah wawasan dan minat pembaca mba Indah untuk menikmati keindahan nusantara!

    ReplyDelete
  30. We've been to a coal mining spot here in the US, but it wasn't as neat-O as that photo!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Dijadikan latar film atau novel seru juga nih SawahLunto ya Mba hehehe
    aku jadi pengen juga main kemari. Harus kepo-kepo soal sawahlunto nih, dari kebudayaan sampai kulinernya seru!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Lovely photos as usual. However, that coal mine looks scary. Thank you for another lesson, for sharing and for co-hosting at #omhgww.

    ReplyDelete
  33. kapan yaa bisa main ke sawahlunto juga, pengen banget traveling ke luar pulau jawa tapi pulau jawa masih belum habis aku jelajahi nih

    ReplyDelete
  34. Honestly, Sawahlunto wasn't on my travel bucket list, but after reading about the history and culture here, it's going on it now. It sounds like an incredible place to explore.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for visiting My Purple World. I am delighted to have you all here :D....
If you like what you read, feel free follow this blog through the button on the right side of the blog and hope you can leave some comments too. Nevertheless, all comments with direct links will be deleted.

Terima kasih sudah mampir ke blog aku ya. Selamat menikmati dan semoga suka. Komentar akan sangat dihargai, tapi link hidup dan spam akan langsung saya hapus ya.

Happy Blogwalking and enjoy 😘