The town of Sungai Penuh, located at the foothills of towering Mt. Kerinci is 420 km. away fromJambi, the capital that bears the same name as the province. Micro buses, here known as “travel” access the route between Jambi and Sungai Penuh that cover the distance in around 10 hours riding on smooth to rough roads. But when twinkling lights appear in the distance at the foot of Mt. Kerinci, you know that you are already nearing the town of Sungai Penuh.
Sungai Penuh is now its own municipality that has been administratively separated from the District of Kerinci, and is located in the Bukit Barisan mountain range – on the western ridge of the island of Sumatra – where most of its territory forms part of the Kerinci-Seblat National Park. The town is surrounded by dense forests that lie at a height from 100 to 1,000 meters above sea level, giving this town a wonderully cool climate.
Additionally, there are many river springs around, making Sungai Penuh an ideal tourist destination. Today the town has two swimming pools but are not yet equipped with a waterpark.
The area abounds in natural tourism potentials replete with exotic plants, flowers and animals, its people possess unique art and cultural traditions, and it has archaelogical sites. From Sungai Penuh take time to visit Lake Kerinci, Lake Kacoandthe Semurup Hot Springs. You can wonder through Bukit Tapan, the Puti Senang Flower garden, or watch the traditional Lyo-lyo dance. For lovers of history, there is the Agung Pondok Tinggi mosque and the Raya Bawang mosque that contain still undiscovered historical values.
The neighbourhood around Jalan R.E Martadinata, is where you will find plenty of food stalls. Here are a complete array of Indonesian food dishes such as soto, pecel, gulai and other specific Jambi dishes like gulai ikan semah. For the more familiar Padang food, find many Padang restaurants around here.
Why not try soto semurup which tastes similar to soto padang. This dish you can find not far from Pasar Semurup – the Semurup Market -, some 15 minutes from the town of Sungai Penuh in the direction of Padang. The Soto semurup is a clear soup filled with vermicelli, fried minced beef mixed with potatoes, and crispy fried sliced meat called dendeng. This hot soup will make any body warm in this cool mountain climate.
Most prominant landmark of this town is the Kincai Plaza where you can buy almost everything you will need under one roof. But there are other shopping centers like the Pasar Beringin Jaya and around Pasar Tanjung Bajure besides other mini markets spread around town.
At Sungai Penuh are a number of small accommodation facilities starting from around Rp. 100,000 a night, among which are Hotel Jaya Wisata, Hotel Aroma and Hotel Busana. For a more upmarket star-rated hotel try Hotel Kerinci which offers rates starting from Rp220,000 a night.
Ride up Bukit Sentiong before nightfall, then watch the twinkling lights of Sungai Penuh from up above.
If you are the adventurous type hike up Mt. Kerinci, see Lake Kerinci, the many waterfalls spashing from great heights, to hot water springs are here to enjoy.
This town has quaint horse drawn carts for you to try and look around the town of Sungai Penuh. The fare should be between Rp10,000 to Rp.15,000 depending on distance travelled.
From the capital city of Jambi it will take around 10 hours overland to Sungai Penuh . While from Padang, capital of West Sumatra province, it takes around 7 hours by public bus, known here as “travel”.
For “travel” services you can try the following companies:
Travel Ayu, Travel Safamarwa and Travel Klinci Putih.
Road conditions are improving, but from the District of Bangko to Sungai Penuh expect winding roads, although, you will be indulged with beautiful panoramic views along the way.