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The smouldering summit of Gunung Merapi (2891m) looms large over Bukittinggi to the east. Occasionally deemed too dangerous to climb, Merapi is Sumatra’s most active volcano.
If Merapi’s benign, then visitors typically hike overnight to view sunrise from the summit. The climb begins at the village of Koto Baru and it’s normally a 12-hour round trip. You’ll need good walking boots, warm clothing, a torch, food and drink.
It’s unwise to attempt the climb alone, and people are advised to take a guide or join a group. Travel agencies in Bukittinggi do guided trips to Merapi for around US$30 per person (minimum three people).