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Lake Maninjau (Indonesian: Danau Maninjau, Meninjau means Overlook or Observation ) is a caldera lake in West Sumatra, Indonesia. It is located 16 km to the west of Bukittinggi, at [show location on an interactive map] 0°19′S 100°12′E / 0.317°S 100.2°E / -0.317; 100.2.

The Maninjau caldera was formed by a volcanic eruption estimated to have occurred around 52,000 years ago.[1] Deposits from the eruption have been found in a radial distribution around Maninjau extending up to 50 km to the east, 75 km to the southeast, and west to the present coastline. The deposits are estimated to be distributed over 8500 km² and have a volume of 220–250 km³. The caldera has a length of 20 km and a width of 8 km.

The lake

Lake Maninjau has an area of 99.5 km², being approximately 16 km long and 7 km wide. The average depth is 105 m, with a maximum depth of 165 m. The natural outlet for excess water is the Antokan river, located on the west side of the lake. It is the only lake in Sumatra which has a natural outlet to the west coast. Since 1983 this water has been used to generate hydroelectric power for West Sumatra.

Most of the people who live around Lake Maninjau are ethnically Minangkabau. Villages on the shores of the lake include Maninjau and Bayur.

Maninjau is a notable tourist destination in the region due to its scenic beauty and mild climate. It is also used as a site for paragliding.

Tourist destination

Maninjau is a notable tourist destination in the region due to its scenic beauty and mild climate. It is also used as a site for paragliding. On the uphill close to the lake, there is a 5 star hotel to lodge in. To reach maninjau, you can rent a car from Bukittinggi, which is located 35 kilometer from the site. Or you can also travel by public transport.

There are so many restaurants at maninjau. However, you must be careful because local cooking is highly seasoned and spiced. This is the specific charasteristic of West Sumatra foods. So you must be clever to choose.

If you want to buy souvenir, you can buy songket, a cloth embroidered with bits of gold or silver thread. Or you can choose any products made of songket, such as sandal, shoes, bag, coin box, etc. Other specific characteristic food that you can buy is kripik singkong pedas, a spiced crispy chip made from cassava.

Besides enjoying the beauty of the scene, you also can enjoy any other receation means there. However, due to the local custom, you are not allowed swimming at the lake using swimming cloth. If you want to do swimming, please do it at many resorts and hotels around the lake. At Maninjau resort, you can visit fitness center and jogging track.

The hotel price at maninjau is not expensive. For standard room, which has private bathroom, you only pay as cheap as 30000 rupiahs. Or bungalow, with the price of 50000 rupiahs. The hotel is very clean, and you can have beer and many choices of food, at very reasonable price. Some hotels are surrounded by rice fields, such as Beach Inn. So if we want to reach them, we have to pass the green-yelowish fields and enjoy its beauty.

Hill around the lake and villages of Maninjau are decorated by forestlike tree gardens before it reaches real forest on the upper hill. You can see there fruit trees such as rambutan, langsat, and durian.

The best-time to visit Maninjau lake is April - September. Because if you come there on September to April, you will get rainy season, where you will rarely see beautiful sunset.


Local agriculture

The lake is used for aquaculture, using karamba floating net cages. The technique was introduced in 1992, and by 1997 there were over 2,000 cage units with over 600 households engaged. Each cage may have 3-4 production cycles each year. There is evidence of pollution around some karamba area.

On the edge of the lake, the landuse includes rice fields in the swamps and the lower slopes. The villages are bordered uphill by a large belt of forestlike tree gardens, which dissolves into the upper montane forest on the steepest parts of the slopes up to the ridge of the caldera.

The tree gardens include three typical components:

* Fruit trees including durian, jack fruit, cempedak, rambutan, langsat, golden berries and water apples.
* Timber species including Toona sinensis and Pterospermum javanicum.
* Spice trees including cinnamon, coffee, nutmeg and cardamum.