If Padang’s traffic is frying your brains, or you’re waiting for a boat, kick back on one of the nearby beaches: there’s a heap of islands to explore, and they're exactly the kind of places you'll end up staying longer than you expected.

Pantai Bungus, 23km south of Padang, is conveniently close to the ferry port of Teluk Kabung, but still sufficiently relaxed to unkink the most frazzled traveller. Further south along the coast is Sungai Pinang, with its somnolent fishing-village vibe.