|Province||Template:Sealicon West Sumatra|
|Regency||Template:Sealicon South Pesisir|
|o Total||15,000 (estimated)|
|Time zone||UTC+7 (WIB)|
There is no certain historical document or archive that holds the origin of the town's name. According to the local folklore, the name 'Painan' is originated from paik nian, which means "very bitter" in bahasa Minangkabau, the language of the Minangkabau people who lives in the area. The phrase paik nian itself might refer to how difficult the life of the town's local people in the past. It is might also reflect the fact that the town's topography (surrounded by hills and rivers) caused this place to be difficult to traverse by travelers.
This coastal town became an important place during Indonesia's colonial period since 1663 when the Dutch, via the Dutch East India Company set-up a trading post in Pulau Cingkuk (Cingkuk Island), one of many islands that are located offshore the town, as documented in the "Perjanjian Painan" or 'Painan Treaty'. Through the treaty, the local chiefs of West Coast of Sumatra were also bound themselves to supply pepper and gold to the Dutch.
Nowadays, as the capital of South Pesisir regency, this town is the center of economic activities of the regency. According to the regency's website, this town's main economic activities lies on farming, fishery, and tourism.
Painan has 4 Kindergartens and 2 Play Groups. It also has 9 Primary schools, 2 Junior High schools, 1 Senior High school, 1 Public High school and 1 University.
Painan is divide into 4 administrative village or kelurahan :
These are several tourist attractions in Painan :