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Bengkulu is the smallest and least populated province of Sumatera - less than one million people on a surface of 21,168 square kilometers. The province covers an area of 500 km long stretch of unspoiled beaches, protected by a stretch of mountains which soon flow into the mighty Bukit Barisan. Tigers and elephants wander through the remains of the original rain forest, where exotic rafflesia's and (...)

Along the eastern side of Jl. Jend. A. Yani, is Fort Marlborough. The fortress was built between 1713 and 1719 and it was completely renovated between 1977 and 1984. It is square-shaped with measurements 240 x 170 meters and all of the four corners have a bastion. Fort Marlborough was founded to replace Fort York. How interesting the new fortress looked, both times it was attacked by en (...)

Fort York, built in 1685, was located about two kilometers north of Fortress Marlborough, on the southern banks of the Bengkulu River. The area is now called Pasar Bengkulu, a remembrance to earlier times, then the most important market was located near the fortress. The area however is not a pasar ('market') anymore, but a modern shopping mall. There are no visible remains of th (...)

Along Jl. Letkol Santoso in the southeastern part of the city, about 15 minutes walking from the fortress, is an obelisk. This shrine was founded for Captain Robert Hamilton, 'which died on 15 December 1793 on the age of 38 as the commander of the troops'. START_IMAGE=BEN/010=BETWEEN_IMAGE=Old gravestone=END_IMAGE From here it's only a few hundred meters to the European graveyard. Most B (...)

The colonial city of Bengkulu was founded by the British in 1685 (the called it 'Bencoolen'). 150 years later, in 1825, the Dutch took power until the Japanese invasion in 1942. Bengkulu still looks like the earlier descriptions: quiet and clean. The remembrances of Bengkulu from the colonial past can best be seen when walking. Start early in the morning, because the mid-day heat will be tremendou (...)

Soekarno's house A short trip towards the east takes you to the house where Soekarno, his first wife Inggit and his adopted daughter Ratna Juami were banned to between 1938 and 1941. The house is located along Jl. Soekarno Hatta, in the area Anggut Atas. On the verandah is the bike which Soekarno used to win the heart of his second wife, Fatmawati. In wooden drawers ar (...)

The provincial museum is located in the southern outskirts of the city (Padang Harapan). It has an extensive collection of prehistoric stoned and several less old bronze drums, as well as wooden models of traditional houses. In other rooms the traditional Engganese weavings and machines are showed. Especially very interesting are the batik weavings which are mainly made in Bengkulu (kain besuru (...)

At the border of the city of Bengkulu are three important attractions for people who love nature. One of them is the 7-km beach which starts at Pantai Nala ('Nala Beach'), and runs towards the south where the name changes into Pantai Panjang Gading Cempaka, Gading Cempaka was a legendary princess, with a skin as white as ivory (gading) and as odorous as jasmine (cemp (...)

Bukit Daun ('Leaf Forest') is a protected recreation forest located between Bengkulu and Curup, at some 45 kilometers from Bengkulu. It is inhabited by a great variety of animal species. Located in a sparsely populated region of Sumatra, Bukit Daun forms a twin volcano with Gedang volcano, which is truncated by a 3-km-wide probable caldera. The 600 meter wide summit (...)

The Gunung Kaba ('Kaba Volcano') is located in the Rejanglebong regency, Bengkulu on the island of Sumatra. There are eight craters that are known for historical explosive activity. The summit of Gunung Kaba has three high peaks - Bukit Kaba, Bukit Itam ('Black Hill') which is 1,893 meters and Bukit Malintang with a height of 1,713 meters. Three of the (...)

Tikus Island is a group of small islands is excellent for fishing, snorkeling and diving with easy access. Mountain air makes this a pleasant stop for a couple of days. There are some popular hot springs near Curup at Suban. Tikus is the name of a cluster if islets surrounded by coral reefs that teem with various forms of marine life, soft and hard corals, and fish of all colors and siz (...)

Enggano lies about 177 kilometers south of Bengkulu city. It is about 35 kilometers long from east to west and 16 kilometers wide from north to south. Its average elevation is about a hundred meters. Hills, rising to about 281 meters, cover most of the area. The island covers an area of 40,260 hectares, which is dominated by dense rainforest with its wild buffaloes. The island still hol (...)

In the past, a kingdom named Selebar existed in the area of Bengkulu. It was a vassal state of Banten, and the latter's main source of pepper, cloves, nutmeg and coffee, the trade commodities on which the Javanese Kingdom thrived. On July 12, 1685, Selebar signed a treaty with the British East India Company which gave the Britisch the right to build a warehouse and fortification. First, (...)

The province of Bengkulu has many interesting sights for lovers of natural environments. Most of them are in the Bukit Barisan mountain range and can be reached via the curvy route Bengkulu-Kepahiang-Curup. In the autumn, most of the times in November, the Rafflesia arnoldii flowers along the water rich areas of the rain forest. The area around Taba Penangjung, Bengkulu's (...)

Bengkulu population consists of four main groups. The Rejang are the mountain people and form the majority. They are divided into two groups: the highland Rejang and the coastal Rejang, which have moved to the western lowlands. In the south live Serawai, which are related with the Pasemah in the highlands around Pageralam and Mount Dempo. In the capital, there are many Malay people. Ben (...)

A visit to the city of Bengkulu, West Sumatra province, is not complete without a visit to the annual Tabot festival. This festival is held every year at the start of the Islamic month of Muharam, based on the regular calendar this means that this event moves forward about ten days every year. The festival itself is held to remember the tragedy that struck Hasan Husein. Hasan Husein is (...)

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