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Top 14 Things to Do in Bengkulu, Indonesia – Beaches – Lakes – Historical Places

by Hindarko Luh Setyawanto

Bengkulu is a province located in the southwest coast of Sumatra. The province is divided into nine regencies and an independent city of Bengkulu, which is the capital of the province. Not only land, Bengkulu Province includes Mega Islands and Enggano Islands.

Bengkulu can be accessed by buses or planes through Fatmawati Soekarno Airport. Flight from Jakarta is less than an hour, about 50 minutes. Various airlines serve the route such as Lion Air, Sriwijaya Air and Citilink.

The coastline of Bengkulu is 525 kilometers, facing directly the Indian Ocean. You can imagine the beauty of the beach here. The province is also blessed with many natural resources such as coal and gold, amazing panoramic view, and well maintained historic places. Let’s find out the best things to do in Bengkulu, Indonesia.

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1. Visiting Panjang Beach
Panjang Beach is situated about 4 km from the city center. The beach has a wide coastline about 500 meters and a beautiful stretch of white sand along 7 km. That’s how the beach got its name. Panjang means long.

Long beach has a strategic location so that it’s always crowded by tourists every day. The beach provides complete public facilities and accommodations. From restaurants, inns, cafe, play ground for children, shopping center, to jogging tract. The beach also has amazing view at sunset. Panjang beach is located at Bengkulu City.

2. Visiting Linau Beach
Linau beach is situated right on the side of highway. The beach has a lot of trees along the coastline so that visitors can enjoy the panoramic view under the shade of trees. There are also stalls selling fresh fish caught by the fishermen.

Linau beach has beautiful white sand and clear water. During holiday, many fishermen rent their boats for visitors who want cruising around. The cost is affordable, only Rp 5.000. If the sky is clear, visitors can also enjoy the beautiful view of sunset. Linau Beach is located at Linau Village, Maje District, Kaur Regency. It’s about 5 hours by car from Bengkulu City.

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3. Visiting Tapak Paderi Beach
The name of the beach is connected with the local history. Long time ago the beach was a landing location of ships that transported exiled Paderi Tribe. The spot where the landing took place, had a shape of foot print or tapak. Therefore local people began to name the beach as Tapak Paderi.

Tapak Paderi has a dark-colored sand, wide coastline, and sometimes big waves. Since the revitalization, more tourists visit this beach. Wall of slippers is the favorite area for young lovers. It’s a place to declare love happily ever after. Tapak Paderi Beach is located at Bengkulu City. The price of entrance ticket is only Rp 2.000.

4. Visiting Dendam Tak Sudah Lake
Dendam Tak Sudah Lake, or Vengeance Lake, has a legend about its name. Once upon a time, there were two young lovers loving each other. But the boy’s parents didn’t give their permission. The boy was betrothed with another girl from other village. It turned out that the boy loved his new girlfriend. The first girl finally knew and her heart broke apart. When his ex-boyfriend married his new girlfriend, she was really sad. She cried a river so her tears flooded her village and became a lake.

Dendam Tak Sudah Lake is surrounded by hills and lush forests. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful view of sunrise at the lake. The sunlight reflects on the surface of the lake. Fishing is also the popular activity that visitors may do. Dendam Tak Sudah Lake is located at Bengkulu City.

5. Visiting Mas Harun Bastari Lake
Mas Harun Bastari Lake is truly beautiful. The lake is surrounded by hills so makes the weather cool. Vegetables are also planted on this area that gives more view for green scenery.

Mas Harun Bastari Lake is the perfect place to spend holiday with family. The lake has a lot of facilities for children and adults. From carousel, swings, flying fox, boats for rent, to water bicycle. Off course visitors may do fishing too. Mas Harun Bastari Lake is located between Curup City and Lubuk Linggau City, Selupung Rejang District, Rejang Lebong Regency.

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6. Visiting Bengkulu Museum
Bengkulu Museum was built since 1978 and inaugurated in 1980. At the beginning, the museum was inside of Marlborough Fort. But three years later in 1983, the museum was relocated to this current building.

Bengkulu museum has two exhibition halls, for regular and temporary show. Visitors can learn its collection of historical manuscripts and numerous traditional fabrics. There is also a printing machine that once was used to print money. These collections are priceless and must be preserved. Bengkulu Museum is located at Pembangunan Street, Bengkulu City. The price of entrance ticket is Rp 2.500 for adults and Rp 1.500 for kids.

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7. Visiting Soekarno’s Exile House
Soekarno was exiled to Bengkulu in 1938-1942. The Dutch colonial placed him in a house that belonged to a Chinese businessman. The house was near Marlborough Fort, so they could keep an eye to him. Nevertheless Soekarno still had contact with his fellows.

Soekarno’s exile house was built in 20th century. The house has a shape of rectangular. The roof is pyramid-shaped. The area of the house is 162 meters square. Inside the house visitors can see a collection of Soekarno’s book, the photos of Soekarno, and Soekarno’s old bicycle. Soekarno’s exile house is located at Sukarno Hatta Street, Bengkulu City.

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8. Visiting Marlborough Fort
Marlborough Fort was a British Colonial legacy that was used by Dutch Colonial. The fort was built in 1914-1917 under the administration of Governor General Josef Colin. It’s the largest fort ever built by the British during their regime in South East Asia.

Then, what’s the best things to do in Bengkulu Indonesia? Marlborough Fort has a strong British architectural style. The shape of the fort resembles the body of turtle that exhibits the impression of strength and magnificent. The fort is an evidence of interaction between the British and the people of Bengkulu. Marlborough Fort is located at Bengkulu City. Indeed, you may visit this place to learn about Bengkulu Indonesia historical story in thousand years back then.

9. Climbing Mount Kaba
Mount Kaba has a height of 1,938 meters above sea level. There are two pathways to reach the top. The first path crosses the forest that is full of bushes and ravines on either side. The second path has been paved using aspal.

Mount Kaba has two craters on its peak. One is still active, the other is just a dead crater. People around Mount Kaba provide facilities for visitors such as transportation, inns, restaurant and guide. Mount Kaba is located at Rejang Lebong Regency.

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10. Visiting Rat Island
Rat Island has the area of 1.5 hectares. Even though the island is small, visitors can do a lot of fun activities. From playing sand, swimming to snorkeling. The waves that hit the beach are quite safe. The reason for it because of the beach is surrounded by coral so that the waves will be burst.

Rat Island has a lighthouse. At the beginning there were five lighthouses. Then abrasion crushed four of them. Visitors may climb the lighthouse and only need to ask permission from the guard. Fishing is also permitted for visitors. Rat Island is located at Bengkulu City. It’s about 9 km from the beach and takes 40 minutes by speed boat to get there.

11. Visiting Kabawetan Tea Garden
Kabawetan Tea Garden has amazing green scenery. Everyday around 250 tea pickers walk down the garden to collect 15 kilograms of tea leaves. They are paid Rp 14.000 per day. They will get extra money Rp 500 per kilograms if exceed the target.

Kabawetan Tea Garden is run by joint company. They produce tea for both export and domestic market. Visitors are allowed walking in and around the garden. Crowded visitors are normal during public holiday. Kabawetan Tea Garden is located at Kepahiang Regency, about 5 km from the capital of regency.

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12. Seeing Raflesia Arnoldi
Bengkulu is well known as the home of Rafflesia. There are four kind of Rafflesia live here. The most famous of them is Rafflesia Arnoldi. The flowers reach its full bloom in Desember. Indeed, Raflessia is an endemic flora and only live in certain place.

Rafflesia Arnoldi is very unique and mysterious. The plant consists only flower. No leaves, no stick, no roots. It lives as a parasite, sucks out the nutrients from its host.

Rejang Lebong Regency is the place where people often find Rafflesia Arnoldi. The place is located at Mount Bukit Barisan where the weather is cool. By then, you can also learn about history of the flower here in Bengkulu Indonesia.

13. Visiting Elephants Training Center
Elephants Training Center is the place for training and helping the breeding of wild Sumatran elephants. The trainers train elephants to understand human’s instruction. Visitors will impress seeing elephants performing the kind of circus attraction.

Elephants Training Center is also the place for protected plants and animals such as Rafflesia Arnoldi, tapirs, deers, Sumatran rhinos, Sumatran tigers, golden cats, wild goats, various types of snakes, and short tailed macaques. Elephants Training Center is located at Seblat, North Bengkulu Regency. The price of entrance ticket is Rp 35.000.

14. Visiting Jamik Mosque
Jamik mosque was originally built in 18th century. As time went on, the mosque was partially rotted. Soekarno used to pray here during his exile. He could not bear to see the mosque to decay. So he organized people to renovate the mosque.

Soekarno played the role as an architect. He designed the architecture of the mosque, chose the right materials and supervised the process of renovation. Soekarno gave Jamik Mosque a three stages-roof that means Iman, Islam, Ikhsan (faith, submission, doing good). Jamik Mosque is located at the intersection of Sudirman Street and Suprapto Street, Bengkulu City. It’s near Marlborough Fort.

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Alright then! You know the best things to do in Bengkulu, Indonesia. You may invite your best friends and family to come here to Indonesia. As well, Indonesia is full of beautiful heavenly places and tourist attractions that you may need thousand years to travel around Indonesia. So, pack your bag and let’s travel in Bnegkulu, Indonesia!

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