Bengkulu Province in southwestern Sumatra is one of the lesser visited parts of Sumatra due to its remoteness and rugged terrain. It lacks large cities and is earthquake-prone yet has a stunning coast with idyllic beaches.

Bengkulu is the capital and largest city of Bengkulu Province and was founded by the British. Sir Stamford Raffles, of Singapore fame, discovered the world’s largest flower in Bengkulu Province and was governor here for a time. The main attraction left over from the British in Bengkulu is the 18th century Fort Marlborough.

Bengkulu Province has fantastic beaches, with the nearest to the capital being Pantai Panjang, a stunning stretch of sand with good surfing. It is also known as Long Beach. Divers should head for Enggano Island, 150kms off the southwest coast of Bengkulu Province.

Bengkulu was formerly known as Bencoolen by the British, who founded the capital city in 1685. Those who come here to check out nature should head for the Tabah Penanjung Nature Reserve for rafflesias flowers, while hikers will enjoy Mount Bukit Kaba. The best weather in Bengkulu Province is experienced between April and October.

Bengkulu Airport is the gateway to Bengkulu Province. It is 1 hour, 30 minutes flight time from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta. Bengkulu is also accessible by road from Bandarlampung in the south via the trans-Sumatra highway, a day-long journey by bus or hire car.

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