Exploring Bengkulu, an Old Coastal City in Western Sumatra


Bengkulu is a province located at the southwestern coast of Sumatra Island. Compared to other provinces, Bengkulu is rather low profile in term of popularity and tourism. However, exploring Bengkulu City, the capital of the province, can be an amazing experience.

The aerial view of Bengkulu City. via Instagram/raihan_andika_h78

Bengkulu City has big tourism potential both from its natural and historic beauties. Once an important area during the British and Dutch colonial era, Bengkulu also has many beautiful natural destinations. Here are some of the best spots you need to explore in Bengkulu City.

Fort Marlborough

The fort from above. via Instagram/chamarheryanto_

The fort was built by the British colonial government in the early 18th century. The construction started in 1713 and completed in 1719, all expense was covered by the East India Company (EIC). The fort is still in good condition. It is located near the sea with the good sweeping view to all directions.

Tapak Paderi Beach

The Tapak Paderi Beach. via Instagram/fikri2421

This beach has a long white and brownish sandy area, stretching for kilometers. There is a somewhat protected cove on the southern end of this beach. The main attraction here is the sunset. Since all of the Bengkulu’s beaches are facing west, they commonly have a wonderful sunset view. In Tapak Paderi Beach, you can enjoy it while walking on its soft sand.

Dendam Tak Sudah Lake

The sinisterly-named lake. via Instagram/toboberendo

The name is somewhat remarkably sinister. Literally means ‘A Neverending Grudge Lake’, this small lake has a heartbreaking legend. There was a couple who didn’t get the marriage blessing from their parents so one of them succumbed to depression and drowning themselves in the lake. You can enjoy a lovely sunrise view in this lake.

Panjang Beach

Playing soccer on panjang Beach. via Instagram/at_ma_nc

Literally means ‘Long Beach’, this one indeed lives up to its name. Panjang Beach has seven kilometers of the coastal area. Additionally, this is probably the most developed beach in the entire Bengkulu Province. You can find complete amenities around Panjang Beach, including sports facilities, culinary center, and of course several choices of accommodation.

Bhadrika Mangrove Park

Walking in the mangrove forest. via Instagram/d_pra06

This one is a relatively new spot, because it’s only opened in early 2018. The aim is quite straightforward; conserving the mangrove area while providing a spot of tourism. They built long decks to explore the park, all within an existing mangrove forest.

Samudra Ujung Beach

The Samudra Ujung Beach. via Instagram/syarafinak

Located at the southern outskirt of Bengkulu, this beach mainly offers a lovely view and relaxing place. The waters are rough since they directly face the Indian Ocean. However, that also means this beach is great for surfing. That is why Samudra Ujung is more popular for foreign surfers than locals. You can find many good breaks and rolls here.

Sunset at Panjang Beach. via Instagram/at_ma_nc

Bengkulu City is a great destination if you want to peek at the past. Furthermore, this city has lots of interesting places, beautiful natural phenomena, and a rich history.

Bengkulu destinations Indonesia Sumatra