Bengkulu Province which is the same as the name of the capital city of Bengkulu is a coastal city which was originally known as Bencoolen. Bengkulu will remind you of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles who was appointed by the British Empire to become the Governor of Bengkulu in 1818. He arrived in Bengkulu in March 1818 accompanied by his wife Lady Sophia Raffles and a Javanese Chief of the Raden Rana Dipura. When Raffles arrived in Bengkulu he found Bengkulu devastated by an earthquake, therefore the city of Bengkulu was called by the term “Land of the Dead”. But after that, Raffles together with the people of Bengkulu to build and revive the city of Bengkulu from the rubble of the Dead Land. So it is not surprising that the rest of the British influence is still felt today.
Bengkulu is located on the west coast of the island of Sumatra and faces the Indonesian Ocean. Bengkulu is at coordinates 300 45 ‘- 300 59’ ‘LS and 1020 14’ – 1020 22 ‘BT with an area of 151.7 km². The inhabitants who inhabit this city come from various ethnic groups, including the Malays, Rejang, Serawai, Lembak, Bugis, Minang, Batak and others. Bengkulu has diverse tourism objects from nature tourism, marine tourism, historical tourism, and cultural tourism.
Nature tourism that you can visit is Pantai Panjang, where you will be greeted by shady pine trees that adorn along the coast. There is also the White Sand Beach near the port of the Baii Island Ocean about 19 km from the city of Bengkulu with its clean beaches and white sand. On Pulau Tikus you can take a maritime tour while looking at the small islands that surround the beautiful corals.
Why don’t you try Lake Dendam Tak Sudah which is surrounded by small hills with Bukit Barisan as its background. Here grow Vanda hookeriana water orchids along the lake. When the flower season, then you can enjoy how the orchid makes the lake beautiful and charming.
Bengkulu has a wealth of unique flora like Raflessia Arnoldy which was first discovered by Sir Thomas Raffles and Dr. Arnoldy in Lubuk Hamlet But in 1818. This flower is the largest flower in the world with a diameter of 100 cm. This flower needs 6 to 8 months to grow and 15 days after that to flower. The uniqueness of this flower is that it has no roots, leaves and stems. These plants include parasites because they have chlorophyll and haustories which emit a foul enough odor to attract insects. This flower often grows and is found in Taba Penanjung I and Taba Penanjung III around Bengkulu Tengah, areas in the Kepahiang district, and areas in the Rejang Lebong district.
In Bengkulu you can also find Tabot traditional ceremonies, which are traditional ceremonies about the heroism of Husein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, who died in battle against Yazid. This celebration was first performed by Syeh Burhanuddin, known as Imam Senggolo in 1685. Syeh Burhanuddin was married to a Bengkulu woman and then his children, grandchildren, and descendants were called the tabot family. This ceremony is held 1 to 10 Muharram Islamic month, so you should not miss to adjust to the date of Christ when visiting Bengkulu. The Tabot ceremony is held every year.