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Fort Marlborough, Bengkulu

Bengkulu is known as the exile house of Soekarno, this city also has fortress built by British in the 18th Century, called Fort Marlborough. The fortress is Bengkulu 0 Km and it was designed in the shape of turtle, only 50 meters from Bengkulu coast line, not far from Chinatown

In 1912, Joseph Collett, docked his ship at Bencoolen and he found out that Fort York was which was erected in 1685 was in terrible situation and he suggested to move the fort to Carrang. In 1714, his suggestion was approved and named the fort as Marlborough derives from British national hero, Jogn Churchill, which is titled as Duke of Marlborough. After Joseph Collett other governor in position was Thiophilus Shyllinge (1716-1717), Richard Farmer (1717-1718) dan Thomas Cooke.

Fort Marlborough is the strongest fort in the East we can see until today. The front door is made out of iron which is in excellent condition. Visitors usually like to take picture here.

The fort was center of British activities until 1824. The fort was then under Dutch possession after London Treaty in 17 March of 1824, which British gave all its authority in Bengkulu. Dutch was in power until 1942 when the Japanese occupied Bengkulu until 1945.

It has a museums inside the fort where we can also see historical cannons and gravestones. Visitors can hike up to the fortress and see the Hindian ocean and the city view and Tapak Padri and Panjang Beach. According to our local guide the fort has documents about Sumatra Island’s natural resources


Bengkulu has 5 species out of 33 Rafflesia flowers of the world. Rafflesia is a shy plant, it is not easy cultivated and therefore it is very rare and not very easy to see. However in Bengkulu there are recorded about 50 to 60 Rafflesia blooms every year that it makes it a good place to see this beautiful flower for botany enthusiast or for curious travelers.

This gigantic red flowers can be easily identified for its size, color, smell and its 100% parasitic life. Here are 5 species of Rafflesia in Bengkulu:

1) Rafflesia arnoldii is the first Rafflesia flower discovered in the 1818 nearby Manna River, Lubuk Tapi, South Bengkulu. This flower was found by Thomas Stamford Raffles the leader of expedition and the guide Joseph Arnold. The flower diameter can reach to 1 meters and weight upto 11 kg. It has 5 petals, red colors and it has irregular white spots on its petals. At the inside of the flower it has spikey plates which has stamens and pistils. Flies are interested in the scent of this flower and that was how the productive process begins. It blooks only for a week and then dries and dies. The percentage of insemination is very small as very rare that male flower and femae flower bloom at the same week. 

2) Rafflesia bengkuluensis is the endemic species of Bengkulu. It was discovered in Penangkulan River, Manau IX village, Kaur Regency, Bengkulu. This species is not as big as Rafflesia arnoldii, its diameter range is 50-55 cm, and each petal size is 15-19 cm. The flower is dark orange or terracotta color with irregular spots of 9mm and widtf 406 mm. The diafragma is 16,2-18,6 cm and the spots on the diafragma is light orange and the diafragma holes about 10,6 cm. Its ramenta is tubercle unlike Rafflesia arnoldii, with its filiform ramenta.  It was first discovered in 2005 by Bengkulu University and Kebangsaan Malaysia University. 

3) Rafflesia gadutensis Meijer, was considered as Rafflesia arnoldii until 1984 when it was described by Meijer.The name was derived from where the first specimen collected at Ulu Gadut Padang, West Sumatra. The sizee is medium with diameter from 40-46 cm. The perigon and surface of diapragma is light red, and spots on the perigon and diapragma has similar size and the color is light red. The spots on the longest perigon is 10-12 spots, and its bigger than spots on R. arnoldii, and sometimes huddled together near diaphragma. 

4) Rafflesia hasseltii is known as the most beautiful Rafflesia and it was described by Suringar in 1879 according to specimen collected from Muara Labuh, West Sumatra. Because of the spots pattern on the perigon petals, the locals call this as red-white mushroom or riger mushroom. This species is easily identified and differentiate from othe species. The color is maroon and the petals has wide and dominant in the shape of irregular rectangle. One petal can have 4-6 spots. The flower size is 30-50 cm and sometimes can be 70 cm. This species is very rare, and now the productive areas are Ketenong II, Lebong Regency, Bengkulu  and Kerinci Seblat National Park. The habitat if R. hasseltii is a highland forest with formation of vegetation such as :  Altingia excelsa, Knema laurina, Elateriospermum tapos, Quercus elmeri, Tristania maingayi, Dysoxylum sp., Xylocarpus granatum, Litsea sp., and Syzygium sp.

5) Rafflesia kemumu is a new species discovered and it is similar to R. gadutensis in regard of the size of flower, however different in color and wart ornaments on the perigone lobes. This species was discovered in Boven Lais Nature Reserved which borders with  Tebing kaning Village, North Bengkulu 


Bengkulu is situated in Sumatra Island, and it is one of province of Indonesia and its capital is situated in Bengkulu city. Bengkulu derives from Dutch, Bengkoelen or Bengkulen, in English it is Bencoolen and in Malay is called as Bangkahulu. Some say that Bengkulu derives from Malay words: Bang means “coastal” and kulon means “west”. Traditional source say that Bengkulu or Bangkahulu derives from Bangkai and Hulu which means carrion or carcass or corpse at the upstream. 

According to word of mouth, there was a battle between kingdoms in Bengkulu that both sides had lost their troops they became corpse that were unburied at the upstream that people call it Bangkahulu or Bengkulu. There was a story about war between Aceh people who came to mary Princess Gading Cempaka, the daughter of King Agung Sungai Serut. The king rejected the proposal that later it became war.  Anak Dalam, the sibling of the princess who would come to throne as king screamed ” Empang ka hulu.” which means “block them, do not let them enter our land.” 

Small kingdoms in Bengkulu existed in the 12th to 13th Century. Selebar Kingdom was situated at the port of Baai and Jenggalu Island, Sungai Serut Kingdom and Sungai Lemau Kingdom were situated in Pondok Kelapa, Empat Petulai Kingdom in Rejang Lebong, Indra Pura Kingdom and Sungai Itam Kingdom in Lebak, Gedung Agung Kingdom and Manau Kingdom in South Bengkulu. In the 15th Century, those kingdomes were controlled by Majapahit Kingdom in Java after it defeated Sriwijaya Kingdom in the 13th Century.  In the mid of 16th Century, Bengkulu was ruled under Banten Sultanate.  In 1685, British arrived with their 3 ships: The Caesar, The Resolution and The Defence and they colonialized Bengkulu for 139 years, until 1824. During this period, British troop died of cholera, malaria and dysentery.  There was a battle as well between British and the locals. In 1714-1719, British built Marlborough Fortress led by Governor England Indische Company (EIC), Josep Collet. When the fortress was finished, Prince Jenggalu let his people to attack British in Ujung Karang and Marlborough Fortress, that the British left Bengkulu. This heroic event is commemorating annually as the anniversary of Bengkulu.  Dutch occupied Bengkulu in 1824-1942. And Japan occupied Bengkulu from 1942-1945. 

Source : Kompas

Review from Mr Merill

About Indonesia Shore Excursions with his group

Dwi, i am still in the van for our last tour, but i wanted to send you a note to thank you for making our visit to your lands/islands most enjoyable!!! Your guides were personable and very informative! We learned a lot and had great time. Thanks for all you did to put the itinerary together and accommodating me every step of the way. You’re the easiest person I’ve eve had pleasure to deal with in the excursion field. Stay well and take care of your self.

Review by Mrs Judith about Bromo Day Tour

She and her spouse took a shore excursion tour.

“Thank you Dwi, we have had a fantastic day. Youngky and Yono have really looked after us and been great company. Hopefully we can get off the ship quicker at Komodo as it is a short day and we really want to see pink beach after the dragons. Thanks again.” (WA)

Rang Reng Cave Waterfall , Gianyar, Bali

Walking about 15 minutes descend through steps, we see the fan tiered waterfall. The water slides down along the rocks. It was stunningly beautiful. But we never thought that it was not the original waterfall, but made designed by a man named Made who has this idea. From the waterfall we went up to the natural swimming pools and the cave where the water comes from and flow to the waterfall.

Made grew up in this village and he knows well his village, river, waterfall and the forest. One day he meditated in the cave in the year 2015. And when he was meditating he had an idea about this place. It would be beautiful if the rock was cut, that it created pool and more water will flow on the rock surface and will make it more beautiful than before. He conveyed this ideas to his friends.

Rang reng names derived from Balinese which means beautiful ands spine-chilling. The names comes from Made’s experience meeting a boy in this place and told him the the cave was Rang Reng. Afterwards he never met this boy again and nobody knows who this boy was.

The cave is holy place for the locals, where they undertake melukat ritual whenever they have some terrible things happen, when they have nightmare.

If you do not want to go to see the cave, the waterfall is just enjoyable from a bamboo lookout where you can take photos.

Ubud Gianyar :Kanto Lampo Waterfall

This beautiful tiered waterfall is situated in Gianyar Regency and only about 30 minutes drive from Ubud. There are signs when you reach nearby the waterfall, that you will not get lost. Or just follow google map. It is accessible by car or bike.

It takes about 15 minutes walk from parking area to the waterfall through steeps to canyon. The waterfall flows along terraces rock and streams down into river which is a natural pool where we can swim and bath. So prepare your wet suites.