The name, “Bengkulu”, is believed to have come from the words “Bangkai” and “Hulu”, which means corpse near the upstream river. According to the folklore, an ancient battle occurred near the present day Bengkulu River with many fatal casualties on both sides.
The province of Bengkulu was originally the site of a British trading settlement called Bencoolen. The British East India Company built Fort Marlborough in the site of present day Bengkulu City in 1714. The colony was then transferred to the Dutch in 1824, which governed the province until Indonesia’s independence in 1945.
Major tourist attractions in Bengkulu:
- Fort Marlborough, the 18th century British castle
- Panjang Beach, perfect spot for elephant riding & surfing
- Soekarno’s Residence, the house where Indonesia’s first president was lived during his exile in 1938
- Bukit Kaba Volcanic Crater, hot springs with beautiful panoramic views
- Enggano Island, a rainforest-covered island where you can experience the traditional culture of the Enggano tribe
- Tikus Islands, water sports haven, including fishing, diving & snorkeling