Bengkulu is the smallest and lowest populated province of Sumatra.
Bengkulu province is located on the southwest coast of Sumatra.
It occupies of 19,831 sq. km area and has about one million populations,
comprising mostly Rejang, Malay, Bugis and Chinese ethnic ancestry
people. Bukit Barisan mountain range constitutes its northeastern
border, beyond which laid of South Sumatra province and Jambi
province. The province protected by a stretch of mountains, which
soon flow into the mighty Bukit Barisan. Tigers and elephants
wander through the remains of the original rainforest, where exotic
rafflesia's and orchids grow.
The British founded Bengkulu in 1685. It is a university town
and administrative centre. It is the last territory in Indonesia
to be held by the British. Fort Marlborough, constructed in 1762,
is a castle with gatehouse that contains old gravestones with
English inscription. Sir Stamford Raffles, who later found Singapore,
was lieutenant - government of Bengkulu from 1818 to 1823.
Thomas Stamford Raffles was an important figure in Bengkulu history,
which in 1817 was appointed as a Lieutenant-Governor of Bencoolen,
the only territory in the area, which the Dutch had never managed
to bring under their control. Raffles was an extraordinary and
energetic man of wide-ranging interests. In the year of his arrival,
he and a botanist named Joseph Arnold discovered the world's largest
flower, at Manna River near Lubuktapi, in South Bengkulu. The
flower is now known as Rafflesia Arnoldi and is the official symbol
of Bengkulu province.
Tabah Penanjung, an hour drive into the hills above Bengkulu
is a nature reserve where rafflesias are often found. Mt Bukit
Kaba, near the hill town of Curup can be climbed in a day from