Saturday, April 27, 2013

Tapak Padri Beach

Late afternoon at Tapak Padri beach

       Tapak Padri beach is located near the fort Marlborough (Jalan Benteng, Bengkulu) and is easy to reach by angkot (public city transport). It is a nice place to wind down a few hours to talk to the locals and to watch the sun set. Sometimes it is possible to surf here at high tight. The swimming here is not too bad, but if you are just after a swim Jakat beach, 1.5 km north of the fort Marlborough is a better beach and has more facilities. Also, don’t miss another pleasure, kelapa muda (young coconut), the fresh juice drunk straight from a young coconut, bought at roadside around the beach. Drink the coconut water and then scoop out the flesh. If you enjoy the taste of young coconut water and can tolerate large amounts, it could help keep you hydrated. 

Tapak Padri beach is crowded with young locals and street vendors on weekends and public holidays. Local surf community members could be found here at 4 to 6 P.M. From here you can get to most tourist attractions on foot. See the location of Tapak Padri beach on Google Maps. 

More Photos

Another sunset with the locals at Tapak Paderi beach

Crowded with young locals on weekends

Tapak Paderi at sunset

Photos by Adriansyah Putera

Friday, April 26, 2013

Bakso & Sambal Arema Cak Brewok Bengkulu

One of Must-Visit Bakso Restaurants in Bengkulu 

Excellent bakso plus a crispy fried meatball
    Last updated: December 7th 2018
     Travelers with a taste for tasty Javanese bakso (meatball soup) should head to warung bakso & sambal Arema Cak Brewok on Jl. Mahakam Lingkar Barat – Bengkulu. Warung & sambal bakso Arema Cak Brewok is simple and clean, serving excellent eastern Javanese meatball soup for Rp. 15,000 (US$ 1.04). It also serves tasty chicken noddles Rp. 14,000 (US$ 0.97), cold soft drinks Rp. 5,000 (US$ 0.34)  and icy fresh fruit juices locally known as “es juice” Rp. 10,000 (US$ 0.69).   

Outside seating area 
One of must-visit bakso restaurants in Bengkulu
You want to know how good this restaurant is? Look at the number of people inside. That's your quality indicator. 
As this restaurant is often packed with bakso and spicy food fans, the food is cooked and eaten quite quickly and is not reheated. For many serious local bakso fans, warung bakso & sambal Arema Cak Brewok serves  the best bakso in town. It has a reputation for serving tasty bakso better than anyone else in Bengkulu. 

New Menu
How much heat can you handle? For those who love spicy food and Indonesian food, starting on June 28th 2018, warung bakso & sambal Arema Cak Brewok adds 23 sambal/hot sauces and 32 local dishes to its menu. The new menu prices start from Rp. 2,000 (US$ 0.14) to Rp. 25,000 (US$ 1.72)

Seating layout & Parking Space 
Warung bakso & sambal Arema Cak Brewok has seating area options both conventional seating and Indonesian traditional seating (sitting on the floor mat or lesehan). The restaurant also provides an adequate on-site parking space, parking fee: Rp. 2,000 (about US$ 0.14) for a car and Rp. 1,000 (about US$ 0.07) a motorcycle.

My Favorite Dish From This Restaurant
I love the bakso with crispy fried bakso, it only can be found in warung bakso & sambal Arema Cak Brewok and its official branches in Bengkulu province.

Address: Jl. Mahakam No.20, Lingkar Barat - Bengkulu. Click here to find the location and reviews for warung bakso & sambal Arema Cak Brewok on Google Maps.

Open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

More photos
The restaurant is packed with bakso fans
Tasty meatball soup
Bakso Arema Cak Brewok front view
Inside seating area 
Lesehan seating area 

Photos by Adriansyah Putera

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Panjang Beach Bengkulu

Panjang beach at sunset
     Bengkulu’s main beach, Pantai Panjang, stretches for approximately 7 km (4.4 miles). It is located on the Indian Ocean, western coast of Bengkulu city, about 2 km from Suprapto shopping center. The beach has white sand and pretty good surf. Early morning on a mid to high tide will be the best time for a surf. It is the most popular beach for the local beach goers.

Delman (horse drawn vehicle)
You can find seaside cottages, nice hotels, shopping centers, warung-warung (street stalls) and night clubs along the beach. Other recreational facilities are also available such as: swimming pools, fishing ponds, etc. At the beach (right in front of Pasir Putih cottage) you can try a delman (horse drawn vehicle). The delmans are only available on every Sunday, and every national public holiday. Also, don’t miss another pleasure, kelapa muda (young coconut), the fresh juice drunk straight from a young coconut, bought at roadside around the beach. Drink the milk and then scoop out the flesh. If you enjoy the taste of young coconut water and can tolerate large amounts, it could help keep you hydrated. Unfortunately this beautiful beach still needs more and better supporting facilities, and also litter is a major environmental problem on the beach, litter is often left by the beach goers.

How to get there?
You can take a yellow angkot (city transport) from Jl. Suprapto or along its route to the beach center gate for Rp. 4,000 per one person. There is no entrance fee, except during Eid al Fitr public holiday also known as Lebaran, and Eid al Adha public holiday or Lebaran Haji, the visitors are charged for Rp. 1,000 per one person. If you are visiting by car, a parking fee of Rp. 3000 will be required.  

Warning: The beach has big waves which are kind of good for surfing, but be careful, it’s rarely suitable for swimming; it’s unsafe for swimming too far out because there are strong currents in some spots.

More photos of Panjang beach
Enjoying the sunset at Panjang beach Bengkulu
A nice late afternoon at Panjang beach
The most popular beach in town 
Panjang beach at sunset
Coconut water could help keep you hydrated.

Photos by Adriansyah Putera

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Samudra Ujung Offers Very Fun Surf

Fun Samudra Ujung surf
Last updated: September 11th, 2017
Samudra Ujung beach is largely deserted

     Samudra Ujung beach is strongly recommended for surfers. It is the best spot for more experienced surfers in the city of Bengkulu. It is less popular than Panjang beach or Tapak Paderi beach, but it offers very fun and pretty challenging surf for those who love surfing. The beach is clean enough with its white sand and natural spruces along the beach. It is still largely deserted due to lack of road and transportation access, only a few local and foreign surfers come to surf here in the late afternoon, so you don’t have to wait patiently for your wave in the lineup, no need to fight over freaking waves. 

For surfers it will be a frustrating trip taking non-chartered cars. It is easier to get there by paying more for a chartered angkot (city public transport) for Rp 75,000 or around US$ 5.6 (return trip). The driver will drop you off and pick you up later. Keep in mind, "Don't get into the vehicle until you've agreed on a fare you are comfortable paying, and even better pay from your stack of smaller bills so that the driver will not owe you any change when you are done surfing". 

Bengkulu surf trip
No entrance fee, except on Eid al-Fitr holiday also known as Lebaran and Eid al-Adha holiday or Lebaran Haji, the visitors are charged for Rp. 1,000 (US$ 0.08) per person. As the beach is out of the city center, there is no any inn/hotel or food stall nearby the surf spots. Please bring your own food, drink and gears!

Location: near the Samudra harbor, around 16 km (10 miles) from Bengkulu city center. Find Samudra Ujung beach location on Google map. 


More photos from Samudra Ujung beach

Samudra Ujung beach at sunset
A local surfer
Samudra Ujung reef 
Ready to surf

Photos by Jeff Clairmont and Jeff Doust

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Palak Siring Kemumu - A Scenic Natural Attraction

Palak Siring Kemumu natural attraction, a cool and good place to relax
Last updated: April 2nd, 2020
Klik di sini untuk versi bahasa Indonesia
Driving inland from the humidity of northern Bengkulu, you gradually leave the rice terraces behind and ascend into the cool, damp hill villages around Kemumu, Arma Jaya, North Bengkulu district. The village of Kemumu is known for its scenic natural attraction called Palak Siring, a lovely, cool and good area to relax and use as a base for hiking around the clean small river and surrounding green hills. If you don’t want to do hiking, you can do some short walk to see the cool panorama or swimming (near the Palak Siring waterfall site) and enjoy your lunch. You can stay there or easily day trip from the city of Bengkulu. A day at Palak Siring can be a wonderful experience.

Hiking along the river's edge and through hilly forest 
Palak Siring Kemumu lacks of tourists, though Sunday and public holidays are crowded with local visitors. Unfortunately this beautiful place lacks of adequate facilities and experiences a problem with litter. Admission per person is just Rp. 2,500 (about US$ 0.15), free parking on weekdays. 

Location: Palak Siring is located in Kemumu, Arma Jaya, Northern Bengkulu district, about 62 km (38.5 miles) / 1.5 hours from the city of Bengkulu, or about 15 minutes drive from Arga Makmur. Find the location of Palak Siring on Google Maps

Note: Always be very cautious when walking nearby the waterfall site. Some of the trails and rocks can be wet and slippery. 

More photos from Palak Siring Kemumu

The view from the top of the Palak Siring waterfall
Palak Siring creek
Cool swimming hole site near the Palak Siring waterfall
The cool and clean water stream nearby
The sweet breathing of Palak Siring nature

Photos by Adriansyah Putera & Peter Kimball  

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Language and Understanding of the Culture


It’s easy to assume English words or sayings can be translated into Indonesian, however, Indonesian culture is much different from Western culture, so the meanings behind certain expressions are lost and often sound strange to an Indonesian.

US students with local kids
Here are some examples:

  • Indonesians don’t usually say, “nice to meet you,” a smile is enough.
  • “How are you?” is mostly used when you haven’t seen someone is a while.
  • Indonesians don’t like overuse the words “thank you.”

There are also sayings in Indonesia that might sound strange to a foreigner if directly translated into English:

  • “Saya pulang dulu”/”Saya permisi dulu.” It’s considered impolite if one leaves without receiving “permission” first. A simple Western style goodbye is acceptable, but it’s not the norm.
  • In Indonesia, it’s impolite and disrespectful to use the term “kamu” (you) when talking with older people or even calling them by name. Thus, Indonesians often have a hard time calling foreigners by their name and instead use words like “mister” or “miss” (often without even using one’s name) but will sometimes mix up the gender as age is more important than gender in Indonesia.
  • “Makan dulu”/”Yuk makan!” In Indonesia it’s rude to eat in front of others without inviting them to join or at least acknowledging the fact that you are eating.
  • “Please” isn’t used much in Indonesian (at least in Sumatra) and isn’t always necessary.

Our hope is that as you study Bahasa Indonesia you will not simply learn a new language, but that you will also gain an understanding of the culture.

3 Days with bule

Writer: Lindsay Little & Adriansyah Putera
Photos by Adriansyah Putera & Global Education Centers (GEC)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Suban Hot Springs

Public bathing pool at Suban hot springs
Last updated April 21st, 2021

Suban has nice cool air with a nice view over the valley and surrounding tropical forests. It is a good place for bathing of the source of natural hot water. The hot springs are good for aching muscles after climbing hills. The hot springs bubble out at some simple public bathing pools and also in many other spots mixed with the cool water which comes from the stream. Within the Suban area there is a two-level waterfall which visitors can get close up to. The hot springs and waterfall at Suban are very popular with weekend picnickers.

Foreign tourists, especially white people that locally known as bule may be surrounded and stared at by locals at very open baths. Why??? Because of curiosity. Only few foreign tourists visit Suban and the surroundings areas, many people here have not seen foreigners with very different physical appearance and lifestyle. Foreigners could become instant celebrities. Alternatively, if you are not comfortable to be stared at by locals at very open bath, you can pay Rp 3,000 (US$ 0.22) extra for a more private bath room which also has warm water runs from the hot springs.  There are small range of food stalls with limited food and drink choices at some spots within the location. Unfortunately Suban still lacks adequate supporting facilities and struggles with a littering problem. From my experience, the ideal time to visit is during the dry season from March to September.

Popular with weekend picnickers
Admission ticket is Rp. 10,000 (US$ 0.69) for adults and Rp. 5,000 (US$ 0.34) for children. Parking fee is Rp. 5,000 (US$ 0.34). 

Location: Suban is located in Rejang Lebong district around 90 km (56 miles) from the provincial capital of Bengkulu, it just takes around two and half hours drive by motorcycle or car, or 6 km (3.8 miles) from Curup.

More Photos from Suban
Public bathing pool at Suban
Suban Waterfall
Spending time in nature makes people feel more alive

Suban Waterfall
Photos by Peter Kimball, Adriansyah Putera & Sirly Utama Adriansyah

Monday, April 1, 2013

Mount Kaba, Hiker's Haven in Bengkulu Province

A view of the magnificent crater of Mt. Kaba
This article has been updated on November 22nd 2019

Kaba volcano (locally known as Bukit Kaba or Gunung Kaba), a beautiful and natural panorama with moderate temperature, offers some of very inspiring mountain experiences for those who love trekking or mountain climbing to catch the views of tropical jungle plus unique and spectacular sulfuric craters. The volcano is located within the Bukit Kaba Nature Conservation which covers an area of 13,490 hectares, and it is proposed for Bengkulu province tourism development. 

The climb offers adventure, excitement of hiking, and physical challenge through stunning green scenery. At the summit, there are three craters - Bukit Kaba (1,952 m / 6,404 ft), Bukit Itam (1,893 m / 6,211 ft) and Bukit Melintang (1,713 m / 5,620 ft), two of which are still active.  As you walk up the ridge to Bukit Kaba you can smell sulfur odor, evidence that the craters are still active. Enjoy the spectacular view around you. Vapors incessantly come out from 12 fissures in the earth, and hot water springs (they are not suitable for drinking) are found in the surrounding area.

"The mountains are calling, and I must go." - John  Muir
It’s possible to climb Bukit Kaba from various directions, but the two most popular routes are the regular track which starts from the simple asphalt road across from the POKDARWIS station, and the jungle track which starts from behind the POKDARWIS entrance station. Visitors must fill in a visitor book at the POKDARWIS station before the climb begins. Entrance fee is Rp. 100,000 (about US$ 7.08) for foreign tourist and Rp. 10,000 (about US$ 0.71) for domestic tourist. For those who intend to camp around the summit for multiple days, they will be charged an additional fee. There are simple parking spaces in and around the POKDARWIS entrance station makes it convenient and easy for visitors to leave their motorbikes or cars for just a few hours or even for days. Daily parking fee is Rp. 5,000 (about US$ 0.35) for motorbike, and Rp. 20,000 (about US$ 1.42) for car. The best time to climb Bukit Kaba is in the dry season between April and September. 

Regular Track Option 
Hiking time: 1 hr 45 min – 3 hr one way
If the climb begins at the POKDARWIS entrance station, it’s normally around 2 hours climb to the top via the regular track if you are feeling energetic. Just follow the asphalt road track, it makes its way up to the top. Your hiking time is relative to your hiking pace, the weather conditions, and how often you stop for rest and sightseeing. Time given for regular track section is approximate, as everyone walks at a different pace. It is greatly recommended to take the regular track if you want to hike in/after the rain. Allow longer time in rainy season conditions.

Jungle Track Option
Hiking time: 1 hr 30 min - 2 hr one way
You can take the jungle track to get  more beautiful surrounding jungle views and a more adventurous trip. Hiking through the jungle track also can save more your hiking time and energy than hiking through the regular track, but it’s very unwise to attempt the first climb via the jungle track alone, you can get lost in the thick jungle. Visitors are advised to take a guide or join a climber group. You can hire a guide at the POKDARWIS entrance station for Rp. 50,000 (about US$ 3.54). Take care on the slippery trails and the steep descent on loose stony terrain. Don't take the jungle track in/after the rain, better safe than sorry.  

Need a motorbike ride to the top?
You need a reasonable level of fitness to climb the Kaba mountain. If you are not sure that you are strong enough to hike, you can take an ojek (motorbike that takes passengers) at Simpang Pasar / Simpang Bukit Kaba to the top via the regular track for Rp. 80,000 (about US$ 5.6) one way, or take an ojek at the POKDARWIS entrance station for Rp. 50,000 (about US$ 3.54) one way. To avoid being ripped off by the ojeks don't get on the motorbike until the price is settled and don't pay until you've reached the top of mount Kaba. 

Sulfuric crater of Mt. Kaba
Additional Kaba Volcano Info:
Summit elevation: 1,952 m (6,404 ft)
Coordinates: 3.52 S, 102.62 E
Type: stratovolcano
Last eruption: August 26th – 27th, 2007

Location: Desa Sumber Urip, Rejang Lebong district, Bengkulu province. To find the Kaba volcano location on Google Maps click here!

General directions: Gunung Kaba is about 19 km (11.8 miles) from Curup the capital city of Rejang Lebong district or around 104 km (64.7 miles) from the city of Bengkulu. It takes around an hour drive from Curup, 20 minutes drive from Simpang Pasar/Simpang Bukit Kaba, or around 3,5 hours drive from Bengkulu to get to the POKDARWIS entrance station. 

Catching a view of the spectacular sulfuric crater

Support Responsible Tourism!!
If you are going to spend the night at the summit of Kaba mountain (locally known as Bukit Kaba) take a stove so you don’t need to deplete the limited supply of firewood. Depending on open fires for cooking can cause rapid deforestation. If you must light a fire, use an existing fireplace. Use only minimal, dead, fallen wood. Make sure that you totally extinguish a fire after use. Don't forget to carry all trash out with you and make sure others in your party do the same. Let's support "Responsible Tourism"!!!

Let’s help each other!
Let’s make this post available in various languages! Translating this post can help more readers in your language to understand this post. If you would like to translate this post into your language or if you need help to translate some of your posts into Indonesian, or if you want to use a photo(s) from my blog please send an email to

Related photos from Mt. Kaba:
Fun Mt. Kaba hike with family
The hike to the summit of Mt. Kaba
Steaming peak of  Mt. Kaba
Mt. Kaba offers some awe-inspiring treks
We are very close to the peak
Enjoying the awe-inspiring views of Mount Kaba
Foggy Peak of Mount Kaba
Green topography that dominates every extensive view
Mount Kaba is surrounded by an ocean of green topography
Mt. Kaba hike - together we can
Heed your adventurous side!

Photos by: Adriansyah Putera, Peter Kimball and Jeff Clairmont
Additional reference: John Seach. “Kaba Volcano”.