Friday, December 13, 2013

Curup - A Town With a Feast of Flora

This post has been updated on October 10th, 2018   
Foggy Peak of Mount Kaba
Curup is a small cool hill town in Bengkulu province famous for its beautiful mountain scenery and coffee growing areas. Coffees from Curup are famous for their rich, full bodied coffees with "earthy flavors". It is located in Rejang Lebong district, in the foothills of Bukit Barisan, 80 km (49.7 miles) from the city of Bengkulu  or halfway between the city of Bengkulu and Lubuk Linggau. It has a population of 28,173 inhabitants (97% are Moslems) with a population density of 7,132 inhabitants per square kilometer (census population 2010). In many areas both Curup and Rejang Lebong district, broad green valleys separate the mountains. Thick forests cover much of the Curup's land. Curup can be reached by numerous connections to/from Bengkulu and Lubuk Linggau.

Curup is a cool base for visits to the attractions of the surrounding mountains, including volcanic Gunung Kaba, 19km (11.8 miles) east of town, which has two large smoldering craters surrounded by thick rainforest. It has also many fine traditional stilted wooden houses of the Rejang people. The hot springs and waterfalls can be found in the villages around Curup.

It’s difficult to change money in Curup, so bring enough rupiah to see you through. But it is possible to get a cash advance on Visa or MasterCard from the BCA bank (Jl. Merdeka 151). In most parts of Bengkulu province, the rainy season falls between October and April. Rain tends to come in sudden tropical downpours, but it can also rain nonstop for a whole day (peaking from December to January), so come prepared.

Local Transport
The common Indonesian means of transport such as angkot (public city transport), ojek  (motorcycle riders who take passengers), and becak (pedicab) are available in many places in Curup. Most angkots serve a standard route, picking up and dropping off people anywhere along the route, angkot fare is Rp. 4,000 (about US$ 0.26) per person. You can find Ojeks at Curup bus station, traditional markets, and around crossroads. An ojek can take you around the town, or can take you where no other public transport exists. The base rate for an ojek is Rp. 5,000 (about US$ 0.33) per person for a short distance. Becaks (pedicab) serve a short distance only and they can be found at around the back streets, becak fare is Rp. 5,000 – Rp.7,000 (about US$ 0.33 - 0.46). It is wise to ask someone, such as your hotel employee or the locals, about the normal fare before you get on any local transport, otherwise see how much the other passengers pay and offer the exact fare.

Packing Tips For Your Hiking Trip (Oct & Apr) 
Mt. Kaba Trekking 
  • Luggage and bags: Locks for your luggage to protect your important item & travel documents from theft. It’s better to be safe than sorry. 
  • Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: In most part of Sumatra, the wet season falls from October to April, the wettest months are January and February that can make travel more difficult. The weather is still hot and more humid in the coastal areas, but at higher elevations tend to be cooler. On January to February rains can come in sudden tropical downpours, and or it can also rain nonstop for a whole day. Bring plenty of socks to wear while wearing shoes, folding umbrella, a light waterproof rain jacket (heavy plastic raincoat might be too warm for the humid tropics), long pants and/or jeans, shorts, T-shirts, flip flops. 
  • Toiletries and Medical Supplies: First Aid Kit, anti Malarial tablets, analgesic pills, Antihistamine pills for any allergic reactions, toothpaste, toothbrush, toilet paper for the eventual emergency, and anti-bacterial gel for use afterwards.
  • Photo Equipment: Bring extra batteries and SD cards, in case you go someplace where you can’t buy replacement stocks. Zip locks bags for use in protecting your camera equipment, travel documents, etc. It’s good to bring a transformer or adapter if your devices don’t play nice with the local electricity.
  • Camping/Outdoor Gear: Flashlight, mosquito repellent, pack at least two bottles of water per day.

Curup is also famous for its coffee growing area

 Photos by: Adriansyah Putera, Jeff Clairmont and Peter Kimball

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