Bengkulu… a stopover on the long Sumatra bus trips

For a tourist, there isn’t any reason to stop in this city, on the south cost of Sumatra, through is the most important transport hub on the way from Bandar Lampung to Padang, and due to the bus schedules is probably necessary to stop one night in Bengkulu… that what happen to me, and I just stay the obligatory time, one evening and one morning, to follow to the next destination: Padang.

There’s a fort left by the British colonization, a long beach (Pantai Panjang) to see but not to swim, a huge market (Pasar Baru Koto) that during the Ramadan is numb, a British fort very well preserved (Fort Marlborough), there’s an interesting mosque (Majid Jamik) design by the President Soekarno that spent here his 10 years of exile during the Dutch colonization, there are friendly and smiley people but there’s also a language barrier, as Bengkulu is not used to receive the visit of foreigners and not many people speak English.

 

 

BengkuluBengkulu

Majid Jamik design by the President Soekarno that can be considered the center of Bengkulu
Majid Jamik design by the President Soekarno, during his exile at Bengkulu, that can be considered the center of the city
Fort Marlborough left by the British presence at Sumatra
Fort Marlborough left by the British presence at Sumatra… the most significant monument at Bengkulu, very well maintained and can be visited for free
Fish MArket
Pasar Ikan Malabro, an Impoverished area nearby the sea…. a place that get alive later in the afternoon with street food

Where to sleep in Bengkulu:

The Vista Hotel is far from being an attractive place, but is a good choice due to the prices and especially by location, very close by the Travel Companies… in fact just next door of San Travels, from where you can take buses to Padang.

I stay in a single room, shared toilet, without air-con or fan, for 80.000 Rp… this is the cheapest option at Vista Hotel. The place is clean, a bit decadent but still reasonable to spend one night. Choose one room away from the main road, as the traffic noise is quite intense.

No wi-fi.

The staff doesn’t speak English.

Address: Jl. MT. Haryono No. 67, Bajak, Kota Bengkulu

Phone: (0736) 20820

Vista hotel fees... there is no wi-fi and the staff doesn't speak english
Vista hotel fees… there is no wi-fi and the staff doesn’t speak english
Vista Hotel... single room. A bit depressing but just next door from the San travels bus parking
Vista Hotel… single room. A bit depressing but just next door from the San travels bus parking

How to go from Bengkulu to Padang:

There are several bus companies linking Bengkulu to Padang, most of them with offices or agents at Jalan MT Haryono. The most reliable are the San Travels that offers an “executive” bus service.

The San Travels ticket counter is at Jalan MT Haryono, just next to the Vista Hotel, and the buses to Padang departure from here. Is better to buy the ticket as soon as you arrive, as the bus gets full.

Is a good and comfortable bus, but the air-con is freezing cold; it doesn’t take the road along the coast, instead it goes through Lubuk Linggau and Sitiung. The road until the sunset is very nice along villages and countryside landscape, but it takes time to load the bus with vegetables and other stuff.

The ticket from Bengkulu to Padang cost 200.000 Rp.

The bus departure at 1 p.m. and arrives at Padang at 6 a.m. It doesn’t stop at any terminal but the last stop is at Jalan Sulaiman, just after he Masjid Raya Sumatera. From there is easy to spot the bus stand of the TransPadang (tickets cost 3.000 Rp).

San Travel office
San Travel office
Prices for the San Travel buses to different destination in Sumatra and also Java
Prices for the San Travel buses to different destination in Sumatra and also Java
comfortable "executive" bus, where the blankets ar really necessary due to the low temperature of the air-conditioner
comfortable “executive” bus, where the blankets ar really necessary due to the low temperature of the air-conditioner
San travel bus to Padang... this company has good quality buses
San travel bus to Padang… this company has good quality buses

Wi-fi at Bengkulu:

I couldn’t find a restaurant with wi-fi or an internet café… but could find a shop selling vaporisers – Vapouritz – with wi-fi, that is also a café/restaurant, making this place a cool place to chill. Is centrally located nearby the Majid Jamik… it was also a good opportunity to socialize with local young people: very friendly and willing to know more about the world! thanks guys for the nice chat!!!

How to go from Bengkulu to Krui:

San Travels has a bus service from Krui to Bengkulu… and so must be the same on the other way around. Probably the same bus that links Bengkulu to Jakarta.

I couldn’t find the schedule but this buses departure form the San travels Terminal (Jalan Kalimantan). But is better contact the office for precise and detailed information.

San travel contacts... to get information about prices and schedules from the buses that departure from Bengkulu
San travel contacts… to get information about prices and schedules from the buses that departure from Bengkulu

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