Fort Marlborough

Top choice in Sumatra

Set on a hill overlooking the Indian Ocean, the star-shaped Benteng Marlborough, a former British fort, became the seat of British power in Bengkulu after 1719, when it replaced nearby Fort York. Despite its sturdy defences the fort was attacked and overrun twice – once by a local rebellion just after its completion in 1719, and then by the French in 1760. It was also used by the Dutch, Japanese and Indonesian military.

Today the complex comprises museums in the original fort building, along with historic cannons and gravestones. There are a few interesting old engravings and copies of official correspondence from the time of British rule, and you can also see where the Dutch incarcerated Indonesia’s President Sukarno during his internal exile. You can walk up along the fortress walls for views of the coast and the surrounding town.