Rafflesia Arnoldii, noted for producing the largest individual flower on earth, is a uniquely rare flower that has become the icon of the province of Bengkulu. The best place to observe these exceptional flora is in the rainforests along the Bengkulu-Curup route. Curup itself is the capital and main hub of the Rejang Lebong Regency in the Bengkulu Province that also acts as gateway to some of the regency’s natural wonders such as the Bukit Kaba, Suban Hot Spring, and Lake Mas Harun Bastari.

The Town of Curup is located approximately 85 kilometers away from Bengkulu city. The town sits at an altitude of between 100 to 1,000 meters above sea level in the highlands of the Bukit Barisan Mountain Range. These mountains stretch all the way from north to south, to form like the backbone of the island of Sumatera.

Curup is home to the Rejang ethnic group who live spread across a number districts including in Curup, North Curup, East Curup, South Curup, Central Curup, Bermani Ulu, Bermani Ulu Raya, and also in the Selupung Rejang District. Another ethnic group that  also lives in the Rejang Lebong regency are  the Lembak communities who are spread from the districts of Padang, Padang Ilak Tanding, Biduriang, Sindang Dataran, Sindang Beliti Ulu, Sindang Beliti Ilir, to Sindang Kelingi.

Prior to Curup, the capital town of Rejang Lebong Regency was, in fact, the town of Kepahiang. However, during the 2nd Dutch Military Invasion in 1948, all vital structures including the municipal building, post office, prison, police headquarters, as well as bridges were destroyed by Dutch military forces. The capital was then relocated to Curup which remains its capital to this date. Kepahiang itself later developed into its own regency since 2004.

Curup (and the Rejang Lebong Regency in general) is a major producer of rice, coffee, rubber, and vegetables. The rice and vegetables of this town are sold to other major cities across Sumatra such as Palembang, Padang, Jambi, Lampung, and Pekanbaru.

The culinary scene in Curupis is  mainly dominated by Padang Food, which you can find mostly along the MH Thamrin Street. However for an authentic taste of Rejang Lebong, you can try the Sambal Tempoyak, Sambal Ujak, and Gulai Umbut.

The best time to observe the gigantic Rafflesia arnoldii flowers is when they bloom around November to December. When in  bloom, the flower can reach a  height of 50 centimeters with an average diameter of 1 meter. The blooming period lasts only one  week. These flowers can be found in the rainforests along the Bengkulu-Curup route just beyond the  Kepahiang Regency. From Curup, you can also enjoy other natural splendors around the town such hiking to Bukit Kaba Hill, bathe in the Subang Natural Hot Spring, or relax  at Lake Mas Harun Bastari.


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