STORY ABOUT RIAU
Riau, which includes a large part of East Sumatera, is homeland to Malays and the source of Indonesia’s Malay-based national language. The first book of Malay grammar, called Bustanul Katibin, was written and published here in 1857.
Pekabaru became the provincial capital in 1959, taking over from the former capital of Tanjungpinang on the island of Bintan. About 160kms upstream on the Siak river a number of buildings in the traditional style are still in this area, among them the Balai Dang Merdu the Balai Adat and Taman Budaya Riau, or Riau Cultural Park.
PLACES OF INTEREST
1) CANDI MUARA TAKUS
Candi Muara Takus. Like many others structures of its kind in Sumatra, this Buddha temple stupa near the village of Muara Takus in the Tigabelas Koto district, was built with red bricks and sand. The temple is believed to have been built at around the 9th century A.D. when the power of the South Sumatra-bassed Sriwijaya Empire was at its peak. Excavations are still being made to determine the precise age and function of the stupa. It can be reached in 118km form Pekanbaru.
2) KERUMUTAN NATURE RESERVE
Kerumutan Nature Reserve. Located in mainland Riau in the Kuala Kampar district, this 1200,000 hectares (30,000 acres) nature reserve can be reached in 18 hours by motor boat from Pekanbaru
Bono is a curious natural phenomenon, which the Rokan River (in the Kampar regency) displays daily along its downstream reaches. Every day at the time high tide sets in, a swelling appears in the water at the river mouth. Accompanied by a rumbling sound, the swelling grows in mass until it is about as high as a small tree, spinning as it moves upwards along the river and growing smaller in the process until it finally disappears.
Dumai. Formerly a fishing village on the east coast, it is now a major oil terminal. Storage tanks and modern installations rise against the sky, although the town itself is quite pleasant and interesting
5) THE SIAK SULTANATE'S PARK
The Siak Sultanate’s Park. This Moorish style palace of the Sultan Siak, 120 km upstream from Pekanbaru on the Siak River, was built in 1889 by Sultan Syarif Hasyim Abdul Jalil Syariffudin. Now a museum, the palace contains the sultanate’s royal paraphernalia and others items of historical interest.