Pekan Arba Recreation Site in Tembilahan City, Indragiri Hilir

For those visiting Riau Province, they must drop by in Indragiri Hilir District. The region has a festive tourist spot which is popular with the locals and outsiders – Pekan Arba Recreation Site. To be exact, it resides in Tambilahan City and near to Batang Sebatu River. It is actually a river, which is drying up over time. Due to this condition, the locals decide to make some flat boats to cross the river easily. Apart from being transportation medium, the boats have attracted tourists to ride on them. No wonder, the site has developed into a tourist spot these days.

The Nuance
The main feature of Pekan Arba Recreation Site is indeed the flat boats. Without these objects, visitors can only see a shallow and uninteresting river. Knowing this fact, the locals decide to hold an annual competition called “Balap Perahu Ceper” (flat boat race). Everyone can join the event, but most of them are the locals who live nearby. For tourists, they can choose either to watch or join the race. As long as they get permission have talked to keepers, they are allowed to join it. Even the local government has provided some facilities like a parking lot, toilets, tribune, guard post, etc. That means all visitors can watch the race comfortably there.

Exploring Pekan Arba
The best time to visit Pekan Arba Recreation Site is during the annual competition. At the time, tourists have the chance to join and win the race. One thing, riding a flat boat (leper) is different than regular ones. Instead of rowing, riders are likely to slide to move fast forward. The reason is the river consists of lots of mud due to drying issue. Despite the difficulty, it gives joy and new experience to the riders.

Apart from the annual competition, it is possible to try riding leper during regular days. The fact is that the locals have used the boat to move to nearby villages. Tourists only need to approach these people and ask whether they can try riding it or not. The only issue is the river itself because no one knows when it will run out of the water. The fact is drying issue has become more severe as the time goes by. If it continues, it is likely the local government might relocate the flat boat race to another river.

For those who have no confidence in riding the boat, they can simply watch local’s activity from a nearby location. As an alternative, they can use a camera and capture some worthy pictures there. At the end of the vacation, it is better to visit nearby local stores and buy snacks or gifts. Tambilahan City is famous for banana chips and other crispy snacks!

Nearby Attractions

  • Morning Market
  • Perak River

How to Get There
For those coming from Pekanbaru City, they can use Lintas Timur Street and head to Tembilahan City in Indragiri Hilir. The distance is 292 km so it may take about 6-7 hours. Despite the long trip, no one would get disappointed in visiting Pekan Arba Recreation Site.

Where to Stay

  • Inhil Pratama Hotel
  • Grand Hotel
  • Telaga Puri Hotel

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