Pekanbaru Travel Blog› entry 139 of 366 › view all entries
Pekanbaru is much more significant a city in Sumatra than Jambi due to its timber and natural gas industries. In fact, the province of Riau is quite wealthy. However, most of that wealth does not stay in the province. On the bus ride I took from Jambi to Pekanbaru (a painfully memorable experience that I would not voluntarily repeat too easily), I saw little by means of development. In fact, there were huge sections of this major road that were not even paved. Unfortunately, that meant that they were fields of mud. Several vehicles (trucks, buses, and cars) were stuck in the mud and looked like they had been there for a while. And this is usually the area that the huge forest fires start that end up blanketing Sumatra, Malaysia, and Singapore in black haze. When I made it to Pekanbaru, I was relieved to find a city. However, after some thorough exploration, I realized that there was little to be excited about. The shopping in town was limited. The market was nothing too unique. I was amazed to find out how many airlines (Indonesian and regional) were flying into Pekanbaru or planning to. But this will no doubt have a positive impact on the tourism and development of the city. So let's wait and see.