Teach English in Pekanbaru and enjoy a fulfilling teaching job in one of Indonesia’s cleanest cities. Pekanbaru is the capital of Riau province on the island of Sumatra. It is the third largest city by population in Sumatra, after Medan and Palembang. It is located on the banks of the Siak River, which drains into the Strait of Malacca. It has direct access to the busy strait and was long known as a trading port (the city name is derived from the Indonesian words for ‘new market’, “pekan” meaning ‘market’ and “baru” meaning ‘new’).
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City of Good Fortune
These days, Pekanbaru is one of the cleanest big cities in Indonesia. It received the “Adipura” or cleanest city award for the seventh time in 2011. Pekanbaru is notable for its wide main streets and leafy medians. Despite this blight on an otherwise pristine ecosystem, the region manages to attract many visitors annually, as it is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world.
Pekanbaru’s economy has depended heavily on oil revenues and made the city petroleum is produced in Riau, and much of Pekanbaru’s economy is based on the petroleum industry. International oil companies, such as Chevron from the US, as well as other Indonesian companies, have established their offices in the region.
An-Nur Grand Mosque – The most famous mosque in Pekanbaru as well as one of the largest, this Islamic house of worship was built in the 1960s. It’s architectural design hints at a strong Indian influence (it is often compared to the Taj Mahal.) It can house up to 4,500 worshippers, many of whom attend daily.
Soeman HS Library – Built by the government of Riau, this library and national archive is unique, in that it is shaped like an open book! It was named after the famous, Riau-born poet, Soeman HS. This one of a kind design in Indonesia was purportedly inspired by a verse in the Quran, detailing an open book.
Muara Takus – A Buddhist temple complex, thought to have belonged to the Srivijaya empire, this ancient historical site is a short drive away from Pekanbaru and is well worth a visit. It is one of the largest and best-preserved ancient temple complexes in Sumatra. Muara Takus is said by many to bear a striking resemblance to Candi Borobodur, a large ancient Buddhist temple complex nearby to Yogyakarta on the island of Java.