Pekanbaru is only a 30 minute flight from KL. Airasia and the Firefly have been servicing this route for some time now. It is the capital city of the Riau province - Riau historically being the heart of the Malay hinterland. As such the architectural designs of the dwellings of the local folks look very much like at home. So is the cuisine.
This is a very rich region of Indonesia in general and specifically of Sumatera. Oil and Gas industries as well as palm oil plantation are the main revenues of the region. Pakdokter foresees this city overtaking Medan in the not too distant future. As it is now, the airport badly needs an upgrading and the city could do with better roads and highways. But credit must be given to its Governor for the city is clean and is reputedly recognised as the cleanest city in Indonesia.
Although there are 4 or 5 golf courses in the region, only the Labersa Golf Resort is of a standard equal to those in Jakarta, Bogor or Surabaya. And for 'golf addicts' from Malaysia, Pekanbaru is a new attraction which is nearby and cheap to fly to.
The two restaurants where pakdokter's group were taken to for dinner were just so so. Medan has better 'Nasi Padang' outlets and local restaurants. But perhaps there may be better restaurants here yet to be discovered. And the city does not appear to have that many shopping attractions.
However the administrative precinct has quite a number of lovely and impressive buildings ala Putrajaya. And the medical faculty of the local university also looks impressive from the road. Unfortunately pakdokter did not manage to snap any pictures of these sites.
Would pakdokter go again to Pekanbaru for golf......? Perhaps not, unless there are more good golf courses to try out and the hassle and inconvenience at the airport are improved.