The British East India Company founded Bengkulu in 1685 as their new commercial centre for trade, after the Dutch expelled them from Java. In 1714, the British built Fort Marlborough to protect their trading establishment. However, the trading centre was never financially viable because of its remoteness and the difficulty in procuring pepper. Despite these difficulties, the British persisted, maintaining a presence there for over a century, eventually ceding it to the Dutch as part of the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824. Like the rest of present-day Indonesia, Bengkulu remained a Dutch colony until World War II. Today guests will have the opportunity to undertake a guided tour by bus of the city of Bengkulu including a visit to Fort Marlborough.