Palembang – Places of Interest: Sumatra

Palembang has attracted tourists from all over the world with its magnificent past and present offering great opportunities for travellers to visit places that are rich in history, culture, and tradition. It is a vibrant city and the surrounding areas spectacular.

The Musi River

The long and broad long, has been compared to those found on the island of Kalimantan, which affords opportunities to explore it by boat. The river flows through the city, cutting it into two halves. The banks on these halves are called the Ulu bank and the Ilir bank.

Linking these banks is a large bridge called the Ampera Bridge. There are boat trips you can take down river or do as I did on my visit there and that is walk across the bridge. The views are stunningly spectacular. You can see both halves of the city from any point on the bridge. Being a trading port, the river traffic alone is something to witness!.

What is an amazing sight, however, is to watch the sunrise or the sunset from the bridge. The light and colour changes across the banks and the city afford excellent photography.

There is an annual event held on Independence Day (17th of August) known as the Bidar Race in which boats measuring 24.5 m long and only 0,75 m wide compete. Each boat carries as many as 50 oarsmen.

Limas-the traditional house

These houses are scattered over the province and most are built on the riversides and not facing the waterfront unlike the traditional houses. Limas houses are built on stilts and most of these houses have hand carved columns, door and window frames and have cross ventilation between the rooms by conveniently placed wooden panels.

The State Museum

This is relatively new building and was erected in 1977. It houses a collection of around 2000 relics and antiquities originating from around the province, ancient household articles, utensils, looms, hunting tools, a bridal room and some preserved animals of the region.

Ki Gede Ing Suro Ancient Cemetery

This cemetery dates back to the 16th century where as many as 38 ancient tombs are found, one of which belongs to Ki Gede Ing Suro, one of the prominent forefathers of South Sumatra’s present society. All the 38 tombs are found under one roof of one building.

Matras Beach (Bangka Island)

This island lies at the mouth of the Musi River in the South China Sea and is one of world’s major producers of tin. There are direct flights from Jakarta to Palembang and boats can be hired to reach this island. Matras Beach is located 44 km north of Pangkal Pinang, the capital of the island.

On the other side of the island at Muntok, there is Ranggam House. Built in 1921 on the hill overlooking the sea, his very large lodging house was once the captive place for the first Indonesian president. The car used by the Presidents at the time has still been kept in tact and can be seen by the public at the House’s opening hours.

Belitung Island

Adjacent to Bangka island is Belitung island. A tin producing island, its capital city is called Tanjung Pandan. It is possible to do both Belitung and Bangka in the one boat trip and is recommended rather than making two separate trips.
However, if you are interested in saving time, energy and money, which you

Punti Kayu-Natural Pine Forest

A recently built recreational complex, it covers an area of 50 hectares consisting of four parts – an amusement park, a recreation park, a natural forest, and a man-made lake. It’s an enjoyable place to chill-out and just relax.

Tenang Waterfall

The Palembang rivers provide a rich array of waterfalls and without a doubt, tenang is the best. It is the biggest waterfall dropping from a height of 90 meters into a deep pool and further downstream in a strong current. Best way to get there is by public transportation and takes about two hours from Palembang.

Festivals of Palembang

There are many festivals celebrated in Palembang and some of them are of Hindu origin. Sriwijaya Festival and Musi Festival are two of them.