Palembang - South Sumatra
One of the greatest kingdoms in Indonesia’s history, the Buddhist Kingdom of Sriwijaya, prospered along the banks of Musi River over a thousand years ago, site of present day Palembang, the provincial capital of South Sumatra. Located on the southern-most rim of the South China Sea, close to the one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes linking the Far East with Europe, the region’s historical background is rich and colorful. During its prime, the Sriwijaya Kingdom practiced a bustling and lucrative trade with powerful ancient Chinese dynasties.
In 672 the Chinese scholar, I Tsing, recorded that a thousand monks and scholars could be seen translating and studying Sanskrit in Palembang. Few relics of this memorable era now remain. Stretching from the foothills of the mighty Bukit Barisan Mountain range, the province is relatively flat but very fertile, with numerous rivers cutting across the landscape and wind their way to the sea. Coffee and tea plantations are scattered across the province, but the area’s enormous wealth comes from oil, natural gas, coal, tin and quartz reserves.
South Sumatra is famous for Songket weaving, made from a combination of silk and gold threads. Palembang is also famous for its lacquer work, wood carving motifs which bear Chinese and Buddhist influences. The carvings are dominated by decorations of the jasmine and lotus flowers. Palembang’s famous fruits are pineapple and duku (Lansium domisticum).
Limas Traditional House
Limas Traditional Houses are built along the riverbanks, facing away from the water. These very ornate wooden houses are raised on stilts, and are usually 15-20 meters in width and range from 30-60 meters from column to column. Its doors and window frames and ventilation panels are intricately carved.
This bridge is constructed on Musi River with 1,177 meters long, 22 meters wide and the height above the water level is 11.50meters financially funded with compensation fund (war reparations) from the Japanese government under the instruction of Soekarno in April 1962 and was made official in May 1965.
Kuto Besak Fortress
It took some 17 years to build this edifice. Started in 1780 and was officially inaugurated on Monday, 21 February 1797. The initiator was Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin I (1724-1758) and the execution was done by Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin. The construction was under the supervision of the Chinese people.
Palembang Great Mosque
Palembang Great Mosque situated at the city center is one of the legacies of Palembang Sultanate. This religious edifice was built by Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin I or Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin Jaya Wikramo in 1738 and completed in 1748.
Curup Tenang Waterfall
Curup Tenang Waterfall is two hour’s drive from Palembang. It is a land of rivers and waterfalls where the water cascades from a height of 90 meters into deep pools.
Putri Cave is situated at the edge of Padang Windu Village, 35 kilometers from Baturaja. It is 156 meters long and some 8 to 20 meters wide. The highest ceiling measures 20 meters high.
Megalithic stone menhirs can be found in many areas, such as the village of Tanjung Aro, 67 kilometers from Lahat and Tinggi Hari Village, 11 kilometers from Lahat.
On the foothills of Mt. Dempo are natural tea plantations of Pagar Alam. Mount Dempo’s peak is the highest point in South Sumatra and can be reached by a 6-hour drive (295 kilometers) directly from Palembang. Here, one can enjoy mountain bike riding, camping, tea walks and hiking.
Sembilang National Park
Sembilang National Park covers 45.000 square hectares of wildlife reserve. It is a paradise for many species of birds (pelicans, hornbills, milky storks, etc). The reserve is also a sanctuary for two types of Sumatran crocodiles and the humpback dolphin.
This lake is like hidden heaven in the middle of dense forest of Taman Nasional Bukit Barisan Selatan (South Bukit Barisan National Park). You can catch sight of the foggy lake as depicted in novels and immediately after the fog disappears you are presented with a green carpet of Bukit Barisan mountainous are.
In the middle of Musi river stands an island named Kemaro Island which means a never flooded area. Despite high tide season, this island will never flood and will appear floating on Musi River.
This burial ground is part of the 3 Ilir Villages, East Ilir II Sub district, Palembang. According to old records, this burial ground was constructed in 1728 AD under the instruction of Sultan Badaruddin Jayo Wikramo (died in 1756 AD), after the construction of the burial ground complex named Gubah Talang Kerangga (30 Ilir). The name tekurep crater was taken from the upside down-dome shape resembling to a crater (the local word is tekurep). This burial ground is around 100 meters from the river side.
Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin
This museum was named after the late Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II considering his great services to the city of Palembang. This museum stands on an Old City Fortress also called Kuto Tengkurokato Kuto Batu. This old fortress was put in fi re by the Dutch and then on the same location they build the residence of Dutch Resident before fi nally turned into museum.
Bala Putera Dewa Museum
This museum was named Bala Putera Dewa State Museum of the South Sumatra Province. Putra Dewa was a name of Sriwijaya King’s offspring who ruled the maritime kingdom in the 8th-9th centuries. This museum keeps collections of diverse cultural and natural items typically South Sumatra. This museum houses various historiographical, ethnographic, philological items as well as ceramics, visual arts, fl ora and fauna. Other than the wealthy collection it has also the original pyramidal house and Ulu House.
South Sumatera culinary, predominantly Palembang, is so known across Indonesia – equally popular as the Padang culinary. One of the familiar foods is pempek Palembang that uses fish meat and sago as its main ingredients. Other kinds are tekwan, boiled pempek or fish meatballs serving with shrimp broth heavy sauce along with vermicelli and mushrooms. Blessed with abundance patin fish from the Musi River the locals use so much of this meat fish for their meal. This region also has this typical food called kemplang, a kind of fried chips which is usually served with pempek. They also have a variety of traditional.
Dining Place with Special Menu
Signature Palembang Sate
This typical sate of Palembang is featured by its sweet taste. The place to taste this delicious sate is some spot at the back of Bank Mandiri office in the city of Palembang. Unfortunately this place is not easy to access but if you have the time it’s worth doing it. The look and size is just like the usual sate but the taste is one of its kinds with its special recipe of peanut sauce. This sate comes in diverse meat: chicken, goat and cow.
Demang Lebar Daun street
A road that connects Bukit Besar to Simpang Polda where the official resident of governor, Gubernur Griya Agung, is located along with office buildings, hospitals and schools. In the afternoon just in front of the Siti Khodijah Hospital many food vendors wait for their customers.
Floating Dining Place
The river banks boast floating dining places which are generally frequented in day time. The coffee and snack shops are usually more frequented in the afternoon. There are also dining place that serve local and Padang culinary with fish, meat and many other kinds of food. The coffee shops also offer light local snacks and drinks such as pempek, tekwan, fried banana, coffee, tea and many more.