Traditional welcome dance Gending Sriwijaya


A trip to the museum in Karang Anyar is a must for visitors to Palembang

PALEMBANG in South Sumatra is one of Indonesia´s oldest cities. It was once governed under the ancient Sriwijaya Kingdom between the 7th and 13th Centuries.

There are many sites there still bearing influences of the ancient kingdom. A museum in Karang Anyar showcases the archaeological artifacts of the Sriwijaya period. The museum is one of the must-visit places for you to get a feel of this historical place.

A typical Palembang city tour covers the museum, Musi River, market areas, city shopping centre, batik shops, handicraft centres and mosques.

If you have the time, do visit traditional houses and settlements (Limas House, Kapiten Kampung and Floating House) and the Siguntang Hill.

River Cruise

Sungai Musi, the longest river in south Sumatra, runs 460 kms and has eight tributaries. Komering, Ogan, Lematang, Kelingi, Lakitan, Semangus, Rawas and Batanghari Leko. No wonder Palembang is dubbed the City Of Rivers.

Sungai Musi divides the city into two parts , Seberang Ulu and Seberang Ilir. Ampera Bridge or the Golden Gate connects these two parts of the city.

Musi has witnessed the majesty and greatness of Sriwijaya Kingdom over the ages. Along the riverbank, monumental legacies are found together with historical stories, legends and myths.

As you cruise the river, you see floating houses and restaurants, Ki Merogan Mosque, Benteng Kuto Besak fortress and local markets.

Shop, Dance & Eat

For shopping, stop at Cik Eipah Batek Shop for batik materials, clothes, key chains, songket, songkok (traditional headgear), handbags and traditional fabrics sewet Tajung (for men) and sewet pelangi (silk fabric).

Don´t miss events that feature the traditional welcome dance called Gending Sriwijaya performed by dancers carrying various items like betel leaf box, colourful umbrellas and spears.

Typical Palembang food comprises laksa, nasi kebuli (rice with curry), nasi gemuk (rice cooked with coconut milk), layered cake, kerupuk and satay.

Kemaro Island

The island on Sungai Musi is accessible via a 10-minute boat ride from the Benteng Kuto Besak jetty. You have the option of going on the ketek (speedboat), sigentar alam (cruise boat) or dragon boat.

On the island are a pagoda and a Buddhist temple and the graves of Siti Fatimah and Tan Bun Ann. Legend has it that Tan Bun Ann, the son of a Chinese King, had asked for the hands of Siti Fatimah (daughter of a Palembang King).

The marriage was not to be as tragedy struck and they both died in the river. With their dying breath, they uttered: “If a land emerges out of this river, that is the place where we should be buried”. So they were buried inside the temple.

Where To Stay

There are four-star hotels like Novotel Hotel, Jl R. Sukamtoi, 8A Palembang (Tel: 62-711-369777) and Aston Hotel, Palembang Square (Tel 62-711-383838).

Located within walking distance to tourist attractions is Duta Hotel, Jl Letkoi Iskandar, 535 Palembang (Tel 62-711-372800).

How To Get There

AirAsia flies from Kuala Lumpur to Palembang daily