IF Indonesia was simply referred to as a tourist destination, of course, places like Bali, Bandung, Jakarta and Jogja would have come to mind first?
Perhaps foreign to foreign tourists, Palembang is not a destination destination.
It retains many interesting stories that are ready to be explored, behind its historical tales that not only appeal to the clergy, but also await the city's magnificent beauty and attractions.
Malaysian Airlines which flight from Kuala Lumpur that takes just 10 minutes can be very short while landing at Sultan Mahmud Airport where from the plane's window you will be greeted with views of the Musi River, also known as The Venice of Indonesia.
How can we forget about the history of Parameswara, originally from Palembang City, then travel to Malay land and open Malacca. Spanning over 370 square kilometers with a population of over 1.5 million people, the city brings together people of all backgrounds and ethnicities. The community here can be seen through the relics of historical sites that hold many stories about the city.
Siguntang Hill is, for example, one of the most famous palaces in history, a part of Palembang's history, one of the sites that can be attributed to the glory of the once Sri Lankan Government.
Among the interesting historical stories that caught my attention was the existence of Kemaro Island, a small Chinese island with a strong Chinese influence.
Beautifully located is a 9-storey Pagoda next to the Chinese temple which is a popular attraction of the island, especially for Chinese tourists.
Apparently, a Chinese prince named Tan Boong An intends to propose to Princess Siti Fatimah, the princess of Palembang where the two-person romance reflects the full meaning of Kemaro Island.
Oh yes, to get to this island you have to board a boat or boat that crosses the Musi River.
Indonesia's First LRT
Arriving at Sultan Mahmud Airport, travelers have a variety of transportation options to Palembang City, about 15 km from the airport. In addition to taxi, e-hailing and bus services, make sure you do not miss the first LRT ride in Indonesia. Yes, the first LRT was not in modern cities like Jakarta or Bandung, but Palembang.
The LRT with 13 stations connects the airport directly to the last station in Jakabaring. Started in full swing during the Asian Games last August, a one-hour drive to the city via the train was once again a spectacular sight of Palembang City from within the train. Interestingly, the train route also passes one of Palembang's iconic landmarks, the Ampera Bridge.
This beautiful red-brick bridge is built to connect two parts of Palembang, Seberang Ulu and Seberang Ilir, across the Musi River, which is also the main route of the villagers using boats and boats.
Local Culinary Power
Of course, food is a compulsory attraction wherever we go to a destination. If you go to Palembang, it is not worth your visit to try 'pempek', a traditional food they are proud of. Almost on every main street, there must be shops selling this food. Made from sago flour and fish fillets, these fish-like dishes and crackers are made in many variations.
Pempek, a specialty food in Palembang.
Most popular, of course, is a submarine bat whose size is like a handful of fists, basically filled with chicken eggs. For those whose appetites are not too big, skin and curly skin may be an option. Eaten with Palembang vinegar sauce that mixes soy sauce and chilli, the pies are delicious for afternoon tea. The pre-made pizzas are also available to those who want to take home this delicious meal as a treat.
Night Culinary Wetlands (LBNC) , is the city's newest attraction. Gathering over 20 food vendors representing a wide variety of dishes in Palembang, this Uptown-style Malaysian spot is a place to visit with family and friends.
There is plenty of food on the Wet Lane.
The occasional relaxing atmosphere of the local busker sings just enough to make the place feel. From a variety of beverages to other regional dishes such as Lele Goreng and Fried Duck, visitors have the opportunity to enjoy a meal that elevates the culinary profile of the local community.
The highlight of Palembang's tourism is certainly this year's Asian Games 2018 event. The built Jakabaring Sports Complex, complete with first-class sports facilities, is the pride of Palembang City. Visitors have the opportunity to visit the complex while also enjoying the experience of playing at this 325 hectare sports complex. Among the highlights is the Tenpin Bowling event which features a 40-lane modern game and other sports such as beach volleyball, shooting, tennis and other world-class sporting events.
For those who are planning to come here, you can also enjoy the experience of staying in the Sports Village available. For those who love running activities, the area around the sports complex is also ideal as a runway.
For Muslim travelers, do not miss the opportunity to visit the Holy Quran which is a must visit place if you go to this city. Located at the Al Ihsaniyah Gandus Boarding House in Palembang, the Quran has been crowned one of the most interesting attractions in Indonesia at a tourism awards ceremony held in the country. It is the largest Quran in the world, showing all 30 constitutions of the holy Quran written on large pieces of wood..
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The biggest Quran in the world is in Palembang.
Its unique structure in which the Qur'anic carvings are engraved on the timber, certainly makes anyone look excited. Al-Munawar Arab Village also showcases the beauty of Islamic architecture through the design of its buildings, especially the homes of 300-year-old residents. Historically, the Arabs came to Palembang during the time of the Dutch government for trading purposes and some of them fell in love with the beauty of the city and began to inhabit Palembang, and from there the village was built.
The Captain's Village tells the story of the Chinese community who co-founded the city while the Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin Museum in the heart of Palembang brings us to the history and culture of the Palembang community including matters pertaining to wedding customs and more. Even more interesting, the design of the museum also features the design of limas, traditional houses of the people of Palembang. For those who plan to buy souvenirs for their loved ones, Palembang is well known for its delicate handmade songkets.
In addition to the 16th Market Market, which is a popular destination for souvenir shopping in the city, a one-stop center collecting crafts from all over Palembang, Lenggok is also accessible to tourists. Accommodation in the city can also be selected from a variety of prices.
One of the frequent visitors of choice is The Zuri Hotel, where during my stay here, I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Jokowi, the president of Indonesia who was also attending the hotel for his official event. Overall, Palembang is a family-friendly destination. It's not too much to say Palembang is a must-visit destination if you want to go to Indonesia.
Affordable food and affordable prices as well as the diversity of cultures that celebrate the difference make your experience in Palembang a lifetime favorite!