Located on the banks of Musi River – the longest river in Sumatera – has made Palembang at times called “Venice of the East”. Spread above the Musi River, there is Ampera Bridge, a very well-known landmark of the city.
Under the bridge on the river bank, there is a traditional market named Pasar 16 Ilir that is alive as a place where people of Palembang selling and buying goods of their everyday needs. Traders bringing crops using boats gathering under the bridge is an interesting sight when visiting the city. Besides, Pasar 16 Ilir is also functioned as intermodal terminal from boats to another public transportation such as Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Trans Musi or traditional cycle rickshaw and vice versa.
A city museum called the Musium Sultan Mahmud Badarudin II is located not too far from this area. By paying Rp 10.000 for an admission ticket, we are able to go in and learn the history of Palembang from time to time, starting from the time of pre-sultanate in Sriwijaya kingdom to the golden era of Sultanate Mahmud Badaruddin II. In addition to history, we can also witness the customs of the people of South Sumatera.
After visiting the museum, take time to visit Benteng Kuto Besak, a fort that is located not far from the museum. Benteng Kuto Besak is one of the Sriwijaya sultanate heritages which has a high historical value in defending the kingdom from the attacks of the invaders. This fort was built on the initiative of Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin in 1780 and was inaugurated on February 21, 1797. Until now, Benteng Kuto Besak is still standing strong and becomes one of the interesting tourist attractions in the city.
After visiting the area around Ampera Bridge, take time to visit Masjid Agung Palembang, another heritage of Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II. This mosque has a unique architecture as influenced by Chinese and European architecture. The shape of the roof resembles a pagoda in Chinese architecture while the high entrance door is a typical European architecture.
After seeing historical heritages, it's time to pamper your partner doing songket hunting – a traditional fabric of South Sumatera – in Jalan Kiranggo Wirosentiko, Ilir at prices starting at tens of thousands to millions of rupiahs. In addition, there are souvenirs such as miniature of Ampera Birdge, paintings, wallets, and key chains.
Lastly, don’t forget to spoil your taste buds tasting the culinary delight of Palembang: Pempek. There are many varieties of pempek, namely pempek kapal selam, pempek lenjer, pempek keriting, pempek adaan, pempek kulit, pempek tahu, pempek pistel, pempek udang, pempek lenggang, pempek panggang, pempek belah and otak-otak. You can easily find the food which is made of sago and Belida fish being sold in every corner of the city. To help you choosing the ones to try, upon your arrival in the airport, keep your eyes on what most people bring. In addition to pempek, don’t miss the chance to taste Sarikaya, tekwan, mie celor, burgo, lakso, pindang, tempoyak dan kemplang which are also popular in Palembang.