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See South Sumatera
Places of interest in South Sumatera

On this page is a list of tourist attractions in the province of South Sumatra.

The Musi River

By Javanese standards the Musi river is both very broad as well as long, comparable to those found on the big island of Kalimantan, formerly Borneo. The river flows right through the city, cutting it in two halves called the Ulu bank and the Ilir bank and linked by a bridge of considerable size and length, called the Ampera Bridge.

If visitors do not care to make an interesting or unique boat trip down the river, they could still take a walk halfway over the bridge to see the vast panorama surrounding them, rare at any other place in Indonesia. Down below they will see unbelievable traffic of boats, big and small, crisscrossing water-lanes without accidents as if steered by the most able navigators. From the same spot both halves of the city are clearly visible as well. And if the time is right, sunrises and sunsets as witnessed from the bridge would be an unforgettable sight of beauty.
Worthwhile noticing are the floating restaurants and shops on both sides of the river, and other curious scenes of daily habits of the city's inhabitants.

An annual event is the Bidar Race, held on or around Independence Day, each 17th of August, size of the competing boats are 24.5 m long and only 0.75 m wide, each boat carrying as many as 50 oarsmen.

Limas, the traditional house

Another interesting item to see is the Limas house which are still found scattered over the province, most of them built on riversides, however, not facing the waterfront. One explanation could be that daily household activities can be done in full privacy, out of sight of passers-by. These very ornate wooden houses built on stilts have rather sizable measurements: from 15 to 20 meters in width and from 30 to 60 meters in length.

A good part of the house has hand carved columns, door and window frames and cross ventilation between the rooms by placing wooden panels with flow-through carvings just below the ceilings. Indeed, it would almost be a must to observe the architecture and style of these Limas houses, some of them open to the public.

The State Museum

Relatively new the building was erected in 1977 only, however, its collection of around 2000 relics and antiquities originating from the province would make a visit here definitely worthwhile. See 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 from the 1 6th century where as many as 38 ancient tombs are found of which one of them belongs to Ki Gede Ing Suro, one of the prominent forefathers of South Sumatra's present society. Notably, these 38 tombs are found under one roof of one building.

Bangka Island's Matras Beach

Bangka can best be reached by air from Jakarta by scheduled flight in just about an hour by jet. However, boat service from Palembang to either Muntok or Pangkal Pinang is adequate and should not take more than an overnight voyage. This island lies right at the mouth of the Musi River in the South China Sea and is one of world's major producers of tin.

A beach of exceptional size, 300-400 meters wide and 6.5 kilometer long, called Matras Beach is located 44 km north of Pangkal Pinang, the island's capital. Fine, white and clean sands make this beach area most attractive to sun and beach-lovers, whereas at this time the Parai Beach Hotel with 35 rooms already exists right on the beach.

On the other side of the island at Muntok you can find the Ranggam House built in 1921 on the hill overlooking the sea. It is like a big lodging house where at one time the first close Indonesian president was held captive along with some of his close followers during the nation's physical revolution.

The Presidents car at the time has still been kept in tact and can be seen by the public at the House's opening hours. Closer to the capital is the Pasir Padi Beach, just 7 km from Pangkal Pinang and is merely a place to rest or swim and sunbathe. There is no accommodation as tourists normally come to this beach from the city and villages around this place, 4 km long and about 20 to 60 m wide with endless coconut trees to give it a genuine tropical setting.

Adjacent to Bangka island

Adjacent to Bangka island is Belitung island, another tin producer, with its capital city called Tanjung Pandan. If you are interested in visiting both islands, the best way to do it is to leave by air from Jakarta to either island first, and then cross over to the other one by boat and onward to Palembang to visit the rest of South Sumatra.

To save time, energy and money, it would not be recommended to make a special side-trip to either Bangka or Belitung out of Palembang, but rather these three destinations should best be covered in a single line of direction.

Punti Kayu Natural Pine Forest

This recreational complex covers an area of 50 hectares, consisting of four parts: an amusement park, a recreation park, an natural forest, and a man-made lake.

In this complex are to be found a children's playground, a cultural park, a souvenirs shop, restaurants and an information booth. Because of its proximity to the capital and easy accessibility, this complex actually mainly caters to the local inhabitants of the city of Palembang, however, international tourists may enjoy passing a calm day here to watch urbanites amuse themselves.

Tenang waterfall

Rich in the number of small as well as big rivers flowing through this province, waterfalls of various sizes come with them too. The biggest in the region is the Tenang waterfall where the water smashes down from a height of 90 meters into a deep pool and further downstream in a strong current. By public transportation it takes 2 hours from Palembang, however, less by private car. Located in the Muara Enim regency.

Kamero Island

Forty kilometers from Palembang, Kamero Island is a popular recreation site in the middle of the Musi river. The island has a Buddhist temple.

Last revised on October 22, 2009
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