From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Palembang (Indonesian pronunciation: [palɛmˈbaŋ]) is the second-largest city on Sumatra island after Medan and the capital city of the South Sumatra province in Indonesia. It is one of the oldest cities in the Malay Archipelago and Southeast Asia. Palembang is located on the Musi River banks on the east coast of southern Sumatra, with a land area of 369.22 square kilometres (142.56 square miles) and a population of 1,708,413 people (2014). Palembang is the ninth most populous city in Indonesia after Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung, Bekasi, Medan, Tangerang, Depok and Semarang, and the nineteenth most populous city in Southeast Asia. Its built-up (or metro) area with Talang Kelapa and Rambutan was home to 1,620,429 inhabitants at the 2010 census.
Palembang is the oldest city in Indonesia, and has a history of being the capital city of the Kingdom of Srivijaya, a powerful Malay kingdom, which influenced many areas in Southeast Asia. The earliest evidence of its existence dates from the 7th century; a Chinese monk, Yijing, wrote that he visited Srivijaya in the year 671 for 6 months. The first inscription in which the name Srivijaya appears also dates from the 7th century, namely the Kedukan Bukit Inscription around Palembang in Sumatra, dated 683.
Palembang’s main landmarks include Ampera Bridge and Musi River, the latter of which divides the city into two. The north bank of river in Palembang is known as Seberang Ilir and the south bank of the river in Palembang is known as Seberang Ulu. Palembang is known as the host city of 2011 Southeast Asian Games and 2018 Asian Games along with Jakarta.
The word “Palembang” is derived from two words in Malay “pa” and “lembang”. “Pa” or “Pe” in Malay is a prefix which indicates a place or situation meanwhile “lembang” or “lembeng” means lowland, a swollen root because inundated by water for a long time. In other words, “Palembang” literally means “the place which was constantly inundated by water”.
Srivijaya Archaeological Park located Southwest from Palembang city centre (green). The site forming axis connecting Bukit Seguntang and Musi River.
The Kedukan Bukit Inscription, which is dated 682 AD, is the oldest inscription found in Palembang. The inscription tells of a king who acquires magical powers and leads a large military force over water and land, setting out from Tamvan delta, arriving at a place called “Matajap,” and (in the interpretation of some scholars) founding the polity of Srivijaya. The “Matajap” of the inscription is believed to be Mukha Upang, a district of Palembang.
According to George Coedes, “in the second half of the 9th century Java and Sumatra were united under the rule of a Sailendra reigning in Java…its centre at Palembang.”
As the capital of the Srivijaya kingdom, this second oldest city in Southeast Asia has been an important trading centre in maritime Southeast Asia for more than a millennium. The kingdom flourished by controlling the international trade through the Strait of Malacca from the seventh to thirteenth century, establishing hegemony over polities in Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula. Sanskrit inscriptions and Chinese travelogues report that the kingdom prospered as an intermediary in the international trade between China and India. Because of the Monsoon, or biannual seasonal wind, after getting to Srivijaya, traders from China or India had to stay there for several months waiting the direction of the wind changes, or had to go back to China or India. Thus, Srivijaya grew to be the biggest international trade centre, and not only the market, but also infrastructures for traders such as lodging and entertainment also developed. It functioned as a cultural centre as well. Yijing, a Chinese Buddhist pilgrim who stayed in today’s Palembang and Jambi in 671, recorded that there were more than a thousand Buddhist monks and learned scholars, sponsored by the kingdom to study religion in Palembang. He also recorded that there were many “states” under the kingdom called Srivijaya (Shili Foshi).
A statue of Buddha, discovered in Bukit Seguntang archaeological site, today displayed in Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II Museum Palembang.
In 990, an army from the Kingdom of Medang in Java attacked Srivijaya. Palembang was sacked and the palace was looted. Cudamani Warmadewa, however, requested protection from China. By 1006, the invasion was finally repelled. In retaliation, Srivijaya king sent his troops to assist King Wurawari of Luaram in his revolt against Medang. In subsequent battles, Medang Palace was destroyed and the royal family of Medang executed.
In 1068, King Virarajendra Chola of the Chola Dynasty of India conquered what is now Kedah from Srivijaya. Having lost many soldiers in the war and with its coffers almost empty due to the twenty-year disruption of trade, the reach of Srivijaya was diminished. Its territories began to free themselves from the suzerainty of Palembang and to establish many small kingdoms all over the former empire. Srivijaya finally declined with the military expedition by Javanese kingdoms in the thirteenth century.
Prince Parameswara fled from Palembang after being crushed by Javanese forces, The city was then plagued by pirates, notably Chen Zuyi and Liang Daoming. In 1407, Chen was confronted at Palembang by the returning Imperial treasure fleet under Admiral Zheng He. Zheng made the opening gambit, demanding Chen’s surrender and the pirate quickly signalled agreement while preparing for a surprise pre-emptive strike. But details of his plan had been provided to Zheng by a local Chinese informant, and in the fierce battle that ensued, the Ming soldiers and Ming superior armada finally destroyed the pirate fleet and killed 5,000 of its men. Chen was captured and held for public execution in Nanjing in 1407. Peace was finally restored to the Strait of Malacca as Shi Jinqing was installed as Palembang’s new ruler and incorporated into what would become a far-flung system of allies who acknowledged Ming supremacy in return for diplomatic recognition, military protection, and trading rights. Palembang is called Chinese: 巨港; pinyin: Jù gǎng; literally: “Giant Harbour”.
Palembang Sultanate Period
The walled city of Palembang with its three fortresses in 1682.
After Demak Sultanate fell under Kingdom of Pajang, a Demak nobleman, Geding Suro with his followers fled to Palembang and established a new dynasty. Islam become dominant in Palembang since this period. Grand Mosque of Palembang built in 1738 under the reign of Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin I Jaya Wikrama, completed in 1748. Settlement flourished along Musi River bank, some of houses built on rafts. The Sultanate enacted legislation that portion downstream of Seberang Ilir where the palace was located, was intended for residents of Palembang, whereas foreigners who were not citizens of Palembang was at the opposite bank of the palace called Seberang Ulu.
Local elders of Palembang during colonial period.
Several local rivals, such as Banten, Jambi, and Aceh threatened the existence of the Sultanate, meanwhile Dutch East India Company established a trade post in Palembang in 1619. In 1642, the company obtained monopoly right over pepper trading in the port. Tension mounted between the Dutch and the locals, peaked at 1657 when a Dutch ship was attacked in Palembang, gave a signal to the company to launch a punitive expedition in 1659 which burned the city to the ground.
During Napoleonic Wars in 1812, the sultan at that time, Mahmud Badaruddin II repudiated British claims to suzerainty, which was responded by British by attacking Palembang, sacking the court, and installing sultan’s more cooperative younger brother, Najamuddin to the throne. The Dutch attempted to recover their influence at the court in 1816, but Sultan Najamuddin was uncooperative with them. An expedition launched by the Dutch in 1818 and captured Sultan Najamudin and exiled him to Batavia. A Dutch garrison was established in 1821, but sultan attempted an attack and a mass poisoning to the garrison, which were intervened by Dutch. Mahmud Badaruddin II was exiled to Ternate, and his palace was burned to the ground. The Sultanate was later abolished by Dutch and direct colonial rule was established.
A painting of Palembang during Dutch rule.
Since the abolition of the Palembang Sultanate in 1825 by the Dutch, Palembang become the capital of Residency of Palembang, encompassing whole territory who will be South Sumatra province after independence, led by Jan Izaäk van Sevenhoven as its first resident.
From the late nineteenth century, with the introduction of new export crops by the Dutch companies, Palembang rose again as an economic centre. In the 1900s, the development of the petroleum and rubber industries caused unprecedented economic growth, which brought about the influx of migrants, an increase in urbanisation, and development of the socioeconomic infrastructure.
The emergence of rubber cultivation in South Sumatra began in the late 19th century. In the early 20th century, several major Western companies entered the area and operated rubber plantations. From the mid-1920s, rubber became the biggest export crop in the area, surpassing robusta coffee. Although there were large rubber estates owned by Western enterprises, rubber in Palembang was produced mainly by smallholders. By the 1920s, the Residency of Palembang (today’s South Sumatra province) was ranked sixth among the regions of smallholder rubber production, becoming the largest of the smallholder rubber regions in the 1940s, producing 58,000 tons of rubber.
There were three petroleum companies in 1900: the Sumatra-Palembang Petroleum Company (Sumpal); the French-owned Muara Enim Petroleum Company; and the Musi Ilir Petroleum Company. The Sumpal was soon assimilated into the Royal Dutch, and the Muara Enim Co. and the Musi Ilir Co. were also assimilated into the Royal Dutch, in 1904 and in 1906, respectively. Based on this assimilation, Royal Dutch and Shell established the BPM, the operating company of Royal Dutch Shell, and opened an oil refinery at Plaju, on the shore of the Musi River in Palembang, in 1907. While BPM was the only operating company in this area until the 1910s, American oil companies launched their business in the Palembang region from the 1920s. Standard Oil of New Jersey established a subsidiary, the American Petroleum Company, and, to prevent Dutch laws to restrict the activities of foreign firms, the American Petroleum Company established its own subsidiary, the Netherlands Colonial Oil Company (Nederlandche Koloniale Petroleum Maatschapij, NKPM). The NKPM began to establish itself in Sungai Gerong area in the early 1920s, and completed the construction of pipelines to send 3,500 barrels per day from their oilfields to the refinery at Sungai Gerong. The two refinery complexes were like enclaves, separate urban centres with houses, hospitals, and other cultural facilities built by the Dutch and Americans. In 1933, Standard Oil incorporated the NKPM holdings into the Standard Vacuum Company, a new joint venture corporation, which was renamed the Standard Vacuum Petroleum Maatschappij (SVPM). Caltex (a subsidiary of the Standard Oil California and Texas Company) secured extensive exploration concessions in Central Sumatra (Jambi) in 1931. By 1938, the production of crude oil in the Netherlands East Indies totalled 7,398,000 metric tons, and the shares of the BPM reached seventy two percent, while the NKPM (StandardVacuum)’s share was twenty eight percent. Whereas the most prolific area in crude oil production was East Kalimantan until the late 1930s, since then Palembang and Jambi took over the position. All crude oil production in the NEI was processed at seven refineries at this time, especially at three large export refineries: the NKPM plant at Sungai Gerong, the BPM refineries at Plaju, and the one in Balikpapan. Thus Palembang held two of the three biggest oil refineries in the archipelago.
Coat of Arms of Palembang during colonial era, adopted in 1925.
In the 1920s, with the guidance of Thomas Karsten, one of the pioneers of architectural project in the cities in the Netherlands East Indies, the Traffic Commission (Komisi Lalu Lintas) of Palembang was to improve inland transportation conditions in Palembang. The Commission reclaimed land from rivers and asphalted roads. Traffic plan in the city of Palembang was based on Karsten’s city plan, in which the Ilir was in the form of a road ring, starting form an edge of the Musi River. From then they built many smaller bridges on both sides of the Musi River, including the Wilhelmina Bridge over the Ogan River that vertically divides the Ulu area. The bridge was built in 1939 with the intention of connecting oil refineries in the eastern bank to western bank, where the Kertapati train station was located.In the late 1920s, ocean steamers navigated the Musi River on a regular basis.
In the 1930s, the Residency of Palembang was one of the “three giants” in the export economy of the Netherlands East Indies, together with the East Sumatran Plantation Belt and Southeast Kalimantan, and the city of Palembang was the most populous urban centre outside Java. Its population was 50,703 in 1905; it reached 109,069, while the population of Makassar and Medan was 86,662 and 74,976, respectively. It was surpassed only by three larger cities located in Java: Batavia, Surabaya and Semarang.
Japanese Occupation Period
Imperial Japanese Army paratrooper are landing during the battle of Palembang, 13 February 1942.
Palembang was a high priority objective for Japanese forces, because it was the location of some finest oil refineries in Southeast Asia. An oil embargo had been imposed on Japan by the United States, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. With the area’s abundant fuel supply and airfield, Palembang offered significant potential as a military base area, to both the Allies and the Japanese.
The main battle occurred during 13–16 February 1942. While the Allied planes were attacking Japanese shipping on 13 February, Kawasaki Ki-56 transport planes of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Chutai, Imperial Japanese Army Air Force (IJAAF), dropped Teishin Shudan (Raiding Group) paratroopers over Pangkalan Benteng airfield. At the same time Mitsubishi Ki-21 bombers from the 98th Sentai dropped supplies for paratroopers. The formation was escorted by a large force of Nakajima Ki-43 fighters from the 59th and 64th Sentai. As many as 180 men from the Japanese 2nd Parachute Regiment, under Colonel Seiichi Kume, dropped between Palembang and Pangkalan Benteng, and more than 90 men came down west of the refineries at Plaju. Although the Japanese paratroopers failed to capture the Pangkalan Benteng airfield, at the Plaju oil refinery they managed to gain possession of the entire complex, which was undamaged. However, the second oil refinery in Sungai Gerong was successfully demolished by the Allies. A makeshift counter-attack by Landstorm troops and anti-aircraft gunners from Prabumulih managed to retake the complex but took heavy losses. The planned demolition failed to do any serious damage to the refinery, but the oil stores were set ablaze. Two hours after the first drop, another 60 Japanese paratroopers were dropped near Pangkalan Benteng airfield.
As the Japanese landing force approached Sumatra, the remaining Allied aircraft attacked it, and the Japanese transport ship Otawa Maru was sunk. Hurricanes flew up the rivers, machine-gunning Japanese landing craft. However, on the afternoon of 15 February, all Allied aircraft were ordered to Java, where a major Japanese attack was anticipated, and the Allied air units had withdrawn from southern Sumatra by the evening of 16 February 1942. Other personnel were evacuated via Oosthaven (now Bandar Lampung) by ships to Java or India.
The Japanese managed to restore production at both main refineries, and these petroleum products were significant in their war effort. Despite Allied air raids, production was largely maintained.
In August 1944 USAAF B-29 bombers, flying from India, raided the Palembang refineries in what was the longest range regular bombing mission of the war.
In January 1945, in Operation Meridian, the British Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm launched two major attacks on the two refinery complexes, against determined Japanese defence.
National Revolution Period
On 8 October 1945, Resident of South Sumatra, Adnan Kapau Gani with all Gunseibu officers raised the Indonesian flag during a ceremony. On that day, it was announced that Palembang Residency was under control of Republicans.
Palembang was occupied by Dutch after an urban battle between the Republicans and the Dutch on 1–5 January 1947, which is nicknamed Pertempuran Lima Hari Lima Malam (Five Days and Nights Battle). There were three fronts during the battle which are Eastern Ilir front, Western Ilir front, and Ulu front. The battle ended with ceasefire and the Republican forces was forced to retreat as far as 20 kilometres (12 miles) from Palembang.
During the occupation, the Dutch formed the federal state of South Sumatra on September 1948. After the transfer of sovereignty on 27 December 1949, South Sumatra State, along with other federal states and the Republic had formed short-lived United States of Indonesia before the states were abolished and integrated back into the form of Republic on 17 August 1950.
Old Order and New Order Period
During PRRI/Permesta rebellion, the rebel faction established Dewan Garuda (Garuda Council) in South Sumatra on 15 January 1957 under Lieutenant Colonel Barlian took over the local government of South Sumatra.
In April 1962, Indonesian government started the construction of Ampera Bridge which was completed and officially opened for public on 30 September 1965 by Minister/Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Ahmad Yani on 30 September 1965, only hours before he was killed by troops belonging to the 30 September Movement. At first, the bridge was known as the Bung Karno Bridge, after the president, but following his fall, it was renamed the Ampera Bridge. A second bridge in Palembang which crosses Musi River, Musi II Bridge was built on 4 August 1992.
On 6 December 1988, Indonesia government expanded Palembang’s administrative area as far as 12 kilometers from the city center, with 9 villages from Musi Banyuasin integrated into 2 new districts of Palembang and 1 village from Ogan Komering Ilir integrated into Seberang Ulu I District.
During May 1998 riots of Indonesia, Palembang was also ravaged by riots with 10 burned shops, more than a dozen burned cars, and several injured people inflicted by rioters as students marching to the Provincial People’s Representative Council office of South Sumatra. Thousands of police and soldiers were put on guard at various points in the city. The Volunteer Team for Humanity (Indonesian: Tim Relawan untuk Manusia, or TRUK) reported that cases of sexual assault also took place.
The opening ceremony of 2011 Southeast Asian Games in Jakabaring Stadium, Palembang, 11 November 2011.
In 2001, a sport complex along with its main stadium, Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium, was built in Jakabaring, completed in 2004. It served as venues for 2004 Pekan Olahraga Nasional. Palembang became host of Pekan Olahraga Nasional in 2004 after 47 years it was last held outside Java and 51 years in Sumatra. 7 years later, Palembang became the host of more prestigious sporting event, 2011 Southeast Asian Games along with Jakarta. In 2013, Indonesian government decide to replace the host of 2013 Islamic Solidarity Games from Pekanbaru to Palembang because several problems occurred in the former host, including Riau Governor, Rusli Zainal who stumbled over a corruption scandal. Palembang, together again with Jakarta, will host the 2018 Asian Games.
Sixth president of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, declared Palembang as a “Water Tourism City” on 27 September 2005. More further on 5 January 2008, Palembang publicised its tourist attractions with the slogan “Visit Musi 2008”.
Palembang completed its first flyover at Simpang Polda in September 2008. Second flyover in Jakabaring completed in 2015. In 2010, Palembang launched its bus transit system, Transmusi. Since 2015, Indonesian government began to upgrade Palembang’s transportation capability with the construction of Indonesia’s first light rail transit system from Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II International Airport to Jakabaring, the city’s toll roads, two Musi River bridges, and two flyovers, all expected to be operational before 2018 Asian Games. The toll road began its operation in October 2017.
Geography and Climate
At 2°59′10″S 104°45′20″E, Palembang occupies 400.61 km2 of vast lowland area east of Bukit Barisan Mountains in southern Sumatra with average elevation of 8 metres (26 feet), approximately 105 kilometres (65 miles) from nearby coast at Bangka Strait. One of the largest rivers in Sumatra, the Musi River, runs through the city, dividing the city area into two major parts which are Seberang Ilir in the north and Seberang Ulu in the south. Palembang is also located on the confluence of two major tributaries of Musi River, which are Ogan River and Komering River. The river’s water level is influenced by tidal cycle. In rainy season, many areas on the city are inundated by the river’s tide.
Palembang’s topography is quite different between Seberang Ilir and Seberang Ulu area. Seberang Ulu topography is relatively flat, meanwhile Seberang Ilir topography is more rugged with altitude variation between 4 and 20 metres (13 and 66 feet).
A NASA satellite image showing the extent of the haze on 24 September 2015. Palembang was directly affected by the haze during this time, disrupting air travels and worsening the health condition of its residents.
Palembang is located in the tropical rainforest climate (Köppen Af) with significant rainfall even in its driest months. The climate in Palembang is often described with “hot, humid climate with a lot of rainfall throughout the year”. The annual average temperature is around 27.3 °C (81.1 °F). Average temperatures are nearly identical throughout the year in the city. Average rainfall annually is 2,623 millimetres. During its wettest months, the city’s lowlands are frequently inundated by torrential rains. However, in its driest months, many peatlands around the city dried, making them more vulnerable to wildfires, causing haze in the city for months.
Panorama of Palembang from southeast to southwest as seen from Pasar 16 Ilir.
Palembang is roughly divided by Musi River into two major areas known as Seberang Ilir (lit. “downstream bank”) in the north and Seberang Ulu (lit. “upstream bank”) in the south.
Seberang Ilir is the main economic and political centre in Palembang. Some areas such as 16 Ilir, Cinde, and Km 5 are the major retail hub in Palembang while other areas like Ilir Barat Permai, Kampus, and Patal Pusri are growing into major business centres contained a prominent portion of the city’s highrises. Major residential areas in Seberang Ilir such as Tangga Buntung, Bukit Besar, Sekip, Pakjo, Kenten, Pasar Kuto, and Lemabang.
Seberang Ulu is divided into three main neighbourhoods which are Plaju, Kertapati, and Jakabaring. Seberang Ulu is less developed than its counterpart, but this area is undergoing massive development, especially in Jakabaring, with the construction of business centre, government building, and the most notably is the construction of the city’s sport complex, Jakabaring Sport City.
Palembang is administratively has a status as a city and has its own local government and legislative body. The executive head of Palembang is the Mayor. The mayor and members of representatives are locally elected by popular vote for a 5-year term. The city government enjoys greater decentralization of affairs than the provincial body, such as the provision of public schools, public health facilities and public transportation. Current Mayor of the city is Harnojoyo, previous vice mayor who is appointed because the previous mayor, Romi Herton was impeached because of a bribery scandal during his election. Besides Mayor and Vice Mayor, there is Palembang Municipal People’s Representative Council, which is a legislative body of council members directly elected by the people in legislative elections every five years.
Palembang consists of eighteen kecamatan (districts), each headed by a Camat. They are further divided again into 07 kelurahan (subdistricts/administrative villages):
Palembang’s Districts (Kecamatan)
1 Ilir Timur III and Jakabaring is established in 2017.
Religion in Palembang (2017)
Ethnicity and language
Palembang is a ethnically diverse city. The indigenous population in the region of Palembang is Palembangnese people, a subgroup of Malay people with heavy influence of Javanese culture. Many of them live in tradional settlements along Musi River bank although recently there are influx of Palembangnese to live on the other part of the city or live outside the city. Several people from other ethnicities from other parts of South Sumatra and outside South Sumatra also lived in Palembang. There are also significant amount of communities of Arab and Chinese Indonesian who lived in the city. Arab Indonesian communities mainly lives in several kampongs such as Kampong Al Munawwar in 13 Ulu, Kampong Assegaf in 16 Ulu, Kampong Al Habsyi in Kuto Batu, Kampong Jamalullail in 19 Ilir and Kampong Alawiyyin in Sungai Bayas, 10 Ilir. Chinese Indonesian communities however mainly lives in several commercial districts in Palembang although there are several traditional Chinese kampongs such as Kampong Kapitan in 7 Ulu.
The local language of Palembang, Musi (Bahasa Palembang), is considered as a dialect of Malay with significant Javanese loanwords. There are also Palembang residents originating from other parts of South Sumatra. They have their own regional languages, such as Komering, Lahat, Rawas and Semendo.
Palembang’s primary religion is Islam, but many of the inhabitants also practice Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and Confucianism.
As of the 2017 data from Badan Pusat Statistik Palembang, the population of Palembang was 92.22% Muslim, 3.91% Buddhist, 2.23% Protestant, 1.49% Roman Catholic, 0.13% Hindu, and 0.02% Confucianist. The majority of Palembang people are practising Shafi`i school of Sunni Islam.
Kajang boats were widely used for transportation in Musi River during colonial times.
Before the operational of Ampera Bridge, there were more people in Palembang using water transportation. Large water vehicles such as river steamboat was used to transport people to and from inland. Some people also used smaller boat such as Kajang boat, a traditional boat with simple roof to carry people and goods. Nowadays, people in Palembang prefers road transportation over water one and private transportation over public one. Traffic jam often occured in some main streets, especially during rush hour. Rail and air transportation is also available in Palembang.
Since introduced in 2010, bus rapid transit becomes the main transportation in Palembang under the name Transmusi. Unlike usual bus rapid transits, Transmusi has no special lanes because the road in Palembang are too narrow to build it, so Transmusi often trapped in traffic jams. Transmusi has operated 8 routes (corridors) inside the city and 3 routes to and from the city.
- Corridor 1 : Bus stop below the Ilir part of Ampera Bridge – Alang Alang Lebar Bus Station (KM 12)
- Corridor 2 : Perumnas Bus Station – PIM (Palembang Indah Mall)
- Corridor 3 : Plaju – PS Mall (Palembang Square Mall)
- Corridor 4 : Jakabaring – Karya Jaya Bus Station (Kertapati)
- Corridor 5 : Alang Alang Lebar Bus Station (KM 12) – Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II International Airport
- Corridor 6 : Pusri – Palembang Square (PS)
- Corridor 7 : Kenten – Dempo
- Corridor 8 : Alang Alang Lebar Bus Station (KM 12) – Terminal Karya Jaya (Kertapati)
- Pangkalan Balai Corridor : Alang Alang Lebar Bus Station (KM 12) – Pangkalan Balai
- Indralaya Corridor : Terminal Karya Jaya – Indralaya
- Unsri Corridor : Unsri Bukit – Unsri Indralaya
Public bus and angkot services
Palembang operates several bus and angkot routes. First angkots in Palembang were using Willys Jeep and was called “Mobil Ketek” because of its engine sound. Public bus was introduced in 1990s and served some routes from Seberang Ilir neighborhoods such as Km.12, Perumnas, Pusri, and Bukit Besar to Seberang Ulu neighborhoods which are Kertapati, Plaju, and Jakabaring. Because of aging vehicles and complaints in security and driver habits, Palembang public bus is planned to be removed gradually until 2018.
Palembang also operates several air-conditioned public bus to neighboring towns such as Kayuagung, Indralaya, Pangkalan Balai, Prabumulih, and Tanjung Api-Api.
Palembang also has a large number of taxis. The number has been rising since the National Games 2004 and SEA Games 2011, which both were held in Palembang.
Becak and ojek
There are many becak (pedicabs) and ojek (motorcycle taxi) operated in Palembang. Becak are often found in more older settlements along Musi River than ojek which are mostly found in more recent settlements far from the river.
App-based taxi and ojek
App-based taxi and ojek are flourished in the city with Go-Jek and Grab as their leading providers. Because of heated competition with conventional taxi, angkot, and ojek which sometimes ended with violences, app-based taxi and ojek are often barred from taking passengers in some places especially airport.
Palembang-Indralaya Rail Bus provides rail transportation from Kertapati Station in Palembang to Sriwijaya University in Indralaya and vice versa.
Railway tracks were introduced by the Dutch in late 1800s. Railway tracks connect Palembang to provinces in southern Sumatra such as Bandar Lampung in Lampung Province, Rejang Lebong Regency in Bengkulu Province, and some main towns in South Sumatra such as Lubuklinggau, Prabumulih, Indralaya, Muara Enim, Lahat, Tebing Tinggi, Baturaja, and Martapura. The largest railway station in Palembang is Kertapati Station. There are plans to connect Palembang to other cities in Sumatra, ultimately connected existing railways in northern, western and southern Sumatra, forming Trans Sumatra Railway.
Palembang has several types of river transportation. The most traditional one is a motorboat called “perahu ketek”, a wooden boat which using small engine and moves quite slow. Perahu ketek is often used especially by people who live on riverside to cross the river from one bank to another. Another type of river transportation is called “speedboat”, a wooden motorboat which using more larger engine and designed to withstand the speed of the boat itself, far more faster than perahu ketek. Speedboats often used by the people outside Palembang, especially who lives in Musi River delta, to go to and from Palembang. Palembang also operates some larger riverboat for tourism activities.
Currently Palembang also has two main ferry ports, Tanjung Api-api Port, located on sea-shore, 68 kilometres (42 miles) outside the city, and Boom Baru Port inside the city. These ports operate ferries to Bangka, Belitung and Batam Island. There is a plan to build deep sea port in Tanjung Api-Api.
The only public airport in Palembang is Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II International Airport. This airport provides domestic routes which connects Palembang with many cities in Indonesia especially Jakarta and also serves international routes to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. This airport also connects Palembang to other towns in South Sumatra such as Lubuklinggau and Pagaralam.
Palembang currently constructs Palembang Light Rail Transit to ease the traffic congestion in the city.This rail transit is expected to be operational in 2018 and become the first rail rapid transit in Indonesia. There will be 13 stations for the LRT system, namely as follows:
- Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II Airport station
- Asrama Haji station
- Telkom station
- RSUD station
- POLDA station
- Demang Lebar Daun station
- Palembang Icon station
- Dishub Kominfo station
- Pasar Cinde station
- Jembatan Ampera station
- Gubernur Bastari station
- Stadion Jakabaring station
- OPI station
View of central area in Palembang Icon Shopping Mall
As the capital of South Sumatra and one of major cities in Indonesia, Palembang’s economy depends highly on trading, service, transportation, manufacturing and construction sectors. GRDP of Palembang was Rp 118.77 trillion (US$ 9.01 billion) in 2016. Of this, the manufacturing and construction sectors take up the largest portions with 33.17 and 18.21 percent contributions, respectively. The minimum wage for 2017 is Rp 2,484,000 per month, somewhat higher than regencies in Java although lower than that of cities such as Medan or Surabaya.
Palembang is a part of Strategic Development Area of Merak – Bakauheni – Bandar Lampung – Palembang – Tanjung Api-Api (MBBPT). To accelerate the region development, Trans-Sumatra Toll Road is being constructed to eventually give Palembang a high-speed highway access to other cities in Sumatra, including Bengkulu in the west, Jambi in the north, and Bandar Lampung in the south.
Business and Industry
Palembang is the regional business center in southern Sumatra region encompassing Jambi, South Sumatra, Bengkulu, Bangka Belitung Islands and Lampung. Several main factories and industries in Indonesia are operating in Palembang such as fertilizer factory of Pupuk Sriwidjaja Palembang in Sei Selayur, portland cement factory of Baturaja Portland Cement in Kertapati and oil and gas refinery of Pertamina in Plaju. Several coal mining industries in South Sumatra also transport coal to the city by freight trains and by trucks before being shipped to Java or abroad.
In Indonesia, South Sumatra is the largest producer of rubber, estimated at over 940,000 tons of production in 2016, and over 850,000 tons of rubber were exported from Palembang in the same year. In 2014, there were 14 rubber processing factories in the city employing 4,000 people with a capacity of close to a million tons annually. There is however no specified industrial parks in the city.
At least 10,683 foreign tourists and 1,896,110 domestic tourists visited the city in 2016. Several hotels are operating in Palembang, many of them are opened after National Games in 2004. Culinary business in Palembang is also developing. A ton of pempek is exported from Palembang to other cities in Indonesia and abroad daily.
Markets and Commercial Centers
Generally, there are two types of markets in Palembang, traditional market and modern market. From 30 traditional markets in Palembang, majority of traditional markets in Palembang is managed by PD Pasar Palembang Jaya meanwile the rest is owned by private or cooperative. Being in the central area of Palembang, 16 Ilir Market is the main traditional market in the city, while the area around the market, especially areas along Jalan Masjid Lama, Jalan Jendral Soedirman, Jalan Kolonel Atmo and Jalan Letkol Iskandar become bustling commercial centers integrated with one another. Another notable trading center in Palembang is Cinde Market, one of the oldest market in Indonesia which was built first in 1957 with its unique mushroom pillars, then razed in 2017 to be replaced with more modern building.
Other modern commercial centers and malls are built in other parts of the city. Most of them are built in along Sekanak River corridor, including Palembang Indah Mall, Ramayana Palembang, Transmart Palembang, Palembang Icon, and Palembang Square, other notable malls such as Palembang Trade Center and OPI Mall are built in Patal Pusri and Jakabaring respectively. Two of main Indonesia retail giants, Indomaret and Alfamart also open their franchise strores in every part of the city.
Great Mosque of Palembang
Palembang is known as Venetië Van Andalas (Venice of Sumatra), mainly because of the topography of the city which was dominated by Musi River and its tributaries.
People enjoying local dishes on floating warung boats.
As a trading city since antiquity, Palembang is very heterogenous and its local culture and language is also influenced by many civilizations, most notably Chinese, Javanese, and Arabs. Several Dutch legacies in architecture can also seen in the city.
Rumah Limas of IDR 10000 banknote is now located in Museum Balaputradewa, Palembang
The most notable landmarks in Palembang are Ampera Bridge, Musi River, Kuto Besak Fort, Kemaro Island, and Jakabaring Sport City.
- Musi River, 750 kilometres (470 miles) long river which divides Palembang into two parts, which are Seberang Ulu and Seberang Ilir. It’s one of the longest river in Sumatra. Since antiquity, the Musi River has become the heart of Palembang and South Sumatra’s economy. There are some landmarks along its bank, such as Ampera Bridge, Kuto Besak Fort, Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II Museum, Kemaro Island, 16 Ilir Market, traditional raft houses, Pertamina’s oil refineries, Pupuk Sriwijaya (PUSRI) fertiliser plants, Bagus Kuning Park, Musi II Bridge, Kampong Al Munawar, etc.
- Ampera Bridge, main city landmark, is a bridge crossed over 1,177 metres (3,862 feet) above the Musi River which connects Seberang Ulu and Seberang Ilir area of Palembang.
- Great Mosque of Palembang, also known as the Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II Mosque, is located in the city centre.
- Kuto Besak Fort, situated on the northern bank of the Musi River adjacent to Ampera Bridge, this fort is one of heritage buildings of the Palembang Darussalam Sultanate. Ordinary civilians can’t enter this fort because the fort’s interior have been turned into military hospital of the Tentara Nasional Indonesia, specifically the Health Department of Military Area Command II/Sriwijaya (Kesehatan Daerah Militer II/Sriwijaya).
- Kampong Arab Al-Munawar, one of kampong in Palembang which is inhabited by Arab Indonesian descendants. This kampong is renowned by the kampong’s architecture and culture which is a mixture of local Palembangnese Malay and Arabian, especially from Hadhrami. It has been long known that any visitors should dress politely in order to visit this area.
- Kampong Kapitan, one of the oldest Chinese kampong in the city. The primary attraction is Tjoa Ham Hin’s house with centuries-old furniture inside. There was also a nearby Chinese temple, which was one of the oldest in Palembang as well. Long before its existence as the Chinese settlement area, it was also called Tanggo Rajo where foreigners and newcomers from the archipelago stayed at.
- Kantor Ledeng, the mayor office of Palembang. It was built during Dutch rule with purpose as a water tower.
- Kambang Iwak, a pond located in Talang Semut close to Palembang mayor’s residence. During Dutch rule, the area around the pond is the residence of Dutch people who works in the city, notable by european architecture on many houses around this pond and abundance of churches in this area. On the banks of this lake, there is a park and recreation arena which is always crowded by locals during weekends and holidays.
- Punti Kayu Tourism Forest, city forest located about six miles (9.7 kilometres) from the city centre with an area of 50 hectares (120 acres) and since 1998 designated as protected forests. In this forest there is a family recreation area and a local shelter a group of monkeys: long-tail macaque (Macaca fascicularis) and monkey (Macaca nemistriana) under the Sumatran Pine wood (Pinus mercussi).
- Sriwijaya Kingdom Archaeological Park, the remnants of Sriwijaya site located on the banks of the River Musi. There is an inscription and stone relics, complex of ancient pond, artificial island and canals dated from the Srivijayan kingdom in this area. The Srivijaya Museum is located in this complex.
- Bukit Seguntang archaeological park, located in the hills west of Palembang city. In this place there are many relics and tombs of the ancient Malay-Srivijayan king and nobles.
- Monumen Perjuangan Rakyat / Monpera (People Struggle Monument), located in the city centre, adjacent to the Great Mosque and Ampera Bridge. Several relics during Indonesian National Revolution in South Sumatra are exhibited in this monument.
- Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II Museum, is the former Dutch-era resident office located near the Ampera Bridge and adjacent to Benteng Kuto Besak. This museum located in the former royal palace of Palembang Sultanate which was demolished after Dutch conquest of Palembang. This museum exhibits several relics and historical objects with collections spanned from Srivijaya Kingdom period to Palembang Darussalam Sultanate era.
- Museum Balaputradewa, the home of Rumah Limas featured on IDR 10000 banknote. This type of stilt house is the traditional house of the people of Palembang.
Palembang bride in Aesan Gede wedding costume wearing gold jewellery and songket Palembang.
Since antiquity, Palembang has been a major port city in Southeast Asia which absorbs neighbouring, as well as foreign, cultures and influences. Throughout its history, Palembang has attracted migrants from other regions in the archipelago, and has made this city as a heterogenous city. Although today the city had lost its function as the major port city in the archipelago, the remnants of its heyday still evident in its culture. Palembangnese people mainly adopt culture which is mainly an amalgamation of Malay and Javanese customs. Even now it can be seen in its culture and language. Word such as “wong (person)” is an example of Javanese loanword in Palembang language. Also the Javanese knight and noble honorific titles, such as Raden Mas or Raden Ayu is used by Palembang nobles, the remnant of Palembang Sultanate courtly culture. The tombs of the Islamic heritage was not different in form and style with Islamic tombs in Java.
Palembang cuisine is the second most well-known cuisine from Sumatra after Padang. They primarily use freshwater fish and prawn as ingredients due to the paramount role of the Musi River for the area. Spices are also generally included although not as liberal as its same-island counterpart. Malay, Indian, and Chinese culture has also influenced Palembang’s culinary scene. Besides freshwater fish dishes, there are many variation of dishes, snacks, drinks, and sweets in Palembang cuisine.
- Pempek, is the dish virtually everyone in Indonesia thinks of when mentioning Palembang cuisine. It is a dough of fish cake and tapioca flour which can be either boiled, fried, or grilled and is eaten with a dark, sweet and spicy sauce called Cuko made from palm sugar and pepper topped with cucumber and prawn powder. Because it is actually a dough, locals have intelligently crafted them into shapes and sizes, as well as being creative with fillings. Examples include lenjer (long), keriting (curly), kapal selam (literally “submarine”, filled with egg), ada`an (round and fried) and pistel (filled with cooked young papaya). Not every fish can be made into authentic Palembang pempek. A real authentic Palembang pempek is made of giant featherback (Chitala lopis) as its main ingredients. However since the species is threatened, an authentic pempek can also be made with several other fish such as striped snakehead (Channa striata), narrow-barred Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus commerson), or snappers (Lutjanus sp.).
- Tekwan, are small pempek balls served with fresh prawn soup, cellophane noodles, and ear mushrooms, often portrayed as the Palembang version of bakso.
- Model, are a variety of pempek with tofu fillings served with fresh prawn soup and cellophane noodles (model iwak). The pempek ingredients can be subsituted with fried bread (model gendum).
- Laksan, are thick sliced pempek lenjer poured with spicy coconut milk and served with prawn powders.
- Celimpungan, are like laksan but with large sized tekwan balls instead of sliced pempek.
- Mie Celor, are yellow noodles like Japanese soba poured with coconut milk, prawns, and boiled egg.
- Burgo, are rolled omelettes made of rice flour which are sliced and served with coconut milk soup and powdered prawns.
- Lakso, are like burgo but with rice noodles.
- Martabak HAR, is an egg-murtabak (eggs dropped into the flatten dough before folded while frying) served in curry (usually diced potatoes in beef curry) and topped with chillies in sweet-sour soy. It was popularized in Palembang by an Indian Indonesian named Haji Abdul Rozak in 7 July 1947, giving his initials to the dish name.
- Pindang Patin, is spicy iridescent shark (Pangasianodon hypophthalmus) boiled with spices and usually served hot with sliced pineapple.
- Pindang Tulang, is spicy beef ribs with little meat still attached to the bone, boiled with spices like pindang patin. This dish has a savory spicy sour taste.
- Malbi, is sweet dark beef tenderloin with spices.
- Tempoyak, is fermentated durian stir-fried with onion and chili pepper.
- Brengkes Tempoyak Ikan Patin, is iridescent shark and tempoyak steamed with spices.
- Otak-otak, is freshwater fish minced meat mixed with tapioca flour, coconut milk and spices then grilled with banana leaf.
- Kemplang, are thin sliced pempek lenjer which are dried under sun, then grilled or fried.
- Kerupuk, are like kemplang, but the pempek dough made swirly and served after it was fried.
- Es Kacang Merah, are shave ices served with red kidney beans which is already soaked and boiled to remove their toxic contents, syrups, avocado, and sweet condensed milk.
Sweets and Desserts
- Kue Maksuba, is a layered cake which is mainly made of duck egg and sweet condensed milk without any flours. Each cake needs approximately more than two dozens of duck eggs. After being properly mixed, the cake batter is thinly poured into a square cake pan then baked layer by layer. This cake was originally served as a royal sweets by Palembang Sultanate Palace to every honourable guests. Nowadays, this cake is served by many Palembang people during customary ceremonies or during Eid al-Fitr and sometimes Eid al-Adha.
- Kue Delapan Jam, is a cake with ingredients like kue maksuba also without any flours, but it’s not layered and it is cooked by being steamed for approximately eight hours instead of baked. This cake is also often served to honourable guests, during customary ceremonies, or during Eid al-Fitr and sometimes Eid al-Adha. Kue khas Palembang ini juga sering disajikan sebagai sajian untuk tamu kehormatan dan sering disajikan di hari raya.
- Kue Bolu Kojo, is a green sweet cake with eggs, sweet condensed milk and pandan leaves as its main ingredients. As opposed with Kue Maksuba and Kue Delapan Jam, this cake uses wheat flour. This cake is served to honourable guests, during customary ceremonies, or during Eid al-Fitr and sometimes Eid al-Adha.
- Kue Srikayo, is a steamed dessert with eggs and pandan leaves as its main ingredients. It’s usually served with glutinous rice.
Palembang is mainly known for its artistic fabrics, songket. Songket is a hand-woven silk or cotton fabrics patterned with gold or silver threads. It is a luxury product traditionally worn during ceremonial occasions as sarong, shoulder cloths or head ties and tanjak, a headdress songket. During Srivijaya rule, songkets were often used at the court. Songkets are also traditionally worn as an apparel by the Malay royal families in Sumatra and the Malay Peninsular including Palembang Sultanate. Traditionally women are the weavers of songket, however in this modern time men also are known to weave it as well. There are six main patterns in Palembang songket which are songket lepus, songket tawur, songket tretes mender, songket bungo pacik, combinated songket, and songket limar. These patterns are not only used on songkets, but also as decoration for several structures in Palembang such as underpasses, flyovers, and bridges.
Palembang is also known for its woodcarving. Palembang woodcarving are heavily influenced by Chinese culture with motifs such as jasmine or lotus. Palembang woodcarving style originally is used to wardrobe that stores songket fabrics. But nowadays it’s often applied to house ornaments and also to many house applicants such as wooden display cabinets, wooden beds, aquariums, photo frames, mirrors, etc.
Jakabaring Sport City
Jakabaring Aquatic Center in Jakabaring Sport City complex.
Jakabaring Sport City ia a sport complex located 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) southeast from Palembang city centre, across the Musi River through Ampera Bridge in Jakabaring, Seberang Ulu I area. It was the main venue of 2011 Southeast Asian Games. Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium, one of the largest stadium in Indonesia, is located within this complex. The complex consists of Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium football field, Dempo sport hall, Ranau sport hall, Athletic stadium, Aquatic centre, Baseball and Softball field, Shooting range, Athlete lodging, Artificial lake for outdoor water sports (rowing, water ski, dragon boat) and Golf course. Two matches were staged at the stadium in the AFC Asian Cup continued in 2007, the Group D qualifier between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain as well as grabbing a third place between South Korea and Japan. The 2011 Southeast Asian Games was held at Palembang along with Jakarta in November 2011. The opening and closing ceremonies held in Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium. This sport complex also planned to host the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia along with Jakarta and Bandung in West Java.
Sriwijaya Football Club, which is commonly referred to as SFC, is an Indonesian football club based in Palembang, Province of South Sumatra, Indonesia.
Universities in Palembang:
- University of Sriwijaya
- State Polytechnic of Sriwijaya Palembang
- State Islamic University of Raden Fatah Palembang
- School of Journalism Indonesia. First Journalism School in Indonesia, SJI was inaugurated by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the top of National Press Day (HPN) in Palembang, 9 February 2010. School of Journalism is the first international journalism school in Indonesia under UNESCO.
- Universitas Bina Darma
- Universitas Bina Nusantara – Unit Sumber Belajar Jarak Jauh
- Universitas Indo Global Mandiri
- Universitas Muhammadiyah Palembang
- Universitas Palembang
- Universitas Sjakhyakirti
- Universitas IBA
- Universitas Taman Siswa
- Universitas PGRI
- Universitas Kader Bangsa
- Universitas Tridinanti
- Universitas Terbuka
- Politeknik Akamigas Palembang
- Multi Data Palembang
- Universitas Musi Charitas
Top Senior High Schools in Palembang:
- SMA Xaverius 1 Palembang
- SMA Negeri 5 Palembang
- SMA Negeri Sumatera Selatan
- SMA Xaverius 3 Palembang
- SMA Ignatius Global School (IGS) Palembang
- Sekolah Kusuma Bangsa
- SMA Negeri 1 Palembang
- SMA Negeri 3 Palembang
- MAN 2 Palembang
- SMA Plus Negeri 17 Palembang
- SMA Negeri 6 Palembang
Top Junior High Schools in Palembang:
- SMP Xaverius 1 Palembang
- SMP Xaverius Maria Palembang
- SMP Ignatius Global School (IGS) Palembang
- SMP Sekolah Palembang Harapan (SPH) Palembang
- SMP Kusuma Bangsa Palembang
- SMP Negeri 1 Palembang
- SMP Negeri 9 Palembang
- MTs Negeri 1 Palembang
Twin Towns – Sister Cities