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Palembang 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 and a population of 1,708,413 people (2014). Palembang is the sixth-largest city in Indonesia after Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung, Medan and Semarang. Its built-up (or metro) area with Talang Kelapa and Rambutan was home to 1,620,429 inhabitants at the 2010 census.

Palembang is one of the oldest cities in Indonesia, and has a history of being the capital city of the Kingdom of Srivijaya, a powerful Malay kingdom, which influenced much of 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. This city was known as a host city for 2011 Southeast Asian Games. Additionally, 2018 Asian Games is going to be held in the city along with Jakarta.

Population: 1 631 348 (2016)

Language

Musi, also known as Palembang Malay, Basa Pelembang Sari-sari and Sekayu, is a Malayan language spoken by about 3 million residents of Palembang metropolitan area (the capital of South Sumatra, Indonesia) and the surrounding area.

Currency

In Palembang the local currency used is the Rupiah (IDR).

Image result for Rupiah (IDR) banknotes 2016

Geography

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 meters,[40] approximately 105 km 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 meters to 20 meters.

Climate

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 milimetres. 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.

Economy

Palembang’s economy has been developed significantly since it became a host for a National Sporting Event in 2004.

Culture

Since ancient times, Palembang has been a cosmopolitan port city which absorbs neighbouring, as well as foreign, cultures and influences. The influences and cultures of coastal Malay, inland Minangkabau, Javanese, Indian, Chinese and Arab, has created a rich Palembang culture. Throughout its history, Palembang has attracted migrants from other regions in the archipelago, and has made this city as a multi-cultural 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. Most of its population was then adopted the culture of coastal Malays and Javanese. 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.

Cuisine

Palembang is famous for its local cuisine called pempek Palembang. It is a Pempek served in sweet and sour sauce called kuah cuko. Another Palembang signature dishes are tekwan, model, mie celor, laksan and lakso, and also pindang patin (pangasius in sweet and sour soup).

Transport

Palembang has networks of mini-bus routes for the main form of public transport and the new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, Trans Musi as well.

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 (Coming Soon)

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

Palembang also has a large number of taxis. The number keeps rising since the Pekan Olahraga Nasional 2004 and SEA Games 2011, which both were held in Palembang.

There are also traditional and speed boats that serve the people who live near the riverside. The traditional boats are called “Keteks” or sampans.

The city is served by Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II International Airport which has scheduled flights to many cities in Indonesia and to Singapore by Silk Air and Jetstar, and also to Kuala Lumpur by AirAsia. This airport also serves other cities around South Sumatra Province.

Palembang also has three main harbours, Tanjung Api-api Harbour (which is the International harbour of Palembang, located on sea-shore, 68 kilometres from the city), 36 Ilir Harbour and Boom Baru Harbour on riverside. From Tanjung Api-api Harbour frequent ferries connect Palembang to Tanjung Kalian Harbour in western side of Bangka Island (it takes only 2 hours on ferries from Tanjung Api-api to Bangka), Bangka-Belitung Islands Province, and also ferries to Batam Island.

Tanjung Api Api Harbour is now fully operational. It opened at 10.00 am on 11 December 2013. It is an international port so it can be visited by all kind of boats from all over the globe.

Railway tracks connect Palembang to Bandar Lampung, Tanjung Enim, Lahat dan Lubuk Linggau. The largest railway station in Palembang is Kertapati railway station.