Palembang (Indonesian pronunciation: [palɛmˈbaŋ]) is the
second-largest city on
Medan and the capital city of
South Sumatra province of Indonesia. It is one of the oldest cities in
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,
Depok and Semarang, and the nineteenth most populous
city in Southeast Asia. Its built-up 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
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
2011 Southeast Asian Games
2011 Southeast Asian Games and
2018 Asian Games
2018 Asian Games along with
Palembang Sultanate period
2.4 Colonial period
2.5 Japanese occupation period
2.6 National revolution period
2.7 Old Order and New Order period
2.8 Reformasi period
3 Geography and climate
4.2 Administrative Division
5.1 Ethnicity and language
6.1.2 Public bus and angkot services
6.1.4 Becak and ojek
6.1.5 App-based taxi and ojek
6.3.1 River transport
7.1 Business and Industry
7.2 Markets and Commercial Centers
9.1.4 Sweets and Desserts
10.1 Jakabaring Sport City
10.2 Sriwijaya F.C.
12 Twin towns – sister cities
14 External links
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
Srivijaya Archaeological Park located Southwest from
centre (green). The site forming axis connecting
Bukit Seguntang and
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
Sumatra were united under the rule of a
Sailendra reigning in
Java...its centre at Palembang.":92
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
Strait of Malacca from
the seventh to thirteenth century, establishing hegemony over polities
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,
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
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
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
diminished. Its territories began to free themselves from the
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
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.
Demak Sultanate fell under Kingdom of Pajang, a Demak nobleman,
Geding Suro with his followers fled to
Palembang and established a new
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
Palembang was the most populous urban centre outside Java. Its
population was 50,703 in 1905; it reached 109,069, while the
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
The opening ceremony of
2011 Southeast Asian Games
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
Pekan Olahraga Nasional in 2004 after 47 years it was last held
Java and 51 years in Sumatra. 7 years later, Palembang
became the host of the
2011 Southeast Asian Games
2011 Southeast Asian Games along with Jakarta.
In 2013, Indonesian government decide to replace the host of 2013
Islamic Solidarity Games from
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
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
Geography and climate
At 2°59′10″S 104°45′20″E / 2.98611°S 104.75556°E
/ -2.98611; 104.75556,
Palembang occupies 400.61 km2 of vast
lowland area east of Bukit
Barisan Mountains in southern
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).
NASA satellite image showing the extent of the haze on 24 September
Palembang was directly affected by the haze during this time,
disrupting air travels and worsening the health condition of its
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.
Climate data for Palembang
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Source #1: Climate-Data.org
Source #2: Deutscher Wetterdienst
Palembang from southeast to southwest as seen from Pasar
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
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
Palembang consists of eighteen kecamatan (districts), each headed
by a Camat. They are further divided again into 07 kelurahan
Palembang's Districts (Kecamatan)
Total population (2015)
(per km2) in 2015
Ilir Barat II
Seberang Ulu I
Seberang Ulu II
Ilir Barat I
Ilir Timur I
Ilir Timur II
Ilir Timur III
1 Ilir Timur III and Jakabaring is established in 2017.
Ethnicity and language
Palembang is an 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
traditional 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
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.
Chinese languages are also largely used by local Chinese communities.
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
Badan Pusat Statistik Palembang, the
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
Kajang boats were widely used for transportation in Musi River during
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 occurred 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
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
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
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
Sriwijaya University in Indralaya
and vice versa.
Railway tracks were introduced by the Dutch in late 1800s. Railway
Palembang to provinces in southern
Sumatra such as
Bandar Lampung in
Rejang Lebong Regency
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
Palembang Light Rail Transit
Palembang Light Rail Transit under construction
Palembang currently constructs
Palembang Light Rail Transit
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, connecting
Mahmud Badaruddin II
Mahmud Badaruddin II International Airport and Jakabaring Sport
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 also operates some larger riverboat for tourism
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
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
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
Lubuklinggau and Pagaralam.
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,
the north, and
Bandar Lampung in the south.
Business and Industry
Palembang is the regional business center in southern
encompassing Jambi, South Sumatra, Bengkulu, Bangka
and Lampung. Several main factories and industries in
Palembang such as fertilizer factory of Pupuk Sriwidjaja
Palembang in Sei Selayur, portland cement factory of
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
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
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
Palembang to other cities in
Indonesia and abroad
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
Indonesia which was built first in 1957 with its unique
mushroom pillars, then razed in 2017 to be replaced with more modern
Other modern commercial centers and malls are built in other parts of
the city. Most of them are built in along Sekanak River corridor,
Palembang Indah Mall, Ramayana Palembang, Transmart
Palembang Icon, and
Palembang Square, other notable malls
Palembang Trade Center and OPI Mall are built in Patal Pusri
and Jakabaring respectively. Two of main
Indonesia retail giants,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Indonesian National Revolution in South
Sumatra are exhibited in this monument.
Mahmud Badaruddin II
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
Srivijaya Kingdom period to
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.
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
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
Pempek, is the dish virtually everyone in
Indonesia thinks of when
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 substituted 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
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
Brengkes Tempoyak Ikan Patin, is iridescent shark and tempoyak steamed
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
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,
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
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
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
Palembang such as underpasses, flyovers, and
Palembang is also known for its woodcarving.
Palembang woodcarving are
heavily influenced by Chinese culture with motifs such as jasmine or
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.
Folk dances have been performed by Palembangnese since antiquity. The
most known folk dance of
Palembang is Tanggai Dance which was
considered sacred in the past since it was performed as an offering to
Shiva. Nowadays it was performed in a lot of important ceremonies and
Jakabaring Aquatic Center in
Jakabaring Sport City
Jakabaring Sport City complex.
Jakabaring Sport City
Jakabaring Sport City
Jakabaring Sport City ia a sport complex located 5 kilometres (3.1
miles) southeast from
Palembang city centre, across the Musi River
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
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
2011 Southeast Asian Games were held at Palembang
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
2018 Asian Games in
Indonesia along with Jakarta
Bandung in West Java.
Sriwijaya Football Club, which is commonly referred to as SFC, is an
Indonesian football club based in Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium,
Palembang. It is the first team to have done a double in Indonesia
by winning both 2007–08 Liga
Indonesia Premier Division and 2008
Indonesia in the same season. This double winner
achievement was also their first titles since the foundation of the
club. The years that followed saw Sriwijaya again winning the Piala
Indonesia in 2009 and 2010, setting up a record as the first team to
have won the Piala
Indonesia three years in a row. They also managed
to win the 2011-12
Indonesia Super League, as well as the 2010 and
2012 Indonesian Inter Island Cup.
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
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
Universitas Bina Darma
Universitas Bina Nusantara – Unit Sumber Belajar Jarak Jauh
Universitas Indo Global Mandiri
Universitas Muhammadiyah Palembang
Universitas Taman Siswa
Universitas Kader Bangsa
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
Palembang Harapan (SPH) Palembang
SMP Kusuma Bangsa Palembang
SMP Negeri 1 Palembang
SMP Negeri 9 Palembang
MTs Negeri 1 Palembang
Twin towns – sister cities
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See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Indonesia
Moscow Oblast, Russia
The Hague, Netherlands
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Palembang.
Official website – in Indonesian
Palembang travel guide from Wikivoyage
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