Things to do in Palembang - Exploring the city

Selamat pagi! It’s our first time waking up in Sumatra. But, first things first -  time to look for some coffee.

We were excited to take our car Black Pearl for a spin around the city and explore a few spots before braving Lintas Timor to head towards Jambi.

Palembang is the capital city of South Sumatra and has a lot to offer. A great place to start a city tour is the area around Plaza Benteng Kuto Besak. It has a large parking area and is within walking distance to all the places we visited. There are also a lot of people who offer rides in their traditional boats to Pulau Kemaro.

Jembatan Ampera

Jembatan Ampera is a vertical-lift bridge and although it can no longer be opened it is probably the most iconic structure in Palembang. It’s a beautiful spot with an interesting history. Danu has this idea to take pictures with Black Pearl in different famous places around Sumatra and Jembatan Ampera is the perfect spot for it. There is a great view of the bridge and life on the river from the square next to Plaza Benteng Kuto Besak. There is also a J.CO coffeeshop with a fantastic view in front of the plaza.

Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II Museum


Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin Jayo Wikramo Great Mosque

Walking around most Indonesian cities can give you quite an adrenalin rush - the crazy traffic, the noise, lots of people, and the heat make them pretty much the opposite of pedestrian friendly. Nevertheless, I still like to walk around cities, at least for a bit, to get a better feeling of what life is like there. So we decided to walk onto Jembatan Ampera and then spend some time feeling amazed by all the different vehicles around Palembang Fountain Circle with the stunning Great Mosque in the background. The mosque has a nice garden in the back, which is a perfect calm spot to relax in and cool down in the shade of some large trees. It's open to everyone, just make sure to wear appropriate clothes and behave respectfully on the premise.     

After some Es Cendol in the park we headed back to our Black Pearl and drove around the city a bit. I liked Jalan Merdeka with its interesting old buildings and the colourful floating Sekanak Sidewalk. I also spotted the very promising looking coffeeshop Rumah Loer. We were still full and did not stop but it looks like a cool hangout spot.

Rumah Loer (Source)

Of course, we also HAD TO drive over Jembatan Ampera. It took some time convincing Danu since that road was taking us the wrong direction but a simple U-turn on the other side of the river allowed us to experience the crossing twice and was totally worth it.

Another area I would have loved to explore is Kampung Kapiten. It’s an area with many traditional houses on the east bank of Musi river. We got to come back again someday!  

Our last stop in Palembang was to try the famous food from Sumatra: Makanan Padang. A lot of it… When eating traditional Padang food you are spoiled for choice. Stay tuned to find out more about how to order and eat Padang food.   

Amazing skills!

Watch our adventure on youtube !

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