The city is also nicknamed Kota Pempek. It is one of the oldest cities in Asia and has not yet been recognized as a popular tourist destination. The city does have a strong cultural and historical significance which might draw the offbeat travellers or backpackers. It was once called the Venice of East but the charm depleted over the centuries. At present, several attractions have also been developed in the suburbs to promote eco-tourism. Travellers who do not wish to explore a highly populated destination may choose to explore the suburbs instead.
Palembang spreads over an area of about 400 sq. km. and is recognized as one of the oldest cities in Indonesia. It occupies the lowlands that are situated to the east of the Bukit Barisan Mountains. The city is located about 105 kilometres away from the Bangka Strait Coast and lies over the River Musi, the largest river in Sumatra Province. Once popular as the Venice of Indonesia, it has since laboured under the brunt of poor infrastructure which has kept tourists away. However, it has pulled up its socks and is gearing up to welcome them with better infrastructure and facilities.
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Although tourism in Palembang is not as expected, travellers will find some attractions in the city that would make their visit worthwhile.
Day 1: One start their day with a serene cruise in River Musi and see or shop at the floating markets. In the evening, one can head to the Ampera Bridge which was built in 1962 and, at a length of 224 metres, is one of the largest bridges in the country. This bridge connects the north and the south banks of the city and extends over River Musi. At dusk every day, the bridge becomes a spectacle with its bright neon coloured lights.
Day 2: A visit to the river island, Kemaro Island, located about 6 kilometres from the Ampera Bridge, can be accommodated on the second day while exploring Palembang. This island is situated in the middle of one of the deltas of River Musi. It has a Buddhist Shrine and the graves of the Princess of Srivijaya, Princess Siti Fatimah and a Prince of China, Prince Tan Bun An.
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