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 labored under the brunt of poor infrastructure that has kept tourists away. However, it has pulled up its socks and is gearing up to welcome them with better infrastructure and facilities.
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.
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