The Musi river has its source deep in the Bukit Barisan mountains, tumbling down to reach the plains where, fed by the converging Ogan and Komering rivers, it then widens into a large river as it reaches Palembang. Its many tributaries and streams that cut through Palembang, has caused this town at times to be called ‘The Venice of the East’. The Icon of modern Palembang is the Ampera Bridge, which was opened to the public in 1965, spanning this wide river connecting both sides of the city.
The view from the Musi river from this vantage point is stunning. Watch the bustling boats at the floating market by the Ampera Bridge, while at sunset the view with the many houses on stilts along both sides of the Musi and the centuries’ old quaint Chinese shop-houses, are memories to be captured on film and not easily forgotten. North of the Ampera bridge, is the Mesjid Agung or Royal Mosque, built in 1740 by Sultan Badaruddin I. It was recently restored to its former glory as a Malay Islamic kingdom which came to an end in 1825, when the last Sultan, Ahmad Najamuddin surrendered to the Dutch and was exiled to Banda Neira.
The City bus in Palembang is one of the most convenient in the country. The name of the bus is TRANS MUSI. There are two types of buses – the green and the blue one - with different routes.
The green TRANS MUSI’s route goes:
Terminal Sako Perumnas – Jalan Celentang – Jalan Residen Abdul Rozak – Simpang Empat Patal – Jalan Basuki Rahmat – Jalan Demang Lebar Daun – Simpang Taman Bukit – UNSRI Bukit Besar – Jalan Jaksa Suprapto – Simpang Kedaung – Jalan Letkol Iskandar – Simpang Hero – PIM, and backtrack all the bus stops.
The blue TRANS MUSI’s route goes:
Terminal Alang-alang lebar – Jalan Kol H Burlian – Jalan Jenderal Sudirman – Pasar 16 Ilir (Jalan Tengkuruk Permai) – Underpass Ampera Bridge – Jalan Masjid Agung – Jalan Jenderal Sudirman – backtrack to Alang-alang lebar.
If you prefer to take a more airy local transport, take becak or ojek instead. The fare is quite reasonable and worth the excitement.
The airport of Palembang is called the Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II International Airport. There are several airlines serving the Capital City of South Sumatra, Palembang. If you are already in one of the cities or capital cities of Sumatra, an overland trip to Palembang is also possible. You can go to the main bus terminal in the city of Padang, Bukittinggi, Jambi, Pekanbaru, Dumai, or Bengkulu to and from Palembang and ask for Terminal Karya Jaya or Terminal Alang-alang Lebar. Terminal Karya Jaya serves buses going to the northern cities from Palembang, and Terminal Alang-alang Lebar serves the southern routes.