Palembang – View from the Musa river

As the capital of South Sumatra, the sprawling city of Palembang is one of the largest cities of Sumatra, right after the city of Medan. Especially popular because of the Ampera bridge, this city is not considered as a regular tourist attraction, but it doesn’t mean that you won’t enjoy your staying there.

People of Palembang


The Palembang people communicate using the Palembang dialect of the Malay language. If you speak Indonesian, it won’t be difficult for you to learn the basics of the Palembang, although it has some minor differences.

Religious views

Grand mosque – Palembang, Indonesia

They are mostly Muslims and they are very committed to their religious rituals and practices. You may notice that Fridays in the afternoon are not as noisy as afternoons during the other days, since men perform a special type of prayers on Fridays. The Palembang people also have a fasting month and most of them industriously fast. The Imam has an important role in their lives and that is why the Imam is always firstly consulted in case of unexpected situations (such as illness etc.)

The way of living

For the most people of Palembang, rivers have enormous significance. First of all, they are important ways of performing the trade (selling goods using the boats). They are also:

  • Worked-out systems of transportation of people and goods,
  • Essential help in rice plantations,
  • Sources of bathing and washing water, etc.

Many people from this area are the government workers, but they also earn their money by being teachers, market traders and handicraft producers. However, there is also a number of people who are fabric workers, manual laborers and fishermen.

Kali Musi Palembang Sumatra

Native house – Palembang, Indonesia

Their typical houses are usually raised above the ground or the water and have pyramidal shapes. This way, people feel safer in case of floods, that aren’t a rare phenomenon in this area. When it comes to family roles, the husband is supposed to be the provider and the protector of the family and home, and wife’s duties are to make sure that the house is always tidy and that meals are nicely prepared.

Even though they respect traditional values, when it comes to marriage, the Palembang people are not that conservative, since the newlyweds are allowed to live wherever they want, as long as they discuss their decision with their parents. The wedding ceremony is an especially important part of their tradition and it has a deep meaning, symbolizing the unity of existence, tolerance, mutual respect and assistance, as well as togetherness. That’s why they pay particular attention to details so that the ceremony can be performed in the best possible way.


Children having fun in the Musi River – Palembang, Indonesia

Explore the Musi river


All of the tourists who visited the city of Palembang will agree that this place definitely wouldn’t look the same without the Musi river. The importance of this 460 kilometer long river is reflected in the fact that it splits the province of South Sumatra all the way from the East to the West. The most popular option of exploring this river is taking a motorboat taxi which can take you to the island of Pulau Kemaro in only 15 minutes. On this tiny island, you will be able to admire an impressive, big Chinese temple.

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