Palembang, South Sumatra, Sumatra, Indonesia

🇮🇩 Palembang is the capital city of the Indonesian province of South Sumatra. Palembang is the second most populous city in Sumatra, after Medan, and the ninth most populous city in Indonesia.

The Palembang metropolitan area comprises parts of regencies surrounding the city, including Banyuasin, Ogan Ilir, and Ogan Komering Ilir.

Palembang is one of the oldest cities in Southeast Asia. It was the capital of Srivijaya, a Buddhist kingdom that ruled much of the western Indonesian Archipelago and controlled many maritime trade routes, including the Strait of Malacca. a Chinese monk, Yijing, wrote that he visited Srivijaya in the year 671 for 6 months.

Palembang was incorporated into the Dutch East Indies in 1825 after the abolition of the Palembang Sultanate. It was chartered as a city in 1906.

Palembang was the host city of the 2011 Southeast Asian Games and the 2018 Asian Games along with Jakarta. The first light rail system in Indonesia was operated in Palembang in July 2018.

The city is a major local tourist destination attracting a total of 2,011,417 tourists in 2017, however, it is not a well-known international tourist destination as foreign tourists only account for 9,850 out of the aforementioned total tourist arrivals. Traffic jams, floods, slums, pollution, and peatland fire are problems in Palembang.

Economy As the capital of South Sumatra and one of major cities in Indonesia, Palembang's economy depends highly on trading, service, transportation, manufacturing and construction sectors. GRDP of Palembang was Rp 118.77 trillion (US$9.01 billion) in 2016. Of this, the manufacturing and construction sectors take up the largest portions with 33.17 and 18.21 percent contributions, respectively. The minimum wage for 2017 is Rp 2,484,000 per month, somewhat higher than regencies in Java although lower than that of cities such as Medan or Surabaya.

Palembang is a part of Strategic Development Area of Merak - Bakauheni - Bandar Lampung - Palembang - Tanjung Api-Api (MBBPT). To accelerate the region development, Trans-Sumatra Toll Road is being constructed to eventually give Palembang a high-speed highway access to other cities in Sumatra, including Bengkulu in the west, Jambi in the north, and Bandar Lampung in the south.

Business and industry Palembang is the regional business centre in southern Sumatra region encompassing Jambi, South Sumatra, Bengkulu, Bangka Belitung Islands and Lampung. Several main factories and industries in Indonesia are operating in Palembang such as fertiliser factory of Pupuk Sriwidjaja Palembang in Sei Selayur, portland cement factory of Baturaja Portland Cement in Kertapati and oil and gas refinery of Pertamina in Plaju. Several coal mining industries in South Sumatra also transport coal to the city by freight trains and by trucks before being shipped to Java or abroad.

In Indonesia, South Sumatra is the largest producer of rubber, estimated at over 940,000 tons of production in 2016, and over 850,000 tons of rubber were exported from Palembang in the same year. In 2014, there were 14 rubber processing factories in the city employing 4,000 people with a capacity of close to a million tons annually. There is however no specified industrial parks in the city.

At least 10,683 foreign tourists and 1,896,110 domestic tourists visited the city in 2016. Several hotels are operating in Palembang, many of them are opened after the 2004 Pekan Olahraga Nasional. Culinary business in Palembang is also developing. A ton of pempek is exported from Palembang to other cities in Indonesia and abroad daily.

Markets and commercial centres Generally, there are two types of markets in Palembang, traditional market and modern market. From 30 traditional markets in Palembang, majority of traditional markets in Palembang is managed by PD Pasar Palembang Jaya meanwile the rest is owned by private or cooperative. Being in the central area of Palembang, 16 Ilir Market is the main traditional market in the city, while the area around the market, especially areas along Jalan Masjid Lama, Jalan Jendral Soedirman, Jalan Kolonel Atmo and Jalan Letkol Iskandar become bustling commercial centres integrated with one another. Another notable trading centre in Palembang is Cinde Market, one of the oldest market in Indonesia which was built first in 1957 with its unique mushroom pillars, then razed in 2017 to be replaced with more modern building.

Other modern commercial centres and malls are built in other parts of the city. Most of them are built in along Sekanak River corridor, including Palembang Indah Mall, Ramayana Palembang, Transmart Palembang, Palembang Icon, and Palembang Square, other notable malls such as Palembang Trade Center and OPI Mall are built in Patal Pusri and Jakabaring respectively. Two of main Indonesia retail giants, Indomaret and Alfamart also open their franchise stores in every part of the city.

Tourist Industry Palembang is known as Venetië Van Andalas (Venice of Sumatra), mainly because of the topography of the city which was dominated by Musi River and its tributaries.

As a trading city since antiquity, Palembang is very heterogenous and its local culture and language is also influenced by many civilizations, most notably Chinese, Javanese, and Arabs. Several Dutch legacies in architecture can also seen in the city. The most notable landmarks in Palembang are Ampera Bridge, Musi River, Kuto Besak Fort, Kemaro Island, and Jakabaring Sport City.

Palembang, South Sumatra 
Palembang, South Sumatra
Image: Gaudi Renanda

Palembang was ranked #754 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Palembang has a population of over 1,663,000 people. Palembang also forms the centre of the wider Palembang metropolitan area which has a population of over 3,500,000 people. It is also a part of the larger South Sumatra area.

To set up a UBI Lab for Palembang see: https://www.ubilabnetwork.org Twitter: https://twitter.com/UBILabNetwork

Twin Towns, Sister Cities Palembang has links with: 🇨🇳 Zhangzhou, China; 🇮🇹 Venice, Italy; 🇳🇱 The Hague, Netherlands.

Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license | Nomad

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