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Solar Eclipse in Palembang Indonesia

Palembang Solar Eclipse

This 9th of March, a Solar Eclipse in Palembang Indonesia will take place and this will be one of ten places in Indonesia that will witness this spectacular event which is attracting thousands of visitors to this part of South Sumatra.

This solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the earth, resulting in the moon fully or partially blocking the sun and creating darkness in the day.

Solar Eclipse in Palembang Indonesia

Known as a rare and spectacular event that can only be experienced along a relatively narrow strip on the earth's surface, Palembang is one of the best spots to see the solar eclipse and the two top spots to see this is at the Ampera bridge and SKI Air Jakabaring River.

Ampera Bridge in Palembang
The Ampera bride, which is also the main icon for Palembang, will be closed for the solar eclipse, allowing visitors to find the best spot where it will also be a culinary hub with various local food stalls being set up for visitors to experience the unique Palembang food. 

According to a website Tempo.co, a total of 500 Malaysians will be heading over to Palembang to witness the solar eclipse, said Acting Chief of South Sumatra Tourism and Culture Service Irene Camelyn Sinaga.

She also mentioned that based on weather forecast information, there will be no rain, and the sky over the city of Palembang will be bright when the total solar eclipse occurs on the 9th March 2016.

Prior to that, I was informed by my tour guide that another huge tourist group from Belgium will also be in Palembang to see this natural phenomenon before heading on to Bali.
The traditional Limas House in Palembang which is featured on the 10,000 Rupiah Note
Best times to see the solar eclipse in Palembang
• Eclipse Start Time - 06:20:31
• Total Eclipse Start Time - 07:20:47
• Maximum Eclipse Time - 07:21:46
• Total Eclipse End Time - 07:22:46
• Eclipse End Time - 08:31:28

I was in Palembang from the 10th to the 13th of February in 2016 for a familiarization trip under South Sumatra Tourism and Culture and we were taken to various places of interest in Palembang, therefore, I am able to share some of these places to those planning to visit here.
Pasar 16 Ilir, a local market which is one of the busiest places in Palembang
Palembang History

Palembang is generally known as a historical city as it one of the oldest cities in Indonesia dating back to the Sriwijaya times of the 7th century.

Most Malaysians would know of Parameswara or Iskandar Shah, who was the first Sultan of Malacca as he fled Palembang during the Majapahit era in the 14th century to then Singapura (Singapore) and then to Malacca (Melaka).

Muzium Sriwijaya
The Sriwijaya Museum
Therefore, Palembang holds a very rich history of the Majapahit empire, especially for those who want to know more about this. 

You can visit the three main museums in Palembang which are;
• Museum Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II
• Museum Balaputradewa Palembang
• Museum Sriwijaya


Bukit Seguntang, probably the most important archaeological site in Palembang
Palembang Attractions

Apart from the food and museums, Palembang does have some places of interest, which are located within the city limits.

There is quite a strong influence of Chinese and Arab influence dating back centuries therefore, there are pure Arab villages or Kampung Arab and Kampung Cina in Palembang.

There are also some beautiful temples, pagodas and centuries-old Arab houses to see here. I would recommend visiting;

Toa Pekong Temple on Kemaro Island (River Cruise to Pulau Kemaro)
• Masjid Muhammad Cheng Hoo Mosque (Chinese inspired Muslim mosque)
• Kampung Al Munawar (Traditional Arab Village, 250 years old)
• Bukit Seguntang (The original place where the Sriwijaya empire started)
Al Quran Al Akbar (Largest wooden carvings of every page of the Quran in the world)

A Mosque with strong Chinese influence in Palembang city
Palembang Souvenirs

Everyone leaves with souvenirs when they travel and Palembang has some unique ones to take home after your trip here. Among them, fabrics and food are the two top souvenirs here or the local term 'Oleh-Oleh' that most Southeast Asians hunt for in Palembang, Indonesia.

Kampung al Munawar, a traditional Arab village dating back over 250 years
Palembang Batik and Songket

Palembang is well known for its fabrics which is the Palembang Batik or South Sumatra Batik with the unique designs differing from those in Java.

Songket weaving is also well known here and there are a number of home industries that offer visits to see how the Songket is made and then showing you the amazing collection of fabrics.

One of them that I visited was the Fikri Koleksi Batik and Songket Shop in town and they have a pretty wide range of fabrics available, for both men and women. 

Local village kids in Palembang
This trip to Palembang in February 2016 was made possible with the team from the South Sumatra Tourism and Culture Service and we were put up in the beautiful resort-style Novotel Hotel in Palembang.

Without this trip, I would have very little knowledge of this historical city in South Sumatra and hopefully, I can come here once again to fully explore this place.

For more information, you can visit the official Palembang Tourism Website as they have an English section there too.


18th Asian Games Palembang
Also to mention, Palembang will be the host to the 18th Asian Games alongside with Jakarta as this is also the first time in history that two cities will be hosting the Asian Games. The dates have also been set from 18th August to 2nd September 2018.

The South Sumatra's provincial government is also ready to host at least 18 sport disciplines with their existing Jakabaring Sport City Complex which is undergoing renovations for some of the facilities here.

They are also performing a capacity upgrade of Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium from 40,000 to 60,000 seats and also lengthen of the Jakabaring Lake to 2,300 meters.

Conclusion

With this, Palembang is now creating world news as the solar eclipse has also attracted global eclipse hunters from multiple backgrounds including astronomers, enthusiasts, photographers, and scientists while local and international tour operators have already made specialized tour packages to bring visitors in to witness the Solar Eclipse in Palembang Indonesia. 

11 comments

suzannita said...

Let's comeback again to Palembang and explore South Sumatra with all the nature beauty

Firsta | Discover Your Indonesia said...

Hi David, what a recap! Oh btw, which one do you like the most: Pindang, Pempek or Mie Celor? I bet you'll answer Pempek :p
Great to know you and I'll definitely let you know when I travel to KL! You'll have to bring me to the best place to eat Pempek in KL. :D

Malaysia Asia said...

Thanks Suzan, I would love to! So much more to explore.

Malaysia Asia said...

Firsta, I think Pindang was more unique and special for me because we have similar Pempek here too. But again, if you come, I will take you to eat the local one!. :)

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't ask which one of those food we tried you most like. Because I know Kerupuk is your favorite :))

Thanks for join us in the trip David, wouldn't be the same without you! Looking forward to meet you again some other time :).

Ciki said...

Good post David! Very informative:) Looks like a swell place to visit.. esp for the eclipse! :)

Unknown said...

Jadi kita tunggu 9 maret 2016 di palembang yaaa hehehe

Malaysia Asia said...

Shasya, thank you very much and yes, the Kerupuk is awesome! I am still trying to find the right chili sauce for it :) Look forward to seeing you again, hopefully soon.

Malaysia Asia said...

Thanks Mei, Yes, new and not touristy. I love the rawness in Palembang.

Malaysia Asia said...

Cumi, kalau boleh, kita berjumpa ya. :) Would be nice to go back to cover the rest of the places.

Anonymous said...

David, apparently I was one of the lucky ones who was in palembang to catch this phenomena and thank you for the tips provided.

The bridge was really crowded but it did not stop me from seeing the solar eclipse and the food you recommended, I have to say that I tried the celor noodles which was amazing.