Outdoors

6 Best Natural Attractions Accessible from Palembang, South Sumatra

By Ari Vanuaranu

6 Best Natural Attractions Accessible from Palembang, South Sumatra

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South Sumatra Province and its capital Palembang hold a special place as the former seat of the Buddhist Empire of Sriwijaya, one of the greatest kingdoms in Indonesian history. Historical significance aside, the province is also blessed with natural beauties that stretch from the foothills of the Bukit Barisan Mountain Range, with numerous rivers meandering the fertile landscape all the way to the sea. If you ever find yourself in Palembang, here are some of the best natural attractions that are accessible to you from the city!

1. BEDEGUNG WATERFALL / TENANG WATERFALL

A photo posted by VJ GALEE (@vj_galih_087) on

At 99 metres above sea level, Air Terjun Bedegung or Curup Tenang is the tallest waterfall in South Sumatra. The cool and clear water comes from several springs in Bukit Barisan mountain range whose montane rainforests are in the high rainfall zone. Although the trek to the waterfall is relatively easy, make sure to bring appropriate footwear.

How to get there:
Palembang  Muaraenim (2 hours by car). Take Prabumulih – Simpang Meo route
OR
Palembang  Muaraenim (3 hours by train)

Admission:
IDR 10,000

2. MOUNT DEMPO

A photo posted by Winda Nurhasyana (@windawnf) on

The highest peak in South Sumatra, Gunung Dempo (3,173 m) is a very attractive mountaineering destination with seven craters around the summit. It is a challenging yet rewarding hike to the top, but the way from the city to the mountain is an experience of its own, passing by huge tea plantations, traditional villages, carved megaliths and stone chamber tombs.

How to get there:
Palembang  Pagaralam (7 hours by car)
OR
Palembang  Pagaralam (45 minutes by airplane)

Admission:
Free

3. CAVE PUTRI

The locals believe that Gua Putri (Princess Cave) is the resting place of a legendary princess, Dayang Merindu. The cave has spacious chambers decorated with numerous stalactites and stalagmites; some even meet to form pillars. A pond 20 metres wide complements the cave’s natural beauty. Aside from its legendary origins, the cave was also where prehistoric remains were discovered, making it an important archaeological site in South Sumatra.

How to get there:
Palembang Ogan Komering Ulu (3 hours by car)

Admission:
IDR 5,000

4. LAKE RANAU

Danau Ranau is Sumatra’s forgotten behemoth. Although its surface area of 125.9 km² bestows it the honour of being the second largest lake in Sumatra, it has long been overshadowed by North Sumatra’s Lake Toba, making it well off the beaten path. Just as mesmerizing as its more famous sister, the volcanic crater is surrounded by rolling hills that drop steeply down to the still water, with the majestic cone of Mt Seminung (1,881 m) rising toward the clouds like a guardian watching over the lake. In the middle of the lake lies Marisa Island where you can take a dip in the sulphuric hot spring.

How to get there:
Palembang Ranau (7 hours by car)

Admission:
IDR 20,000

5. SELABUNG RIVER

South Sumatra’s landscape is dominated by hills and valleys, making it a perfect playground for whitewater rafting enthusiasts. The rapids of Sungai Selabung is especially popular among local adrenaline junkies who would also like to enjoy the sight of Lake Ranau.

How to get there:
Palembang Ranau (7 hours by car)

Admission:
Free

6. TEMAM WATERFALL

A photo posted by muh yamin (@subtro_pria) on

Curup Temam stands 12 metres high and 25 metres wide, but its stature is not the main reason why people come here. The locals call it “the curtain waterfall” as its water cascades like a curtain set against a backdrop of natural rocks and greenery. There is also a suspension bridge just above the waterfall which makes it possible for visitors to view the downrush from the top. Please be informed that the waterfall is only open to the public on weekends and national holidays.

How to get there:
Palembang Lubuklinggau (6 hours by car)

Admission:
IDR 10,000

GETTING THERE: AirAsia flies to Palembang from Kuala Lumpur. For flight info and lowest fares, visit www.airasia.com

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About the Author

Ari Vanuaranu

Albeit claiming to be a vegetarian, this self-professed culture vulture says that he’s willing to make an exception every time he is in an exotic place, as trying the local food is essential to widening a traveller’s horizon. But then each and every single place in the world outside of his hometown in Indonesia’s South Borneo counts as an ‘exotic place’...

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