As a start, ok wait…warning this is going to be long…haha…as usual…but if you find it interesting then go ahead…oh and thank you…hehe
Now now, I just got back from Palembang, South Sumatra for my 5D4N trip…covered the Palembang city and also Pagaralam…mostly Pagaralam though…the kelam kabut was I didn’t even plan my trip…not until last minute…yes I bought the tickets months before but somehow too caught up with works…that Friday (6th Feb – the day of my trip started) was the day I planned everything, from getting my rupiahs to even plan where to go and how should I do my trip…I didn’t book my accommodation just plan to go there and walk in…and I only limit my budget with RM400…thus, the kelam kabut trip…haha…
officially my trip to South Sumatra was on 7th – 11th Feb…that 6th was the day I went to KL for an overnight stay at Capsule in KLIA2 cause my flight on 7th to Palembang was around 8A.M…Capsule was great, my only issue was I can’t fart and I have to hold it in like craayyyzayyy…hahaha…oh and expect a basic hostel accommodation…
oya, this is also my third solo trip…so let’s do this…
DAY 1 – 7th Feb 2015
Flight AirAsia from KL to Palembang on 8.30A.M. Touchdown around 9+ A.M. local time…then straight to find taxi wanted to go to Pagaralam…the taxi driver, Kamil was so nice…he told me few things and when I said I wanted to go to Terminal Karya Jaya he was quite shocked…said that the terminal is an abandoned place and no one really wanted to go there anymore…however, he told me since I did my research, he brought me there too and showed me how abandoned that place was…there were quite a few bus operators there but it was quiet…quite creepy I must say…then he brought me to loket for buying bus ticket to Pagaralam…loket means counter so if you want to find bus you may go the one near Ampera Bridge (the opposite side from Masjid Agung Palembang) and just by the road you will find quite a few loket to buy ticket. Bought ticket to Pagaralam scheduled to leave at 2P.M. While waiting for the bus, I went to the town bought me a map of Palembang…then I just walked to Masjid Agung Palembang and crossed the AMPERA Bridge…also get to see the MONPERA…since I only have around 2 hours before my bus, so I decided to explore the city just a bit…cause it was quite a distance to walk…haha
1) AMPERA stands for AManat PEnderitaan RAkyat which is the symbol of rakyat rules the place…
2) Masjid Agung Palembang was built on the 18th century.
3) MONPERA stands for MONumen PErjuangan RAkyat which was built in remembrance of the battle of the rakyat for kemerdekaan dated on 17th August 1945…
then around 2.20P.M. moved to Pagaralam… (the bus was late!)…did a stop at Prabumulih after around 4 hours of travelling time…oh the usual time from Palembang to Pagarlam is roughly 7-8 hours…so nipis bontot!!!
however, due to traffic jam I arrived at Pagaralam around 12 midnight…frikkin 10 hours on the busssss…oh and the good part about bus system here is that they will send you to your particular destination…I did my research and found Mirasa Hotel so I just asked the driver to drop me off there…nicely enough, since it was midnight the bus driver decided to wait for me…and he said in case there is no vacant room (since I didn’t book any) he will send me to the next hotel…thank God there is a vacant room and checked in at Mirasa Hotel at 150000 Rupiah…around RM50 though…
once I settled down, to my fear, I lost my emergency cash of RM200…yeah somehow I lost it…didn’t really know how…but thank God my other cash especially the Rupiah were safe…
Day 2 – 8th Feb 2015
Woke up early…but turned out it was raining…and around almost 12P.M. only did the rain decided to stop…lost half of my day…oh I met the owner of the hotel I was staying at though…a 72 year old Nenek Yati…able to chat for a while…then hired ojek (means motorcyclist as far as I can conclude) to visit some of the places I have been listing out from my last minute research…went there with Mas Safri…not really Mas cause he is at the same age as me…haha
1) Megalithic structure of Besemah people
2) Mount Dempo area
The megalithic structures that I have seen were around the Tanjong Aro and the Tegur Wangi archeological site…the Tanjong Aro one were a house and also a statue of a couple constricted by a snake…then at the Tegur Wangi the place was said to be a holy and sacred one…because people used to have ceremony when death happened…they will be in traditional clothes and be beautiful to pray for the safety of the souls and also themselves…the distance were quite far though…but then got to know there are few more structures in Pagaralam…
1) the ‘Batu Beghibu’ structure were the ‘altar’ for their offerings…it was said they would place all of those offering on or near the statue…’Batu Beghibu’ means statue with jewellery on their ears therefore it was often the women wore beautiful jewellery on their ears when the ceremony is held…
2) These Megalithic structures were estimated to be around 3000 – 4000 years old
For Mount Dempo area, I went to Cughup Mangkok which is a waterfall in the shape of mangkuk thus the name…then went to Tea Valley of Mount Dempo…it was spectacular…but it was a long journey and pegal (cramp in the language there) riding the motorcycle up until around 1800 metres above sea level high which is the entry point for climbing Mount Dempo…the weather was rather nice, windy with clouds and at times a little bit of rain…
1) Mount Dempo is a volcano and there are two peaks called Dempo and Merapi. The hiking time would be around 6-7 hours from the entry point. If you knew the way, you can climb without the help of a guide usually you can hire one to help you with a cost of 400,000 Rupiah. The fees to climb is just the entrance fees around 10,000 – 15,000 Rupiah per person.
2) Tugu Rimau is at the entry point. I was told once upon a time there were a lot of tigers in Mount Dempo, therefore the tugu might have been built to ensure the tigers were at peace and leave the hikers alone.
3) I was also told those who are originally from Palembang cannot climb Mt. Dempo. It was unsure but maybe there was a curse behind it. People said every time a Palembang-ians climbed, there will be a catastrophe. Recent event was a climber found dead and his body floated on the crater lake. After the family members of the climber came to say sorry to the mountain, only then the body sink into the lake. But this is more towards scary fact.
Then I end up my exploration day with Sup Buntut and Sup Kerupuk. The foods were greaaattttt!
The Sup Kerupuk is on the left side and Sup Buntut is on the other…For me sup kerupuk is more like laksa in Malaysia cause of the asam and the soup was made with fish…I really thought sup buntut was the bontot part of cow (or was it bull??)…but turned out it was just Sup Ekor for us in Malaysia…haha
Day 3 – 9th Feb 2015
The day I checked out…woke up quite late cause of exhaustion…explored the city of Pagaralam…yeah on foot of course…but as I was exploring around 1+ hour it started to rainnnn…so decided to go back to the hotel and stay there…my bus ticket to Palembang was on 9P.M. so I had wayyyy long hours to wait up until the time to be picked up at the hotel…
Quite jakun when I walked at the city…because they have this mini petrol station (oh they called it bensin) in front of almost every shop there…I was fascinated by it…it was called ‘Pertamini’…
However, my waiting time was not wasted because I got to have pretty long chit chat with Nenek Yati and staff there especially Safri and Nanda…they were so nice…Nenek Yati even served me with biscuits and some local kuih…she even offered to serve me with hot tea or coffee…but I declined and bought the teh botol instead…so local stories with teh botol…hehe…after a while, Nenek Yati went to rest and Nanda joined me to share stories…after that Safri came and more of the staff…they served me with drinks and guringan which happened to be pisang goreng, ubi goreng and also cucur sayur…
Oh buah salak is also one of the famous tanaman in Pagaralam…I did bought them and they were really nice…however, Nenek Yati told me the ones that I bought were small and they are usually bigger…the bigger ones are sweeter…oh I was also told that buah salak is so fine that the finest ones will be sent to the istana and the authority…
1) Bahasa kampung at Pagaralam is different from Bahasa Indonesia…surprising enough their language is almost the same with Bahasa Melayu semenanjung…they are also using,“mane”, “ape”, “name”…but with different accent…their “mane” was more panjang…they would be saying,“maneee”…harakatnya panjang sedikit…haha
2) Upin Ipin is seriously famous…I knew in Indonesia Upin Ipin was quite known but never knew in Pagaralam it was REALLY FAMOUS…they said not even the kids are watching…but the adult too…and they love Upin Ipin because they said Upin Ipin is just their distant relatives due to the same language…oh the fame of Upin Ipin is not stopping there…since most of the people are petani I was even told one time, people in Pagaralam tanam “Sayur Sawi Upin Ipin”…coolness!
3) Mirasa Hotel has been running for 35 years.
4) Working in Malaysia is their version of American dreams.
5) Culture in Pagaralam…if you put a lighter on your box of cigarettes it’s an indication that you are kedekut.
6) Wesi or WC is toilet or kamar kecil.
Then around 9+ P.M. the bus came to pick me up…Nenek Yati even gave me some local kuih as my bekal on my journey to Palembang…but silly me I left it on the table at the waiting area of the hotel…sobs3
Day 4 – 10th Feb 2015
Arrived at Palembang around 6 A.M…walked from the loket to Masjid Agung Palembang and take my bath there then get myself some rest…around 10 A.M. then I moved to explore more on city of Palembang…I did covered a few places before it rained (again!)
1) Benteng Kuto Besak
2) Museum Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II
Okay the thing about museum it will always be creepy right…but then I just entered it and coincidentally I was the only one inside…the staff were all at the entrance…there were so many of the historical displays from inscriptions to ancient manuscript to ceramics from Ming Dynasty in China to the colonial times…and so I arrived to this beautiful section of local traditional wedding…the first sentence that came out of my mouth was,”this is quite creepy” then just went along reading and taking pictures…and so I came to this part of room arrangement for malam pertama (I think)…I took picture of it then approached to take a nearer shot…as I approached the curtain on the right side of the bed moved and there was a sound like “rrrr”…I swear to God there was none wind producer that would make the curtain move…then I have goosebumps all over and I felt a presence…something was there…and I moved away then the curtain stand still like nothing has happened…see the picture below (yes, I managed to snap while the incident happened)
Tried to go to Masjid Cheng Ho (distance away from the city) cause I saw it on my research and it was a beautiful work of architecture…but then I was on foot and it was raining therefore decided to just explore the city…I did try the famous Palembang dish, which is pempek…it was actually like a dim sum…however the dumplings were made from tepung and ikan…you can have variety of fillings with them or none…it was good…but since I was quite short on money decided to only have three only…but yeahhhh nice foods…
1) Benteng Kuto Besak was built in 18th century…the inception took 17 years long and used to protect the governing centre…Kuto Besak is where the palace of Sultan was…
2) The museum was once a palace of the Palembang Darussalam Sultanate, built at the same time with Masjid Agung Palembang in the 18th century…once called Keraton Kuto Kecik / Kuto Lamo.
Planned to walk to airport though since it was still morning while exploring the city…my plan was just walk to airport then would arrive there before the sun set…yeah it was that far but I still planned on getting there by foot…then I would just rest at the airport while waiting for my flight back to KL…limited budget you see…haha…as I walked, Pak Kamil found me…the taxi driver on that Saturday…he remembered me and immediately called me for a ride…I did say no, but he insisted on me having a ride with him since he was so worried (airport is frikkin far)…oh and it was raining…so he was quite membebel also la…haha…but he charged me with minimum fees though…
But as Pak Kamil drove me to airport…my plan went down cause I arrived there by 12 P.M…and my flight will only be the next day at 9.25 A.M…haha dannggg…but Pak Kamil showed me the airport’s masjid and told me to just rest there…so I did…
Day 5 – 11th Feb 2015
Woke up early bought me some breakfast and teh kotak…waiting for the counter check in to open since I had problem with my check in…then met Pak Kamil again and he asked how was I, was everything safe and all…a really nice guy…then around 9.30 I was off, back to Malaysia and Goodbye Palembang!
So that’s just it about my solo travel this time…I will definitely come to Pagaralam again because I would love to climb Mt. Dempo…since I knew some people, the next time might be easier…so till the next travel post from me!!see ya…