An archipelagic country like Indonesia should be proud because the number of islands makes it a tourism potential that deserves to be developed further. Indonesia, which is currently intensively developing tourism in the regions, coupled with the condition of the Indonesian people themselves who are starting to like adventure is indeed a phenomenon that needs to be continued.
One area that is currently developing its appeal is Palembang. There is an island that has a unique history and has now been developed as a marine and historical-based tourism island. Its name is Kemaro Island.
Many tourists have stopped by this island, especially domestic tourists. If you are interested in visiting this island, consider the following explanations.
Location and Accessibility
To get to this island, tourists can take a flight to the international airport of Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II. From the airport, the journey can be continued by heading to the Musi River.
The distance between the airport and the Musi River is only 6 km. Tourists can take a taxi or a rental car at the airport. If you want to try public transportation, tourists can take a city bus to Ampera bridge. The cost is only Rp. 1,500, 00-Rp 5,000.00.
To get a more complete tour, tourists can also stop at Kuto Besak Fort first, because from the fort, there are also motorized boats that are rented to cross to the island.
After arriving at the Musi River or Kuto Besak Fort, tourists can rent a boat and head to the delta island. The travel time is about 30 minutes and costs around IDR 150,000 round trip. The boat has a capacity of 10 people.
Kemaro Island Features
This island is an island formed from a small delta along the Musi river circulation, Palembang. The distance of this island is only about 6.5 kilometers from the Ampera bridge.
The name Kemaro was given by the local people. Kemaro means dry. Giving this name is done because this island is indeed a small delta that is always dry.
Reportedly, even though the tide is high, the island is still dry and has no water. So from a distance, this small island is like floating on the Musi river itself. Because it is in the middle of the river, of course, to get to the island, tourists must take water vehicles, such as boats or motorboats.
The specialty of this island is that there is a lot of spread of Chinese culture. This can be seen from some typical Chinese Peranakan buildings that are there. Because of this, many Buddhists come to this island to just travel, make pilgrimages, and even worship. Because it has a thick Chinese characteristic, when the Chinese New Year celebrations or stamp go meh, there will be many ethnic Chinese and residents who visit.
Kemaro Island Legend
The legend of this island dates back to the time of the Palembang Kingdom. There was a princess named Siti Fatimah. The princess was very beautiful and virtuous. But her parents insisted on marrying her to the king’s son too. Then one day there was a son from China who came to Palembang to see the splendor of the Srivijaya Kingdom at that time.
Because of her beauty and good character, Princess Siti Fatimah was then proposed by a Chinese ethnic merchant named Tan Bun An. One day, Siti Fatimah was invited by the merchant to meet her parents in China. After some time living in China, the two men returned to Palembang.
Before going home, they received a gift in the form of 7 jars, but they had not seen the contents. When he was at the Musi River and had made it back, Tan Bun An saw the contents of the jar. And it turns out that it only contains mustard greens. Disappointed, the Chinese merchant threw the jars and their contents into the river.
The six jars had already sunk. And when he threw away the last jar, it turned out that the urn accidentally fell onto the ship’s deck and broke. The contents of the jar were scattered. Apparently there are many gifts in the form of gold bars hidden behind the mustard greens.
Because he regretted having thrown away all the jars, the merchant finally went down to the river to look for the 6 jars he had thrown. There was also a bodyguard to help out. The two of them dived to the bottom of the river.
But after a while, more and more, the two people did not return to the surface of the river. Tired of waiting and anxious, Siti Fatimah also plunged into the river. But the three of them could not be helped. Local residents believe that after the incident appeared an island in the middle of the Musi river. Then, both of them were buried there.
Facilities on Kemaro Island
There are several facilities located in this tourist area of the Musi delta island, including a 9-story Pagoda. This 9-story pagoda was built in 2006 and is one part of the pagoda.
In addition, there is the Hok Tjing Rio Temple building which is very old. This temple was built in 1962 and is a Chinese temple which is often called the Kuan Im Temple.
In front of the pagoda, there is the tomb of a Chinese prince named Tan Bun An and the tomb of the king’s daughter named Siti Fatimah. These two people whose names are embedded as legends of the island. In addition there is also a Tree of Love there.
Tourists who want to visit the island should first read the following tips so that the trip becomes smoother.
- Tourists should bring an umbrella, because rain can never be predicted in the area.
- Use head protection in the form of a hat or eye protection in the form of sunglasses, so that tourists still feel comfortable, because the sun, especially during the day, will greatly interfere with the comfort of traveling. If necessary, use sunblock.
- Tourists should bring the necessary cash, because in the tourist area there is no ATM machine.
- Bringing your own supplies will be more convenient. But there are also many food stalls that can provide buying and selling food facilities.
- If you want to get a cheaper boat, tourists should bargain the price to the boat tenant.
- Join a group of other tourists when you want to get on a boat, so it’s cheaper. Especially the small number of tour groups.
That’s an explanation of the Kemaro Island tourist attraction in Palembang, South Sumatra. Happy traveling to the island of Sumatra. Have a nice trip.