City of Palembang- the capital city of South Sumatera- has developed quite drastically since the SEA Games in 2011. I was surprised how quick the change was. Other then known as a city of delicious exquisite culinary, its regency absolutely holds a beautiful nature.
The road was mostly good for travelling. You just need to know where you’re going because of the vast land of South Sumatera with lush green jungles. Below are some ideas on where to go based on my adventures:
Baturaja, 4°7’26″S 104°10’23″E
I started off 14.30 after a great lunch in the city and arrived at 20.30. Around 6 hours road trip with halfway of bumpy roads. I stayed the night there and went on to Putri Cave at 08.30am the next morning. Putri Cave located at Ogan Komering Ulu Regency is one of the interesting sights to see during your travels to South Sumatera. Legend has it that it used to be a Kingdom with a King named Balian and a Princess named Putri Dayang Merindu. During those times, there were a traveller named Serunting Sakti with ‘The Tounge of Bitterness’ as his nickname because everything turns to rock when he curses. So, onetime when he travels into the village, he saw Putri Dayang Merindu and wants to greet her but she didn’t respond. Then he said, “Very arrogant, she keeps quiet like a rock”. Suddenly she turned into a rock. Then he continues his travel and stepped into a village, the locals were off working in the field, then he said, “How quiet this village is just like a rock cave.” And the village turns into a rock cave.
The Semuhun River flowing inside the cave, came from the mountain’s spring that was once a place for the princess to take a bath. The rock cave was once a palace. If you go inside and have a look around, there are places that shows parts of the palace such as the kitchen, garden and bedroom.
2. Lake Ranau 4°51′45″LS,103°55′50″BT
From Putri Cave, off I go to Lake Ranau starting the roadtrip from 12pm to 5pm, you will need another 5 hours to cope. So, if we calculate our road trip from Palembang, it will be more or less 11 hours drive! The decision are up to you, if you want to go straight to the Lake or stay overnight at Baturaja.
Lake Ranau is the second largest lake in Sumatera after Lake Toba in North Sumatera. It is positioned at the borderline with Lampung Province and Ogan Komering Ulu Selatan. As a matter of fact, the other part of Lake Ranau is owned by West Lampung. The topography are hills and valley which caused the weather cool. The lake was formed from earthquake and volcanic explosions long time ago. Beautiful scenery, natural, and quiet place is the destinations offer for visitors. Besides that we can travel 30 minutes by boat towards Marisa Island in the middle where they have hot spring. I swam at the lake before warming my feet at the calming relaxing hot spring.
Muara Enim 4° – 6° LS and 104° – 106° BT
After such a calm relaxing body and soul experience in Lake Ranau, off I go to Muara Enim Regency. I overnight there and travelled to Cughup Tenang Bedegung, Kecamatan Bedegung. Cughup means waterfall.
The water stream falls big and energetically. The height of the waterfall is around 20 meters tall and the colour of the water is brown. It wasn’t dirty it was just the natural colour mixed from soil and rain.
After trekking to the waterfall, I went for a short trip rafting around 6KM at the Enim River. The river flow was exciting but it was a little bit too much. I think it was from the rain last night which made the raft flows easily and aggresively passing through rocks and stones.
Pagaralam 4°1′0″S 103°15′0″E
Keeping up with my adventures, after waterfall trekking and rafting, I went straight to Pagaralam at 14.30 pm and arrived at 18.30pm. Four hours road trip from Muara Enim Regency. From Palembang it will take you around 8 hours’ drive.
I have never seen an area of tea plantations as peaceful and as relaxing like Pagaralam. It was such a well-developed town. Very neat and clean with beautiful background of Mt. Dempo from where I stayed. There is an old tea factory called Gunung Dempo that was built by the Dutch since 1929. Usually the tea are exported to Europe, Japan, and Hongkong. If you ever step South Sumatera, you do have to go to Pagaralam. I know that you will want to go over there again, and again, and again!
Not too far from where I stayed, I trekked to a waterfall called Cughup Embun in Desa Batang Bange. Consisting of 3 streams that fall from a height of around 15 meters, it is such a breath-taking view. The splash of water will tease you to come and play under the waterfall. There is a small shallow pool so that you could swim but mind the water it is very cold!
What makes it quite interesting from Pagaralam is the megalithic site. Located at Tegur Wangi village, the remains are statues, stone cists, menhir (upright stone), dolmen (a big stone supported by the small ones), and monolith and carving stones. The area was predicated as a place for worship and according to folklore that the location was sacred and holy. Some ancient stones are spread among the rice fields.
Tea plantations, waterfall and archaeological site, what else more do you need from Pagaralam.
Enjoy your travels in South Sumatera with friendly locals and yummy culinary!
For more information you may click the link here: www.indonesia.travel
All photographs are taken by Fiona Callaghan.
Note from The Adventuress:
Always stay as a Conscious Adventurer with The Adventuress spirit of Peace, Love, Adventure, Nature, and Positivity or PLAN+ in short. With that, you wouldn’t want to harm the nature and destroy it. Rather you would want to explore the earth to learn its beauty as your private experience that will teach you to be a better person each day and value the wonderful creation of God.
Peace & Light,