Pagoda Pulau Kemarau Palembang, Indonesia
From the Airport in Palembang, you will be forced by the Taxis over there to use their services, they will give you reasons like they are cheap, or the bus takes very long, not comfortable etc. But they will charge you something like Rp 90,000 whereas the bus only cost Rp 3,000 to the town area.
You will need to transit to another bus (known as Transmusi in Palembang) that takes you straight to the Ampera Bridge area. Ask the bus conductors and they will help you and guide you on where to get off and which bus to take again. One thing I learn about the people of Indonesia is that they are so humble and willing to help.
As you reach the Ampera Bridge, there are many Boat services that takes you to other parts of Musi River. One of those places is an Island named Pulau Kemarau where the Pagoda with a Temple where the Chinese goddess, Quan Yin resides. To warn you ahead as a foreigner, you must be skillful at bargaining for the boats because many of them will hike up the prices ridiculously. First few of them offered us Rp 300,000 for 3 people stating that it’s a discounted price, but as we walked away, they started saying Rp250,000, Rp200,000 going lower and lower. The best we managed to get a boat for was Rp100,000, but later decided to give him a little more because we felt it was too cheap for a 2 hours work.
The journey to the Kemarau Island takes about 40 minutes, and do bring along your shades and hats because it will be extremely hot. You will pass a Fertilizer factory that used to be a Fortress of one of the Sultan. Since years back it was made out of wood, the whole place is not in existance anymore.
You will be able to see the Pagoda as we’re about to reach the Pulau Kemarau. This place is quite well maintained.
I’m not sure why, but many of the Palembang people wanted to take photos with us. Probably because they hardly see Indians face to face and they being Bollywood fans. Even when we walked around the town, they start singing hindi songs when they passby. We gave them a shock by conversing with them in Malay.