Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Palembang's Tourist Attraction

Many cities in the world have a bridge as a tourist attraction. There is the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and the Tower Bridge in London just to name three of the many we all know. Today, let me introduce you to one more: Jambatan Ampera or Ampera Bridge if you want it translated.

I agree that it really isn't in the same category as the other bridges we know but it seems to be REALLY FAMOUS in these parts. Whenever I meet somebody new and they find out that we're expats here, one of their first questions is going to be "Have you been to Jambatan Ampera?" If I meet Indonesians while outside of Indonesia and they find out I live in Palembang, "Oh wow! Have you been to Jambatan Ampera?" Local tourists from Sumatra and other islands in Indonesia actually, come to Palembang to go take a look at this bridge and enjoy some 'fresh' air at the park next to it.

I've been here for close to 10 months now and only just decided that I should go to Jambatan Ampera. My driver was very proud to drive me there and show me around. He did make a wrong turn and we didn't end up at that park so things were much more interesting.

Under the bridge is a wholesale market. In the past, Chinese were not allowed to own any land so they built their houses over the Musi River and then traded on the banks. This has now become a major wholesale market.

And here's an idea of what the 'fresh' river breezes would have smelt like:

These children are playing right next to the scene from the photo above.

I can't help but think how dirty, stinky and probably diseased this area must be and then impose my set of standards on these happy kids (they were squealing with delight with each dive into that water). More often, I don't know what to think. Yes, they should know better and not pollute the water that their kids play in. C'mon, their outhouse is RIGHT THERE.

Finally, here is a photo of the houses along the banks and the pollution in the background.

I enjoyed my trip to Jambatan Ampera even though my driver was apologetic that I didn't get to the park. I'm not here to see a park. Its the local lifestyle and day to day goings on that I'm interested in.


Bilbo said...

This was very interesting! I really enjoy your comments on the world around you, a part of the world I'll probably never see otherwise. Great blogging!

John said...

I did a Google image search for Jembatan Ampera and saw some wonderful pictures of this bridge. It is an engineering feat worthy of being a tourist attraction.

Thanks for the look around the world.

Kellan said...

It's certainly another way of life, isn't it? Those were great pictures and truly showed the culture and the people and how they live. The bridge is something they are proud of - and rightly so! Take care. Kellan

NomadicExpat said...

From a distance, it can look like the Golden Gate Bridge! ;-) One day, Aaron will be envious that he can't jump into the river and join the fun. :-P

So, are there majority of Chinese still living there?

Nap Warden said...

Wow, what in intersting post! So different from my reality...It really is eye opening.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

A real eye-opening post. Most enjoyable. It'll go in my Quality Post list.

Amanda said...

I'm glad that you all found this post so interesting. Visiting these places definitely changes my views on how the world is. Not everybody lives in the comforts that many of us enjoy....in fact, I think many more people don't.

John, its good that you Googled the bridge for some better photos. I think some of the night ones are quite pretty.

Serina Hope said...

The local lifestyle is so amazing to me. I hope you continue to share more and more.
And I finally got up a non sick post!!! Yay me!!

zero_zero_one said...

Seeing other places, seeing other ways that people live... This is why I want to get out there and see more of the world.

Really interesting post!

dolphintales said...

we're actually holiday-ing in Palembang. So far, it has been pretty challenging as Palembang isn't exactly tourist-friendly!
Saw the Ampera Bridge.... but was too overwhelmed by the dust and dirt and people trying to mow you down with their vehicles!!
Still have 3 more days to go!