The celebrated Chinese monk Yijing once praised the Srivijaya Empire and its capital Palembang as the centre for Buddhist learning with students coming from as far as China and India. Present day Palembang is now a quaint and charming city catering to the quintessential traveller. Revisit the city's illustrious past at Bukit Seguntang and Sriwijaya Archaelogical Park, or attend the annual Sriwijaya Festival to see the remnants of the golden age. Go on a cruise along ''Venice of the East'' Musi River to view vernacular Malay houses on stilts, the grand Fort Kuto Besak and the beautiful Ampera Bridge. Chinese influences can be seen in everything from the Great Mosque (Masjid Agung) to Kampung Kapitan, Kemaro Island and even in the local food (pempek, lenjer, model, lenggang, tekwan, mie celor). South Sumatra is blessed with three national parks for all to explore: Bukit Barisan Selatan, Kerinci Seblat (both UNESCO World Heritage Sites) and Sembilang. You can also cross the sea to the neighbouring Bangka and Belitung Islands.