Muara Jambi

Muara Jambi


The large temple complex at Muara Jambi, 26km downstream from Jambi, is the most important Hindu-Buddhist site in Sumatra. It is assumed that the temples mark the location of the ancient city of Jambi, capital of the kingdom of Malayu 1000 years ago. Most of the temples, known as candi, date from the 9th to the 13th centuries, when Jambi’s power was at its peak. However the best artefacts have been taken to Jakarta.

For centuries the site lay abandoned and overgrown in the jungle on the banks of the Batang Hari. It was ‘rediscovered’ in 1920 by a British army expedition sent to explore the region.




The capital of Jambi province is a busy river port about 155km from the mouth of the Sungai Batang Hari. It’s not known as a tourist destination, but has a pleasantly low-key and friendly vibe, especially around the riverfront food stalls that kick off at dusk.

– Jambi Province

Jambi Province

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For such a centrally located province, Jambi is not easy to reach and sees few foreign visitors. The province occupies a 53,435-sq-km slice of central Sumatra, stretching from the highest peaks of the Bukit Barisan range in the west to the coastal swamps facing the Strait of Melaka in the east.

The eastern lowlands are mainly rubber and palm-oil plantations. Timber is also big business, as is oil; Jambi’s main field is southeast of the capital (Jambi) on the South Sumatran border.

In the western portion of the province is the Kerinci Seblat National Park, home to Sumatra’s highest peak, Gunung Kerinci (3805m), Sumatran tigers (Jambi’s faunal mascot) and rhinos. The park is best reached from Padang.

Most of the province is sparsely populated, and many locals are migrants from Java and Bali. In the province’s fast disappearing forests, the Orang Rimba are an endangered hunter-gatherer tribe.