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The eastern portion of South Sumatra shares a common Malay ancestry and influence with Riau and Jambi provinces from its proximity to the shipping lane of the Strait of Melaka. Rivers define the character of the eastern lowlands, while the western high peaks of the Bukit Barisan form the province’s rugged underbelly. The provincial capital of Palembang was once the central seat of the Buddhist Sriwijaya empire, whose control once reached all the way up the Malay Peninsula.
Despite the province’s illustrious past, there aren’t very many surviving attractions, except for the hospitality that occurs in places where bilingual Indonesians don’t get a lot of opportunity to practise their English.