Palembang is the capital city of the Indonesian province of South Sumatra. The city proper covers 400.61 square kilometres of land on both banks of Musi River on the eastern lowland of southern Sumatra. It has an estimated population of 1,662,893 in mid 2019. Palembang is the second most populous city in Sumatra, after Medan, the ninth most populous city in Indonesia, and the nineteenth most populous city in Southeast Asia. The Palembang metropolitan area comprises parts of regencies surrounding the city such as Banyuasin, Ogan Ilir, and Ogan Komering Ilir, with a total estimated population of more than 3.5 million in 2015.
Palembang is the one of the oldest cities in Southeast Asia. It was once the capital city of Srivijaya, a powerful Buddhist kingdom that ruled much of the western Indonesian Archipelago and controlled many maritime trade routes, including the Strait of Malacca. The earliest evidence of the city's existence dates from the 7th century; a Chinese monk, Yijing, wrote that he visited Srivijaya in the year 671 for 6 months. The first inscription in which Srivijaya was mentioned, Kedukan Bukit Inscription which was found in the city also dates from the 7th century.