The Island of Penaga

(Pulau Penaga)

C. with the local man (Pak./ Mr. Sidol) who took him to the Island of Penaga in his boat. The small hill in the background is Pulau Penaga, where the Dutch ship is said to be buried.

Northwest of the City of Jambi is a very small island that people in the surrounding villages claim has a Dutch ship buried under it. The story is that the ship either sank or the Dutch just abandoned it, and then through the process of time, sand from the Batanghari River covered it up as the river levels rose and fell. The local people couldn’t give us an approximate date of when the ship was supposed to have been last used. If the story is true, the date could be anywhere from when the Dutch first arrived in Jambi (1600-1700s), until they left during WWII. The oldest people in the village (in their 80’s) told us they never saw the ship, and that it was only a story that was circulated when they were still a child.



Adventure Gone Wrong

Yesterday there were 2 Canadians who had taken a bus from Medan (North Sumatra) and were headed to Jakarta. They were using the Lonely Planet travel guide for their journey—no personal guide or translator. They got halfway through Jambi and realized this was not the adventure they had imagined.

At a bus stop in Sarolangun, a friend of mine saw them, and though he doesn’t know English, he realized that they were quite distressed, not being able to communicate with anyone. He then called me on his cell phone and let me talk to the hapless travelers.


Dutch Fort in Muara Tembesi

Benteng di Kecamatan Muara Tembesi

(Peninggalan Belanda)

Dutch home built in the early part of the 1900's, still in use by several Indonesian families.

Dutch home built in the early part of the 1900’s, still in use by several Indonesian families.

Positioned along a sharp bend on the Batanghari River, approximately 5km to the northwest of the City of Muara Tembesi, remains evidence of a former Dutch settlement (and some make the claim that it was also a Dutch fort). At this time there’s no remaining evidence of a fort or any old canons, but the Dutch architecture can clearly be seen in the old homes, which at this time are occupied by Indonesian families.)


50′ Fish Trap

While visiting a village along the Tabir River, we noticed a construction in the middle of the river. The local people told us it was a sukam, a large fish trap. Evidently the fish swimming downstream will enter this trap.


This is the same picture as the one above.

Sukam [Picture taken April 5, 2013]
Large fish trap in the middle of the Tabir River
Merangin Regency of the Jambi Province


This is our translation of a legend from the Jambi Province.

Raden Panjang

““““The Name of the Dutch Cannon Located in the Village of Kedotan

Dutch Cannon

Dutch Cannon
Currently on display in the front yard of SD N 119 (Elementary School #119)

The Village of Kedotan proudly displays a cannon which dates back to the Dutch occupation of Jambi.

This cannon is currently located in the front yard of Elementary School #119 (SD Negeri 119 / IX).

From interviews with people in the village, and teachers at the elementary school, no information about the cannon’s origin, nor a date for when it was brought to the village could be determined. We did, however, find one elderly man, Pak (Mr.) Abdullah, who told us the following story (legend) about the cannon’s origin:


Ancient Hindu Temple

(Candi Pematang Jering)

Ruins of An Ancient Temple(Candi Pematang Jering)

Ruins of An Ancient Temple
(Candi Pematang Jering)

Jambi was at one time the center for the powerful Srivijaya Hindu/Buddhist Kingdom (7th – 13th centuries). That kingdom eventually lost its power and eventually (1600s) was overtaken by the Islamic Sultanate.


Taman Rekreasi Rengas Condong

(Small Family Park in the City of Muara Bulian)

house on water

This is a small and simple park in the City of Muara Bulian (Jambi Province of Indonesia). It’s an exceptionally nice park for local people who want to spend an hour or two with their children, or a place for teens to hang out. It’s an exceptionally clean park (absence of trash), but with no unique attraction we wouldn’t recommend it for tourists from outside the area.

The park’s exact location can be found by clicking this link.

Below is a video we made of the park.