Palembang to promote Al-Munawar Kampong for tourism during Asian Games

Palembang to promote Al-Munawar Kampong for tourism during Asian Games

Photo document of Al-Munawar Kampong in Palembang. (kotapalembang.blogspot.com)

In fact, it is planned that some houses will be developed into `homestays` ..."
Palembang (ANTARA News) - Palembang will promote the Al-Munawar kampong, an Arab quarter located in 13 Ulu, as a religious tourism site, during the 18th Asian Games to be held in the city in 2018.

The local authorities were renovating a Musi river pier located next to Al-Munawar Mosque, Head of the Arab quarter neighborhood Muhammad Ak, said here, recently.

The South Sumatra authorities have informed the kampongs inhabitants of the plan to develop a religious tourist site in the area, which has a vibrant Islamic environment and distinctive culture, Muhammad said.

The kampong, which accommodates 75 families comprising 250 inhabitants, has been cleaned up recently.

Its roads will be renovated, houses will be painted, and public toilets will be set up in the kampong, which has been named as a cultural reserve.

Initially, the local residents objected to the plan as they were worried that the presence of tourists would have an adverse impact on them.

However, they later agreed after the authorities convinced them that they would control the appearance of tourists that are not in accordance with local customs.

The authorities would set up a room at the Kampongs gate, where tourists would be asked to cover their heads and other certain parts of their bodies with headscarves and long skirts made available there, before traveling around the kampong.

Head of the South Sumatra historical and ancient heritage office Candra Amprayadi said the renovation of the Arab town is expected to be completed this year, and be ready for receiving tourists beginning 2017.

"In fact, it is planned that some houses will be developed into homestays that will accommodate tourists interested in staying overnight here, and researchers," he added.

The Arab Kampong had been built some 400 years ago by Syed Abdurrahman bin Muhammad Al-Munawar, a Yemeni migrant who had married Princess Masayu Bariyah, a Sultans daughter.

The kampong has eight Palembang traditional wooden houses, and European style houses located along the Muri River.

One of the traditional wooden houses is 373 years old, measuring 30x16 meters and inhabited by nine to 10 families.

The fifth generation of Syed Abdurrahman bin Muhammad Al-Munawar currently lives in the kampong. (Uu.F001/INE/KR-BSR)

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