Located on the east coast of the island of Sumatra, the city of Jambi is the capital city of the province that bears the same name, namely: the province of Jambi.
The city of Jambi straddles the long and wide Batanghari river that has its source in the Bukit Barisan range, at Danau Diatas and Danau Dibawah (the Upper and Lower Lakes) in the Minangkabau highlands of West Sumatra near Lake Singkarak. The river pours out at the Strait of Berhala on the east coast of Sumatra. Flowing the total length of 1,700 km, the Batanghari is the longest river on Sumatra. The city of Jambi lies on both sides of the river with the Aur Dari Bridge spanning the two sections of the city that lies at the estuary of the Batanghari.
Although less known as a tourist destination, Jambi is, nonetheless, rich in resources, both natural and mined. Jambi produces agricultural products like rice, potatoes, soybean, cabbage, tomatoes, and the province has large tracts of palm oil plantations, while its mines produce oil, gas and coal and tin. Indeed, oil and gas, palm oil and coal are the province’s most important exports.
Historic Chinese records mention that Jambi was once the seat of the classic Malay Kingdom which spread its influence over much of Sumatra and even to the Malay peninsula, a result of which is the use of the Malay language and pronunciations in West Sumatra, Bengkulu, Jambi and parts of Malaysia.
Archaeological remains at the vast Muaro Jambi site, also attest that in the 7th to the 8th century, Jambi was the center of Buddhist learning. After the fall of the palace of the kingdom of Srivijaya atPalembang – today in the province of South Sumatra – in the 11th century, the Srivijaya seat was moved to Jambi, where it thrived until the 13th century.
The airport of Jambi is called Sultan Thaha Saifuddin airport. Because of its limited capacity, only domestic airlines fly to Jambi mostly from Jakarta. The airlines include Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, Sriwijaya Air and Citilink.
But as a business city, Jambi has many star-rated hotels next to budget hotels.
Jambi is well known for its specific Jambi batik designs and motifs. These are available at the Sanggar Batik & Kerajinan PKK Provinsi Jambi, at Jalan Sri Soedewi. Besides batiks, there are all kinds of handicrafts on display and for sale , including the silver and gold thread woven Jambi Songket, necklaces, brooches, rattan and bamboo mats, and more. The Dekranasda Jambi at Jalan Sudirman is another place to look for souvenirs In addition to handicrafts, they also offer foodstuff like coffee, special aro tea, Jambi crackers and other local tid-bits.
If you are looking for Chinese ceramics and crystal decorations, there is a Ceramics market at Jalan Sisingamangaraja, located behind the Mega cinema, by the Jambi market.
The city of Jambi has a many star-rated hotels as well as budget hotels.
The city of Jambi itself offers a number of cultural and recreational attractions, among which are the Taman Mini Jambi and Taman Rimba (Jambi in Miniature and the Jungle Park). Located at Jalan Sunaryo, some 7 km from the center of town towards the airport, this is a large recreation area covering 18 hectares of land. In the park you will see 6 different types houses found in the Jambi province, there is also an open stadium, and a zoo as well as an area for protected flowers and animals. Taman Mini Jambi is often used for large events held in the region.
At the Taman Mayang Mangurai at Telanaipura you will find the traditional house of Kajanglako, Jambi, in which are displayed wedding accessories and various wedding costumes as well as traditional decorations, dress and equipment used by the people in the many districts of Jambi. Taman Mayang is located at Jalan Atmadibrata in the subdistrict of Telanaipura, 8 km. from the center of Jambi town, right next to the office of the Jambi Governor.
Taman Anggrek Sri Soedewi is the Orchid Gardens of Jambi. Situated at Jalan A. Yani, in the subdistrict of Telanaipura, some 6 km from the city center, this is a botanic and recreation park. Find a wide variety of orchids here that grow in these tropical jungles.
Tanggo Rajo, located by the official residence of the Governor along the Batanghari river offers beautiful scenery and a food center. It has a path along the river and steps lead to the bank of the Batanghari. Every National Day, on 17 August, the Traditional Boat Races are flagged off from this site.
The Al-Fatah Mosque, Jambi’s most important mosque located at Jl. Sultah Taha, is unique with its open structure and its ceiling supported by many pillars. For this reason the mosque is popularly known as the mosque with a thousand pillars. It is surmised that here was once the seat of the Jambi Sultanate at Kampung Gedang Tanah Pilih.
Tombs of Jambi Sultans: the ancient tombs of the Sultans of Jambi in the sub-district of Telanaipura, some 4 km. from the center of the city, are well kept and venerated by the local population. Here are buried the Sultana, wife of Sultan Thaha Syaifuddin, Raden Mattaher and others. The Jambi Sultanate ruled the area from 1790 – 1904.
By air, Jambi is served from Jakarta by Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, Sriwijaya Air and Citilink through the airport called the Sultan Thaha Syaifuddin airport.
Overland, Jambi is well connected by intercity buses to its neighbouring provinces of West Sumatra, Riau and Bengkulu. The Bus terminal is at Alam Barajo and Rawasari.