September 2004. First time in almost five decades that the Indonesian National Games (PON) were hosted by a city outside the island of Java. A 40,000-seater stadium was built in Palembang, the capital of South Sumatra province, quite possibly the second biggest in the country at that time after the 80,000-seater national stadium in Jakarta. New infrastructures were constructed, including a modern airport that put those of Indonesia’s bigger cities in shame.
November 2011. Indonesia once again hosted the Southeast Asian Games, a bi-annual multi-sporting event that brings together athletes from 11 countries in the region, 14 years after Jakarta last hosted the games. It was the first time for a non-capital city in Indonesia, but 16 years after Thailand’s Chiang Mai in 1995, to ever host the games with Palembang providing most venues for the two-week event.
March 2015. I embarked on a…
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