Fri, 29 Dec 2000

Residents flock to recreational sites

JAKARTA (JP): Jakarta residents packed the city's popular recreational sites during the post-Ramadhan Idul Fitri holiday here on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Ragunan Zoo in South Jakarta, the Indonesia in Miniature Park (TMII) in East Jakarta and the Ancol Dreamland Recreational Park in North Jakarta, all recorded their largest visitor attendances this year.

A public relations official at the Ancol Dreamland Recreational Park, Berto, said the park recorded some 80,000 visitors on Wednesday and at least 200,000 visitors on Thursday.

"Besides New Year festivities and school holidays, the Idul Fitri holiday period is one of our peak seasons. This year, we had more visitors than the previous Idul Fitri," said Berto.

During Idul Fitri earlier this year, Berto said, the park recorded a total of 150,000 visitors for the two-day vacation on Jan. 8 and Jan. 9.

"Several favorite places in Ancol are Fantasy Land (Dufan), the swimming pool and public beach," he said, adding that the recreational park also offered several art and musical performances, such as traditional dangdut concerts and traditional dance reog ponorogo shows from Central Java.

The 552-hectare recreation park also provided various programs, enjoyed by children and their parents, at the Pondok Putri Duyung Cottage, the Pasar Seni art market and the former Teater Mobil.

"We used to go to the recreational parks outside the capital, such as Taman Safari Zoo and the Ciater natural hot springs, both in West Java. But this year we went to Ancol because we also want to enjoy the New Year celebrations," said a visitor, Andri Yenni, from Rawa Badak in North Jakarta.

Ancol also plans to hold a huge fireworks display along its 5.5-kilometer beach, and several music performances by local artists on Dec. 31.

Spokesman at the Ragunan Zoo, Madinah, said the 835-hectare zoo recorded some 32,839 visitors on Wednesday and at least 150,000 visitors on Thursday.

"Previously, we recorded a total of 188,536 visitors during the two-day Idul Fitri festivities in January," he said, adding that the zoo only recorded 5,000 to 20,000 visitors on regular days.

With tickets costing Rp 3,000 (30 US cents) for adults and Rp 2,000 for children, a family can see at least 270 animal species, with the total population amounting to 3,200 individual animals.

"Favorite places in the zoo are the snake pit, the primate enclosure and the tiger cage. Most parents are interested in showing their children wild animals, which are rarely seen in daily life," Madinah said.

"I also want to take pictures of my family with some tame animals, such as orang utans and elephants," said a visitor, Iskandar Mirza from Cilandak, South Jakarta, who visited the zoo with his wife and two-year-old son.

The TMII also recorded a large number of visitors on Wednesday and Thursday. The park admitted 39,000 and 100,000 visitors on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.

TMII spokesman Dandul Hartyono, however, said the park received virtually the same number of visitors during the Idul Fitri holidays last January.

Dandul said the park had organized special attractions to lure Jakartans, especially those who couldn't join the annual exodus to their home towns to celebrate Idul Fitri.

"Most visitors flocked to the 26 provincial pavilions in the park, offering traditional cuisines, art performances and souvenirs, which should comfort the 'homesick' among Jakarta residents," he said. (07)