The Jakarta Post
Submerged in Umbul Ponggok pool are various items placed for taking photos, such as a motorcycle, a bicycle, a table and a chair. (www.instagram.com/umbul_ponggok//File)
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo uploaded a photo onto his Instagram account showing a man riding a motorcycle underwater at Umbul Ponggok, Klaten regency, Central Java. As of Wednesday at noon, the post had been liked more than 566,000 times.
Anak muda ini mengendarai sepeda motor di jalan berbatu dan beriringan dengan ikan-ikan. Beginilah gaya pengunjung kolam wisata Umbul Ponggok, Desa Ponggok di Klaten, Jawa Tengah. Mereka berfoto di bawah air. Umbul Ponggok memang begitu jernih karena dari mata air yang dibangun menjadi tempat wisata. Sejak tahun 2015, dengan memanfaatkan Dana Desa, pemerintah Desa Ponggok membangun infrastruktur penunjang pariwisata itu: jalan desa, sanitasi, drainase, MCK, sampai area parkir. Hasilnya? Desa Ponggok berubah menjadi sebuah desa yang memiliki nilai ekonomi tinggi. Dari pariwisata, Desa Ponggok kini bisa mendapatkan penghasilan sampai Rp14 miliar setahun. Saya mengajak desa-desa lain yang memiliki potensi serupa untuk belajar dan meniru apa yang dilakukan Desa Ponggok ini, apa pun keunggulan desanya.
Umbul Ponggok Water Tourism is indeed well-known among travelers visiting Central Java. It boasts a natural pool popular with snorkelers and inexperienced divers.
Kompas.com listed the following four activities visitors can do while visiting the place:
Umbul Ponggok has a 50-by-25-meter pond filled with water from 40 natural springs, amassing a water discharge of more than 800 liters per second. While swimming in the cool water, visitors are accompanied by hundreds of colorful fish. The continuous water flow prevents a fishy smell from spreading in the pool.
The pool water’s clarity makes Umbul Ponggok a popular snorkeling site. The tourism management rents out snorkeling tools such as buoys and goggles.
The Umbul Ponggok pool is natural with sand and rocks on the bottom. The pool’s fish species include carp, pomfret, koi and other ornamental fish. They provide the feeling of snorkeling in the sea.
3. Taking underwater photos
This is Umbul Ponggok’s most well-known attraction. Submerged in the pool are various items placed for taking photos, such as a motorcycle, a bicycle, a table and a chair. Visitors without underwater cameras can rent one from the management for Rp 60,000 (US$4.13) per 30 minutes.
The recommended photo-taking time on weekdays is from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. On weekends, the best results can be obtained between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.
Read also: Into the springs in Klaten, Central Java
4. Playing at Ponggok Warrior Adventure
Ponggok Warrior Adventure is one Umbul Ponggok’s newest attractions. It is a playground arena on the pool’s surface resembling a Japanese game show called Sasuke Ninja Warrior. Visitors’ safety is guaranteed by the free safety kit, lifeguards and safety instructions from the managers.
A 30-minute session costs Rp 15,000 on weekdays and Rp 20,000 on weekends.
The entrance fee for Umbul Ponggok is Rp 15,000. The operating hours are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are packages including entrance tickets, buoy rental and underwater photo sessions available.
For visitors who wish to stay the night, there is a homestay with nine air-conditioned rooms near Umbul Ponggok. Rates range from Rp 100,000 to Rp 300,000 per night. (iru/kes)