Thursday, September 24, 2009

World's biggest indoor theme park opens in Indonesia

By Channel NewsAsia   

An indoor theme park billed as the world's biggest opened recently in Indonesia. The 2.2 hectare park is located not in mainland Java but in Makassar, South Sulawesi. 

The iconic sign, Hollywood and almost all that's synonymous with American popular culture can be found at the new Indonesian theme park.

Called the Trans Studio Makassar, it is billed as the biggest indoor theme park in the world.

The fully air-conditioned park sits on reclaimed land in Makassar, South Sulawesi.

Outgoing Vice President Jusuf Kalla, who hails from Makassar, partnered an Indonesian business group to invest in the US$100 million project.

Chairul Tanjung, owner, Para Group, said: "We hope Makassar will be the beginning of the development of Trans Studio in other cities which will be bigger than Makassar."

Plans are in the pipeline to build similar theme parks in Bandung, Balikpapan and Jakarta.

Trans Studio Makassar is wholly built and operated by Indonesians with expertise from the US.

Visitors pay US$10 to enjoy the park's 21 attractions.

The theme park is part of an integrated project which includes a shopping mall and hotels, all on 24 hectares of reclaimed land.

The US has its Universal Studios, and Australia has its Movie World, and now Indonesia is proud to have its own Trans Studio.

It's the country's latest icon as it presses on with its economic development.

And the choice of Makassar in South Sulawesi - not mainland Java and capital Jakarta - marks the country's attempt to spread its growth across thus huge archipelago.