Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Presidential Palace to be opened to public in tour packages

The State Secretariat and some related agencies will next May try out a plan to open the presidential palace in central Jakarta to the public or tourists in "Presidential Palace Tour" packages.

"In the initial phase, the presidential palace tours will only be available at weekends. And it will be decided later whether they will be held on Saturdays or Sundays," Minister/State Secretary Hatta Radjasa told the press on Tuesday.

He said under the existing plan, a presidential palace tour would begin at the State Secretariat building which is part of the presidential palace complex.

"The State Secretariat building will be the first checkpoint. A bus will be prepared for the tourists. They will get all information on the presidential palace complex in the bus," he said.

The next stop would be the Baitul Rahim Mosque in the palace compound and finally Merdeka Palace where visitors would be accompanied by a guide.

Upon completion of the tour, visitors would be picked up by the bus and taken to the first check point.

Hatta said the program was not a new idea as it already existed during the Abdulrahman Wahid-led administration.

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