Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Marunda: Make our beach a tourist attraction, locals say

Residents of the coastal area of Marunda, North Jakarta, are urging the administration to develop Marunda Beach into a high-quality tourism destination to boost the local economy.

One resident, Ami, 30, said Marunda Beach had a lot of potential to become a popular recreational area.

"I've been dreaming of enjoying an Ancol-like recreational area in Marunda Beach. Yes, I want it to be developed into something like Ancol, which is cleaner and has more facilities," Ami told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.

Jakarta, which has 23.7 kilometers of northern coastal area, has only Carnival Beach in the Ancol complex as a recreational beach. Entrance to the beach costs Rp 12,000 a person. Those with vehicles have to pay Rp 12,000 more for a car or Rp 10,000 for a motorcycle.

According to the North Jakarta municipality, only 1.7 kilometers is still owned by the administration. The rest is owned by companies, including PT Ancol Pembangunan Jaya.

"It actually has a lot of potential. Here, people can enjoy the beach, swimming and fishing as much as they like because it's free.

"Marunda also had some historical attractions, such as the 348-year-old Al Alam mosque and Rumah Si Pitung or Pitung's House (a Betawi hero during the Dutch colonial era)," she said.

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