Sleepy Indonesian village becomes migraine-inducing Instagram hit

Visitors have begun flocking to the unlikely Indonesian village of Kampung Pelangi in Randusari, Central Java

Sleepy Indonesian village becomes migraine-inducing Instagram hit


A nondescript village in southern Indonesia has become an unlikely tourist trap - after undergoing a dramatic transformation.

Hordes of people have been flocking to Kampung Pelangi in Randusari, Central Java, after local government officials paid for it to be re-cast as a ‘rainbow village’.

The area’s council committee provided a budget of 300,000,000 Indonesian Rupiah - or £17,000 - to have the unassuming spot converted into a must-see attraction, last month. Though visitors may need to pack some paracetamol.

The Indonesian Builders Association in nearby Semarang provided materials and man-power for the project, said Lonely Planet, while the Mayor of Semarang, Hendrar Prihadi, also contributed to the effort - manually painting some of the 232 houses’ bare walls.

The scheme, which took more than a month to complete, was finally finished in late April and has since become a social media hit.

In recent days a number of keen visitors have been sharing images of the photogenic view on Instagram, where the vivid collection of colourful houses is now reaching a global audience. Each of the properties, which were formally considered slums, is now emblazoned with distinctive yellow, purple and blue zig-zags.

One building, positioned at the end of a pedestrian walkway, depicts a metaphoric rainbow, while a nearby wall is lovingly decorated with multi-coloured spots.

Another art piece sees a 3D shark try to bite passers-by as they navigate the steep streets next to the river, which is also about to undertake a clearup as part of the region’s regeneration.

The man behind the vision, a 54-year-old teacher called Slamet Widodo, told the Jakarta Post he was inspired by similar Asian regions who have had similar face-lifts.

"The idea to create Kampung Pelango came after we saw the beauty of Kampung Warna-warni and Kampung Tridi in Malang, and later Kampung Kali Code in Yogyakarta," he said.

"Hopefully Kampung Pelangi will be the biggest one in Indonesia and offer a new tourist attraction in Semarang." The area’s Art, Culture & Sports Department Head Gapensi Semarang, added, "One house has a minimum of three colours. We also cooperated with the Roads Agency, Tourism Agency as well as other agencies to help develop Kampung Pelangi." Locals have also taken full advantage of the tourists by taking the opportunity to sell them homemade goods.