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Travel The village pond that's become an Instagram sensation thanks to visitors posing for photos in it next to bizarre props

17:30  02 october  2019
17:30  02 october  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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The village pond that ' s become an Instagram sensation thanks to visitors posing for photos in it next to bizarre props , from jet skis to tents. For an entrance fee of (81p), visitors can sink to the bottom of the body of water and pose for zany images next to objects such as a jet ski, a tent, a

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A small village pond in Indonesia has become an unlikely hit on Instagram, thanks to the endeavors of the locals, who hire it out for bizarre photoshoots.

Umbul Ponggok, a 230- by 130-foot-wide pond in central Java, boasts crystal clear waters, an abundance of colorful fish plus a range of quirky props that the locals have submerged in it.

For an entrance fee of $1, visitors can sink to the bottom of the body of water and pose for zany images next to objects such as a jet ski, a tent, a motorbike and a TV set.

a person sitting on a rock next to a body of water: A visitor to Umbul Ponggok, a 230 by 130ft-wide pond in central Java, poses underwater next to a TV set prop© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited A visitor to Umbul Ponggok, a 230 by 130ft-wide pond in central Java, poses underwater next to a TV set prop

Visitors can either rent an underwater camera or pay a scuba-diving photographer to snap pictures for them.

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The tourist attraction's Instagram account, where the best underwater images are posted, has more than 40,000 followers.

Even the president of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, is a fan. He posted a picture to Instagram taken at the pond showing a visitor posing under the water on a motorbike among the fish.

But Umbul Ponggok, located in the village of Ponggok, hasn't always been on the tourist trail.

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Just 15 years ago, the pond was dirty and polluted and used by local residents for bathing and washing clothes.

There was high unemployment in the village, and those lucky enough to have jobs worked in farms or the local quarry.

But in 2006, the newly-elected village head, Junaedi Mulyono, noticed the pond had potential if it was cleaned up, because 40 natural springs flow into it.

He convinced villagers to invest in a business that would clean up the pond and transform it into a tourist attraction.

And they responded by setting up Tirta Mandiri (which means Water Independent) and turning the pond into a money-spinner.

Today, villagers own nearly 40 per cent of the shares in Umbul Ponggok and many make money by selling souvenirs, clothing and food around the attraction.

Mulyono told the South China Morning Post: 'Initially many residents were reluctant to invest, but after seeing the development of the pond, they changed their minds.

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'The arrival of tourists to see Umbul Ponggok is what made the economy grow.'

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