Umbul Ponggok in Central Java

Indonesians are known for their love of selfies, especially at tourist attractions. Those looking to take their selfie game to the next level can flock to Umbul Ponggok, where you can take underwater selfies in a koi-filled pond adorned with various props.

Located in Klaten, Central Java, just a little over an hour from Yogyakarta, the site boasts an impressive underwater experience where you can not only take underwater selfies, but also dive and snorkel while colorful koi and carp swim past you.

Underwater selfies and photoshoots

underwater photo at umbul ponggok
A man posing on a motorcycle prop in Umbul Ponggok
Image credit: Umbul Ponggok

The pond, which is 2.5 meters deep in some places, is adorned with various props such as motorcycles, bicycles, chairs, and tables that visitors can rent for underwater photos. A motorcycle prop you can sit on underwater, for example, costs Rp. 100,000 (~USD7.10) for rent.

No worries if you’re shaky-handed. The site offers underwater photoshoot packages with professional photographers to help you nail every shot, starting from Rp. 60,000 (~USD4.26) per half hour.

umbul ponggok - pre-wedding photoshoot
A couple during a pre-wedding photoshoot in Umbul Ponggok
Image credit: @pusyudha

Aside from underwater selfies, the pond is also a popular spot for pre-wedding photoshoots, where couples showcase their best attire and poses in quirky underwater snaps to be displayed at their weddings.

The site offers a full pre-wedding package for Rp. 3,000,000 (~USD213.06), which includes professional photographers, a makeup artist, costumes, CDs with your photo files, and printed photos.

Diving, snorkeling, and underwater walking

umbul ponggok - diving
Diving in Umbul Ponggok
Image credit: @umbul_ponggok

Not only can you get underwater photos taken here, but you can also immerse in the beauty of the pond by diving or snorkeling in the area.

Snorkeling gear is available for rent for Rp. 15,000 (~USD1.07), while diving fins are available for Rp. 10,000 (~USD0.71). The all-inclusive diving package, which includes fins, oxygen tank, goggles, diving suit, photos, and videos costs only Rp. 250,000 (~USD17.75).

umbul ponggok - underwater walking
Underwater walking in Umbul Ponggok
Image credit: Umbul Ponggok

Another fun activity available in the area is underwater walking, where you can take a stroll underwater while wearing a specially designed helmet that supplies oxygen from the surface. 

Throughout the walk, you will be accompanied by the bright-colored fish, including koi and carp, that reside in the pond, ensuring a feast for the eyes that can hardly be found anywhere else.

From polluted pond to popular tourist attraction

umbul ponggok - sign
Image credit: @umbul_ponggok

Umbul Ponggok had very humble beginnings – the vast and colorful koi pond that we know today was once a polluted body of water used mainly by local villagers for bathing and washing clothes.

In 2006, newly elected village head Junaedi Mulyono decided to turn the pond into a tourist destination with the help of investments from villagers. The pond was cleaned, koi fish were put in, and Umbul Ponggok was officially launched as a tourist attraction in 2011.

Today, villagers and community groups own nearly 40% of the shares in the enterprise running Umbul Ponggok, and they also run the stalls selling food and souvenirs around the area. Thanks to the site’s success in attracting tourists, both Indonesians and foreigners, unemployment in the village has been eliminated.

Umbul Ponggok in Central Java

It’s no secret that at this time and age, social media posts, especially photos, are almost as important as the actual holiday experience itself. Umbul Ponggok answers this demand for snapshot mementos by offering an Instagrammable tourist attraction.

While most such places can be quite pricey to enjoy, that’s not the case with Umbul Ponggok – visitors are only required to pay a small entrance fee of Rp. 15,000 (~USD1.07). Not only can you enjoy a fun underwater experience at the site, but you can also help empower the local villagers and support local businesses as you snap your quirkiest photos underwater.

Address: Jalan Delanggu-Polanharjo, Desa Ponggok, Polanharjo, Klaten, Central Java 57474
Opening hours: 8AM-5PM, Daily
Website | Instagram

For more attractions in Indonesia, check these out:

Cover image adapted from @pusyudha and Umbul Ponggok

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