50 things about Asean countries you probably didn't know - Asean's golden jubilee

Asean's golden jubilee: 5 interesting things about Indonesia

26. Heard of Chicken Church?

Hidden on Punthuk Setembu hill in Magelang, a few hours' drive from Yogyakarta, is an abandoned prayer house built in the shape of a crested dove. Thousands have been flocking to see the building after it was featured in the box-office romantic hit drama Ada Apa Dengan Cinta? 2.

The spot used to be a well-kept secret where photographers got an overview of Borobudur Temple, but now offers tourists an Instagram moment at sunrise.

27. Teen-love movie series still draws crowds

Ada Apa Dengan Cinta? is one of Indonesia's most watched movies and marked the re-awakening of the movie industry in Indonesia at the turn of the century.


Chicken Church (above) in Magelang is an abandoned prayer house shaped like a crested dove. PHOTO: THE JAKARTA POST

Produced by Miles Films in 2002, the coming-of-age teen movie brought the public back to the cinemas and the film stayed on screen for months.

Its sequel, released in February last year, saw most of the cast return. Producer Mira Lesmana hopes to complete the finale, Ada Apa Dengan Cinta? 3, in the next few years.

28. Durian hot spot

Jakarta may be known as the Big Durian, but the King of Fruit is the tourism icon of Medan, in North Sumatra.

The city has several 24-hour durian stalls, but one - Durian Ucok - stands out and draws tourists from all over the region. The stall will replace your durian free of charge if it does not taste right.

29. Indonesians speak Esperanto

The language, created by Polish physician L.L. Zamenhof in 1887 to encourage people from different countries to talk to one another, is spoken in many parts of Indonesia.

Until the 1960s, a club of Esperantists published bulletins and translated books and novels to spread the use of the language.

A movement to widen its use has been more noticeable since 2004.

30. Largest gold mine

The Grasberg mine in remote Papua is said to be the largest gold mine in the world.

It was discovered by accident in 1936 by Dutch geologist Jean Jacques Dozy. He set out to scale the region's highest glacial peak and discovered an interesting rock with green streaks, which was found to have high amounts of copper and gold.

A company called Freeport Sulphur proceeded to develop the area for mining.

While the mine has brought great wealth to these corporations, there is increasing concern about the welfare of the Papuans.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has hastened development efforts and initiated a series of massive infrastructure projects.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 06, 2017, with the headline 'Indonesia'. Print Edition | Subscribe