Tourists flock to places for all kinds of reasons. To Rome to stand under the arches of the Coliseum or to gaze up at St. Peter’s impossible dome. And now to Kampung Pelangi, a tiny village in Indonesia, to marvel at its Technicolor dream motif.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’. Now, more than 230 houses have been transformed, making the site an unlikely social media sensation.
The genesis of this Instagram-worthy display wasn’t as poetic as all that, but instead was created by the local government in hopes of drawing more visitors to the small town. Unlike the rainbow village in Taiwan, which source their own funding due to lack of government support, the locals on this small town receive a lump sum budget of 300 million rupiahs (about SGD $34,000) was initially set aside for the makeover, with the goal of painting each building at least three colors.
For nearly every exterior surface—walls, roofs, stairways, the railings of bridges—in this town (including over 200 homes) is covered in an eye-popping array of pastel shades and primary hues. Like the mystic swirl of a Mara Hoffman print realized in physical form. The results—which include heart-motif murals, multicolor flags, polka-dot panels, and 3-D textured reliefs—have been a resounding success, as visitors from near and far make pilgrimages to the candy-color wonderland to snap photos for Instagram.
So many people have been flocking to the little known town that not only has the local economy improved, but the town plans to expand the beautification project to even more homes. It’s amazing what a couple coats of paint can do.
Kampong Pelangi—or, the Rainbow Village of South Semarang, as it’s quickly becoming known—looks as if it has been bathed in the breath of a Lisa Frank unicorn or touched by the wand of a Fruit Stripe gum–loving wizard.