In 2006, Yogyakarta was hit by a disaster. A huge earthquake destroys a village on the Nglepen hill, Sleman. The village collapsed 7 meters down and the whole area was deemed unsafe and unlivable.
Residents of Nglepen Village got the option to be relocated or receiving 15 million rupiah aid in cash. Some residents chose to be relocated to a new place. That place has now become a colorful village with a Teletubbies theme.
Teletubbies Dome House
The earthquake victims who lost their homes received aids from Domes for the World and several other donors from around the world. The organization built houses with igloo-like domes for Nglepen villagers.
The villagers actually did not know that the house built for them would be shaped like that. However, due to their conditions, they accepted it because the old location of their house was too dangerous to live. This new village was later named New Nglepen Village.
Earthquake and fire resistant
There are good reasons why houses here are shaped like igloos. These Houses are believed to be able to withstand earthquakes, fire, storms, and typhoons. These dome houses are also safe from natural pests such as termites, mice, or fungi. The donors hoped that people can stay here for a long time without having to worry about their homes would be destroyed by natural disasters.
Developing into a tourist village
Dome-shaped houses like this are not a common thing in Yogyakarta or the Javanese countryside in general. As a result, many people from other places are getting curious and interested to see how the conditions of this tropical igloo village.
New Nglepen Village residents then saw tourism potential because of the many visitors who come to their villages. With the assistance of the Tourism Office, in 2008, residents began to beautify their homes to attract more tourists. They began by painting their homes with colorful patterns.
Growing Tourism activity
The number of tourists visiting New Nglepen village is increasing every year. In the beginning, this village received a visit of around 3 thousand tourists in 2008. 10 years later, visitors who came here had reached 10 more times, some even came from abroad. In 2017, for example, New Nglepen welcome more than 30 thousand tourists.
All money generated from tourism activities here is used for the benefit of residents. Therefore, all residents in New Nglepen collaborated to make tourism activities successful. They now even offer a diversified tourism choices like outbound, homestays, trekking, educations, and jeep tour.
Until now, the residents of this Teletubbies Dome House village is still living in the colorful homes. However, they are willing to share the distinctiveness of their houses with the tourists who come here.