Unusual vacation to the best cemetery in Indonesia

By Rintan Tiffani Angela

Usually, the graveyard gives the impression of haunting, darkness and creepy. Funeral sites are among the most feared places to visit. On the other hand, San Diego Hills cemeteries offer an entertaining memorial park that has been absolute for family vacations and culinary outings.

If we hear from its name, San Diego Hills may sound like a high-end hotel or a posh urban residential complex, but far from the fact, it is a memorial park located in Karawang City, West Java, Indonesia. San Diego Hills is an opulent cemetery that is often used as the final resting place for the wealthy.

When it comes to funerals, the word must evoke memories of a gloomy and terrifying atmosphere. Unfortunately, it is none with San Diego Hills Memorial Parks and Funeral Homes Cemeteries because all you can see is the good spectacle of all corners of the grave park. The founder of San Diego Hills Memorial Parks and Funeral Homes was inspired by Forest Lawn Memorial-Parks in California, United States, who was the first to realise this concept.

To create a memorial ambience comfy and far from the creepy ambience, San Diego Hills is occupied with an unusual variety of public facilities rarely typically found in a cemetery. This Memorial Park is enclosed by majestic trees, large lawns, bizarre statues, a lake with a dock and pleasant fountains. Also, San Diego Hills has a restaurant and swimming pool facilities.

Photo of the San Diego Hills memorial park

This concept aims not only to eliminate the typical grave vibes but also to provide entertainment for the families who have been left behind. San Diego Hills believes that beautifying the funeral can alleviate the family’s grief, allowing them to visit the cemetery in safe, comfortable, and enjoyable circumstances.

Aside from funeral services, San Diego Hills also serves as a holiday destination. San Diego Hills, which claims to be Indonesia’s largest Memorial Park with an area of 350 hectares and outstanding facilities, does indeed feel suitable as a recessed spot and for hosting an occasion such as wedding celebrations or birthday gatherings.

This place has a very remarkable grace of attraction, and guests may not believe that this place is a tomb for the first time they visit, because San Diego Hills has many praising facilities. 

The burial sites were divided into three regions, the Universal Garden for Christians, the Garden of Prosperity and Joy for Chinese, and the largest burial area, the Five Pillars Garden for Muslims. Each area has its features, such as in the Muslim region which is equipped with a prayer room called ‘Heavenly Dome’ similar to the Turkey Mosque. While in the Chinese complex is full of Chinese embroideries. On another side, there is a chapel for the Christian services. Right in the core of the area, the mesmerising Lake Angeles view has always been captivating to the sights and mind.

Running pathways wave along the side of the paved road connecting every spot in the San Diego Hills. The swimming pool is set nearby to the fore entrance, near the wedding venue. Mini markets and florist shops are also available. Moreover, they have a lot of gardens to cherish, namely the Universal Garden, the Garden of Prosperity and Joy, and the Garden of the Five Pillars.

Not only that, there is a five-star Italian eatery nearby that can pamper your stomach after a walk admiring the view around. In the cemetery, visitors can encounter the sensation of European culinary delights. Supported by the details and buildings of classic Italian-style rural architectures, the guests might be hypnotised as if they are in Europe. 

The atmosphere and concept of the Italian countryside are very dense with the interior design. So pleasant and unique to give vigorous vibrancies, making anyone who comes feel at home and wants to stay for a long time. The dishes that are served are very diverse and in terms of taste, similar to other expensive fancy restaurants out there. 

To be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery in San Diego Hills, a visitor does not have to spend a lot of money. The entry ticket costs around Rp. 20,000 on weekdays and Rp. 30,000 on weekends and public celebrations. By those estimates, you can jog, stroll around and experience the green surroundings. Excursion to the “Elite Graves” could be a most suitable option in times of a pandemic for clearing your mind in a safe and convenient protocol.***

(This article is written as part of the individual assignment series for Feature Writing class)

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