Leang-leang Archaeological Park Becomes Disability Friendly

Maros (ANTARA) – The sun was overhead when the ASEAN countries delegations arrived at the Leang-leang Archaeological Park in Maros City, South Sulawesi. The air temperature is so hot. However, the scorching sun and blistering heat did not weaken their plan to enjoy the unique and rare view of prehistoric rocks.

Leang-leang Archaeological Park is an archaeological area with rocks and two prehistoric caves, namely Leang Pettae and Leang Petta Kere. Located around 30 kilometers from Sultan Hasanuddin Airport or 41 kilometers from Makassar City, Leang-leang can be reached in around 1 hour from Makassar City using the toll road.

The uniqueness of Leang-Leang Archaeological Park would definitely make its visitors stunned. As soon as they enter this 4.6 hectare park, the visitors will immediately see unusually-sized black stones spread out irregularly.

Each stone has a different shape and texture so it looks very distinctive. Some rise as high as three meters, some are only one meter high with a hole in the middle. This expanse of black stones contrasts so strongly with the green grass and lush trees around it.

Still in the same area, there are two caves located at a height of around 20 meters. To get to the cave with a diameter of about 3 meters and a depth of 10 meters, there is a safe and comfortable iron ladder. The other cave is more open with an area of around 4 meters. This cave is thought to have been inhabited by ancient humans around 8,000-3,000 BC.

Traces of ancient human remains can be seen from various drawings on the cave walls. There is a picture of two pigs with fangs and horns on their heads. There are also 28 images of palms.

“All the images were made using red earth mixed with various concoctions of trees, so they are strong enough to last for thousands of years,” said the guide in the cave.

Except for caves with difficult terrain, all access and facilities at Leang-leang are designed to be friendly for people with disabilities. For people with physical disabilities, there is a special lane for wheelchairs. Meanwhile, for people with visual disabilities, there is a voice recording played through loudspeakers about the uniqueness of the Leang-leang Archaeological Park.

“It is very accessible, I’m very impressed. So, I think, it’s good that the facilities have been made possible for which are users to come,” said the Chair of the ASEAN Disability Forum Lim Puay Tiak, while visiting the Leang-leang Archaeological Park with delegates from other ASEAN countries on Thursday (12/10/2023).

The founder of the Disability Inclusion Advocacy Institute (AUDISI), Yustisia Arief, expressed a similar remark. He is a person with a polio disability. Yustisia stated that he really appreciates the Leang-leang tourist destination which is friendly and comfortable for people with disabilities.

“So, we as people with disabilities can get our right to travel and enjoy the scenery here like other visitors. This is really fun,” Yustisia said.

Minister of Social Affairs Tri Rismaharini stated that she deliberately chose Makassar as the venue for the ASEAN High-Level Forum on Disability Inclusive Development and Partnerships beyond 2025 because there are unique tourist destinations around Makassar.

Different from other areas, Makassar has civilization destinations, namely the Leang-Leang Archaeological Park in Maros City, which was once inhabited by ancient humans, as well as Fort Rotterdam, which is around 500 years old, a legacy of the Gowa-Tallo Kingdom.

“Our common challenge is that every tourist destination must be friendly for people with disabilities. The two tourist destinations have been built and equipped with facilities ahead of the arrival of the ASEAN delegation so that they are friendly for people with disabilities,” said the Minister on the sidelines of the AHLF which took place from October 10 – 12, 2023.

HLF is an ASEAN High-Level Forum consisting of ASEAN ministers and senior officials who are responsible for social welfare. Also present were leaders of sectoral bodies related to social welfare, ASEAN-affiliated entities, as well as academics.

HLF 2023 is one of a series of ASEAN Summits under the chairmanship of Indonesia. Apart from being attended by ASEAN member countries, there were also delegations from the United States, England, and Australia.

Source: Antara News Agency