Jogyakarta Beckons

En Route: Jogyakarta Beckons
En Route: Jogyakarta Beckons

JOGYAKARTA, Indonesia — If you’ve never bought a one-way plane ticket to somewhere you can barely pronounce, I highly recommend it.

Before leaving New York last week, I’d only heard of Jogyakarta in passing from Josh‘s brainstormed itinerary for me.

Jogyakarta is derived from the Javanese words for “beautiful,” “happy” and “prosperous.” Taking a taxi to your hotel near the Royal Palace, you might be inclined to agree.

The streets, even during the afternoon rush hour, are unlike Jakarta’s in that traffic actually moves. Broad, tree-lined boulevards — though they’re always called “jalan,” or “street” — lead from the airport to the city center. The ubiquitous “warungs” (“shops” or “stands”) line both sides of the street, offering everything from mobile phones to goat satay (which are delicious).

Motorbikes, which help clog Jakarta’s roads and en masse produce a deafening roar, are ridiculously abundant here, too, and every other warung has at least a dozen of them parked in front, including one eatery named Jogya Chicken. (Jogya, pronounced “JO-gyah,” is the city’s nickname.) But in Jogyakarta, the two-wheelers aren’t handlebar-to-handlebar.

Downtown, bicycle taxis with ornamented frames proliferate the sidewalks, along with traditional-looking horse-drawn carriages.

The gorgeous crepuscular light helped make vendors, vehicles and buildings far more photogenic than I had expected.

A nice surprise is always welcome.

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5 thoughts on “Jogyakarta Beckons

  1. you didn’t have any problems entering the country on a one way ticket? did you apply for a visa in advance? (i didn’t, and i had to show proof of onward travel, which i didn’t have).

    ah yeah, jogya… malioboro. crazy. the alleys around the palace are worth checking out. really neat. other than that, i actually did prefer jakarta over jogya. most people don’t.

    sure hope you’re on your way to bali and/or lombok for some great beaches and ultimate relaxing. and oh, fresh air 🙂

    i’m so jealous, but i guess i may have told you that before.

    1. I bought a cheap ticket to Singapore just in case, but they never asked to see it. Apparently, it’s hit or miss with how interested they are in any particular traveler. Thanks!! I’m actually jealous of your trip!!

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