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Immerse with locals at the Jalan Malioboro

Jalan Malioboro, a popular place amongst both tourists and locals. Jalan is the Indonesian word for street. It is a long shopping street and they sell everything you can imagine! Toys, balloons, clothing, souvenirs, art and food on both sides of Malioboro street. It is very easy to spend a whole evening here! Let the real Indonesia in and enjoy this busy buzz and bargaining around you!

Jalan Malioboro, first impression

We must say that it felt as a relief to know that this city is more known with tourists in contrast to other parts of Indonesia. Here they figuratively embrace you with their biggest smile. First a smile, then a small, shy wave. They still look up to you as a (European) foreigner but we couldn’t come far or some girls already forced us in a natural way to make a photo together.

Jalan Malioboro
Very curious towards the tourists!

Popular tourist attraction

Everywhere you look, you will see the most traditional transport of Indonesia; the Becak. This is a bike with 3 wheels and a passenger seat in front. It used to be a normal transport for the locals but nowadays the drivers also offers tours for tourists. When walking, the drivers of the Becak will ask you for a drive to proudly show you their city. We have seen this way of transport on more places in Indonesia, but this was the first place where there were so many Becaks! They come in many colors and patterns.

Indoor places

We visited Jogja in december and unfortunately we had a lot of rain. You can see at the Malioboro street that they are being well prepared. The most stalls in the street have big plastic sheets hanging over their stall and in a minute or two they can make this into a waterproof roof and area. Local salesmen walk very casually through the hard rain to sell their one size- and single use raincoates. It is very funny and interesting to see how they adapt to these kind of circumstances.

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Maneuvering is a daily struggle for Joeri

Besides the low ‘ceiling’ for some European people, it is one wonderment after an other. There is a whole section with souvenirs, tied to gates and displayed on their stalls. A big section with clothes makes you wonder which kind of clothes they sell more; short tourist clothing or their own arabic clothing. The difference between this clothing is worlds apart! Nearly whole Indonesia is Arabic and weares therefore mostly abaya’s and a kerchief. We were overwhelmed in a positive way by the beautiful quality of the arabic clothes! But the biggest section was food. Typical Indonesian food, candy, fish, meat, rice, total unknown food; it was a feast for the eyes! We spontaniously decided that we wanted to have dinner and walked towards an place where you could sit bare feet on the ground. And we were not disappointed, we had an amazing meal!

When you think all activity takes place outside, it is not! After walking outside along the stalls, there is even more to see inside. Shops, shoppingmalls, shopping halls and even a street with art. Just roam around everywhere and let the stream of people guide you through the street and the tucked away corners.

Just one of many market halls for traditional clothing


After the first night we decided to go back several times. Every time there was some other detail we missed the time before. Complete your experience by trying typical Indonesian products you don’t know! When hesitating, ask the seller to help you, they really appreciate you asking about their specialties!

Buying typical Indonesian sugared sweets of a lovely young woman

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