More than a decade after spending a semester studying the Indonesian language at the University of Indonesia on the outskirts of the unruly city of Jakarta, it was time to revisit Java, see old friends, taste familiar flavors. And, of course, get some of the sunshine and outdoor air that I sorely lack in my current setup. In an abbreviated, and admittedly more comfortable, version of an epic 2004 backpacking adventure, I spent the first week and a half of January traveling the length of Java, Indonesia’s most developed island and political center, from the capital Jakarta to first island to the East, Bali.
Even after so long, the warmth of the embrace of old friends was astonishing. Visceral memories came flooding back, as did the language, in bits and chunks. Truly one of my favorite places.
- I wasn’t supposed to climb up toward’s the cone of the active volcano Merapi… I did anyway. Well, part of the way anyway.
- I’ll never get sick of watching the sun set over rice padi fields.
- Street food Jogyakarta’s old city. Lovely pecel and gado gado.
And why not stop by Bangkok on the way back to work? This was my first time in one of Asia’s most fascinating cities in… well I’m not sure how long! It’s been a while.
And the food. Oh, the food. A selection from across Java, Bali, and Bangkok