Return to Indonesia

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.

This volcano died a long time ago, leaving a magnificent dome.
Central Java is full of amazing caves and rumbling volcanoes.

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.

Giant golden reclining Buddha

And the food. Oh, the food. A selection from across Java, Bali, and Bangkok

Published by


Theodore Andrew Meinhover. Global Citizen, Writer of the World.


  1. Thanks, Andy! I recognize the big-footed reclining Buddha from my own trip many long years ago. Your photos make me pine for another Asian trip.
    Did you have to wait until our dear leader reopened our government before you could return to Pakistan?

  2. You make a great Sisyphus holding up the rock. Keep away from the vultures of all kinds!
    When I visit Holland I go to the Indonesian restaurants. That is the only good thing about Dutch imperialism: the import of a fine non Dutch cuisine.
    Did you practice your Chinese in at any of the small ports or tea shops?
    Nice to see that you could take a healthy break from your domicile.
    We survived the cold. Our house is warm, our fireplace bright and cheery, and we have plenty of books to keep us on our couch throughout the days and nights.

    Best to you and yours,

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.