50mm Photo-Walk Down Malioboro Street

Indonesia’s most famous avenue is found in Yogyakarta. Jalan Malioboro, or Malioboro Street, is Indonesia’s answer to New York’s Times Square, Bangkok’s Khao San Road, London’s Covent Garden or Marrakech’s Djemma el-Fna: it’s where everything happens.

On a Saturday and Sunday evening there are plenty of street musicians, drama groups and dancers putting on shows. This, in addition to the general mêlée of people, motorbikes, becaks (cycle rickshaws or pedicabs), shops and stalls.

malioboro street

Today, being Saturday, we are going to take a stroll in my shoes… down Malioboro Street in Yogyakarta. I have only one camera lens with me and it’s the 50mm – no zoom, plenty of bokeh…

Malioboro Street, Yogyakarta

malioboro Street: The buzz

The first time I walked down Malioboro Street in Yogyakarta it was a Saturday evening and my senses were assaulted from all directions by the sights, sounds and smells of all the hustle and bustle around me.

There were plenty of delicious aromas wafting up from the freshly cooked street food, and the chicken skewers and nasi goreng looked mouth-wateringly tasty.

Malioboro Street, Yogyakarta

Guardian of Malioboro Street

On one side of Malioboro Street were street food stalls and the motorbike park.

Malioboro Street, Yogyakarta

The motorbike park

On the other side were market stalls and waiting becaks. Down both sides behind the food stalls and market stalls were shops galore, including many batik showrooms and fast food restaurants such as Pizza Hut.

Malioboro Street, Yogyakarta

Batik Showroom

Malioboro Street, Yogyakarta

Malioboro Street = Batik Street

Running straight down the centre of the street is a busy road with two-way traffic, meaning that on top of all the other things going on there are many motorbikes, taxis, rickshaws complete with all the usual honking and erratic overtaking.

Malioboro Street, Yogyakarta

Malioboro Street: Still a busy main road

Malioboro Street, Yogyakarta

Erratic Malioboro Street

Eating on Malioboro Street

There are plenty of international fast food restaurants on Malioboro Street, but why would you want them? I certainly hope you wouldn’t when there are so many weird and wonderful street food experiences just waiting for you to seize.

Funnily enough, the street food restaurants on Malioboro Street are all the same so it’s just a matter of finding one with space. The tables are low and you sit on the floor to eat, leaving your shoes at the edge of the large mat.

Malioboro Street, Yogyakarta

Omar sitting on the floor and munching through… something on a stick

A menu is normally available but it’s not likely you’ll find one in English. The best thing to do is get up and go see what’s cooking. There’ll be a big platter of cooked chicken pieces and there’ll be something interesting going on in the wok.

Malioboro Street, Yogyakarta

Go and see what’s cooking

Malioboro Street, Yogyakarta

Try some chicken

Once you have ordered, you can sit back and enjoy the goings on around you:

It’s likely you’ll have some visitors during your meal or snack, such as: an acoustic guitarist who will want to serenade you with his rendition of Hotel California; those awful mobile karaoke women who wail along to the din coming from the speaker she is dragging along behind her on wheels; people selling tobacco; people giving out leaflets; and the occasional beggar – sometimes in the form of a scrawny-looking cat.

There is never a dull moment during a meal on Malioboro Street.

Malioboro Street, Yogyakarta

Malioboro Street, Yogyakarta

Shopping on Malioboro Street

Most shops on Maliboro Street are clothes shops, ranging from high-end batik showrooms to cheap and cheerful fashion outlets. There are many bargains and excellent purchases to be had just in the shops.

Then there are the stalls. The stalls sell everything you would expect to find on a market: t-shirts, jewellery, watches, dresses, sarongs, souvenirs and other accessories.

Malioboro Street, Yogyakarta

New flip flops, anybody?

Some of the shops have fixed prices and most are good prices. On the stalls though, you have to barter. You can normally get what you are looking for for about half the asking price or less, just stick to your guns and always be respectful and fair.

Prices on Malioboro Street tend to be competitive. I found the Malioboro Street shops to offer some of the cheapest shopping I’ve ever done anywhere. My advice to you is: if you can buy it in Yogyakarta then do so; it’s probably going to be more expensive elsewhere in Indonesia, if you find it at all.

Malioboro Street, Yogyakarta

There are even political campaigns from Malioboro Street

Malioboro Street, Yogyakarta

Is my shift over yet?

Malioboro Street, Yogyakarta

Slow night

Malioboro Street, Yogyakarta

Malioboro Street, Yogyakarta

Malioboro Street, Yogyakarta

Malioboro Street, Yogyakarta

A bit more about Malioboro Street

  • Supposedly Malioboro Street gets its name from the Governor Marlborough from when Britain ruled Indonesia 1811-1816.
  • Located in the heart of Yogyakarta, this is the city’s main street, and was once the ceremonial avenue for the Sultan to pass through on his way to and from the royal palace. During such occasions Malioboro street would be festively decorated with flowers.
  • How to get there: Malioboro Street is within walking distance from Tugu Railway Station.

So, did you enjoy that? Want to visit another interesting market in Yogyakarta? Click here.

Have you got a favourite street or square where everything is always happening? Where is it?

I would like to remind you that all the photos used on InMyShoesTravel.com are my own unless otherwise stated.
You can see my whole collection of Travel Photos here.

Filed Under: asiafeaturedIndonesiaJavaMarketsYogyakarta

About the Author: Based in Mallorca, obsessed with the world and have a lot to say about both... Step into my shoes and join me on a journey...

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  1. susan sykes says:

    This looks like a mad street, and what was on the plate on the stick!!!!! or didn’t you want to know

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