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Jalan Malioboro is centrally located in downtown Yogyakarta. The street stretches from Tugu Railway Station to the Sultan's Keraton, spanning across some 2 1/2 kilometres in length. Major roads in the city such as Jl Jenderal Sudirman, Jl Mangkubumi, Jl P. Senopati, Jl Sultan Agung, Jl KH A Dahlan and Jl Pasar Kembang will converge at this street.


Without doubt Jl Malioboro is the most famous shopping promenade in the city. The street probably has the most concentration of small and personalised sidewalk shops selling anything from exquisite Javanese handicrafts to funky clothes.

While the street itself looks modern and colourful, a closer look will reveal its old-world charm in the form of refurbished colonial-age shop houses. During my stroll, I even passed in front of Kantor Gubenor Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta (the Governor's Office).

Along with fast-paced shopping experience, there are a number of hotels located on Jl Malioboro.  Hotels like Inna Garuda, Ibis Malioboro and Mutiara are rather popular among tourists, providing them with easy access to eateries, shops, batik studios, art galleries and travel bureaus.

During your stroll, you will also ran across traditional modes of transportation that you may be tempted to try. The most ubiquitous one is the trishaw, a three-wheel pedal-powered bicycle cart, locally known as becak or beca. For the hopeful romantics, there is also an exquisite horse carriage, which is locally known as andong or dokar. Normally, you don't have to look for these carts. The operators will definitely offer you a ride. Some get to the point of chasing you. If you are not interested, do politely decline. If you fancy a ride, a short tour along Jl Malioboro on becak should start from Rp10.000 ($1.20) upwards, depending where you want to go. I was toying with the idea of hiring a becak, but during the haggling discussion, I found out that the becak operator was ready to dupe me (he quoted something like Rp50.000 for a trip to the Sultan's Keraton after knowing I was from Malaysia). Walking away, mortified, he chased me and said, "Rp30.000", and then "Rp20.000". I ended up flagging a reliable and honest taxi driver to my destination for a mere Rp10.000.

In short, do exercise caution when dealing with the street vendors - be it gift sellers or becak operators.

There are a number of large shopping outlets here, apart from the regular and personalised moms-and-pops traditional shops. The expansive Malioboro Mall is located almost midway towards the Sultan's Keraton. A store named Dagadu located on lower ground is the main highlight of the mall, selling funky and contemporary T-shirts that make good souvenirs. There is also a traditional market called Pasar Beringharjo selling all kinds of local goods. Opposite Pasar Beringharjo is a fancy handicraft store called Mirota Batik.

Rather pedestrian-friendly. Great shopping, somewhat interesting architecture. Could do away with the street sellers though.

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