Surrounded by tall volcanoes, stunning rice terraces, and white sandy beaches, Yogyakarta is so much more than the already world famous Borobudur and Prambanan ancient temples. The province is about to be rediscovered as word of mouth spreads in traveling circles, particularly among the more adventurous backpackers. Yogyakarta is witnessing a refreshing change in tourism as young and old backpackers penetrate deeper and deeper into the delights of Java off the beaten tracks.
After checking in and getting the rules of the road, you are on your way — driving your Hummer, with three or four additional adventures ahead. The first stop is El Ray (The King), an archeological park of ancient Mayan ruins. Entering the park you gaze out over the vast green expanse of what was once a well-organized small city, now in ruin. Sauntering through the ruins you find a “city hall,” temple, and bakery. Quietly listening, you can almost hear the ancient echoes of children playing, merchants calling out to those passing by, and priests making offerings to their gods. Or is it just the wind blowing through the crumbling columns?
Isla Mujeres. That little gem off the coast of Cancun lying peacefully in the Caribbean Sea, waving you over to experience her magic…Ultimately what you’ve discovered is that although the sights and activities are all incredibly illuminating and rewarding, the magic of Isla is her people. For without people who are genuine, giving, friendly, and engaging, there can be no magic.
South Bali has become very crowded with locals and tourists. After spending a few days or a week in South Bali, you’ll need to get away from its bustling shops and congested streets. North Bali offers an ideal, quiet retreat, plus the opportunity to get to know the locals better.
Here’s a daylong tour of North Bali that takes in two very different freshwater swimming pools; the distinctive Pura Meduwe Karang Temple; Singaraja, the former capital of Bali; and the island’s largest Buddhist Temple, Brahma Vihara Ashrama.
Visitors to Memphis typically come for the music and the world-renowned barbecue. But once you’ve had your fill of the blues and pork ribs (wet and/or dry), you might want to consider a funky little eatery and watering hole called The Beauty Shop Restaurant and Lounge.
Located in the Cooper-Young area of town, this quirky establishment achieves what so many other restaurants aspire to — sophisticated eclecticism. More importantly, it doesn’t try too hard to be hip.