The answer was:
You can watch the action here:
Now that "The Amazing Race" has left Indonesia, it is appropriate to discuss some more general questions:
At the start, the answer was no. Competitors ran through immigration and customs, magically appeared at Gambir railway station (35km away), and upon arrival in Yogyakarta at 2 a.m. had taxis waiting for them.
But it got better from there. Entering the taxis, racers encouraged their respective taxi drivers to go fast, then became concerned when they saw their taxi driver's driving tactics. Surprisingly, there were no issues with traffic jams, dodgy meters or a taxi driver's inability to reach the agreed destinations. And the only time a taxi had a mechanical issue, it didn't matter - the taxi of dating divorcees Jeremy and Sandy died a short distance from Borobudur, so they paid and jogged the rest of the way.
Interestingly, this contrasted with competitors' experiences during Episode 5 in Phuket and Bangkok, Thailand.
Ernie's pedal broke on the way from the Sultan's Temple to Fort Vredeberg, in Yogyakarta City. The ensuing repairs caused Ernie and Cindy to drop from third to eighth (second last).
Some other doses of Indonesian reality:
Would you like to re-trace "The Amazing Race" competitors' steps? Please see the guide and Google Maps here.
More generally, there is some evidence of "The Amazing Race" raising the profile and tourist numbers at lesser-known/remote locations, such as Iceland.
Yogyakarta currently receives few international flights; currently only Air Asia operates flights from Yogyakarta to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. However, Silk Air also flies between Singapore and nearby Solo.
So many tourists often fly to Yogyakarta via the larger international airports in Jakarta or Denpasar. Looking at the Mau Ke Mana flight statistics page on Flight Memory, Yogyakarta is currently #6 for most popular airports. Flights from Jakarta to Yogyakarta is the 7th most popular flight route, closely followed by Yogyakarta to Denpasar.
It will be interesting to see if the airport and these flights' popularity increase over the next few months. Alternately, perhaps people will prefer to take the train from Jakarta to Yogyakarta, as the racers did.
Perhaps the previously unknown Goa Jomblang will also become more famous and well-frequented, after its starring role in the show.
Here are some ideas for East Java:
Finally, some ideas for a local celebrity could greet competitors at the the pitstop (end) of this leg of the race:
Suggestions welcome for other locations in Indonesia, e.g. Jakarta, Bali, Lombok, Medan.
Well if nothing else I am sticking with Dewi…
I still think it would have been fun to show them trying to meet a time line while grappling with the traffic from the airport to the city. I recall having a child in convulsions trying to get from the airport to the hospital, I would have put any of the amazing race tantrums to shame that day. Our regular jakarta driver is still on a ‘side-swipe’ bonus for every a’hole he gets who is blocking the emergency lane (although most days far too many to worry about).
So ya, if you were sitting in the emergency lane and you copped a new dent, it was probably us and we will do it again.
Oh new Slogan for Indonesia ‘Visit Indonesia Your BiPolar Destination”.
Honestly explains the glaring contradictions we see everyday. Although TII is probably the most common term heard amongst expats to explain the daily challenges and joys facing foreigners here.
If the “The Amazing Race” was to return to Indonesia, where could competitors go and what would they do there?
We’re about to find out.
The 21st series of “The Amazing Race” is starting today (on satellite/cable TV channel AXN, Mondays at 19:10 WIB) and will include a return visit to Indonesia.
Indonesian viewers will probably be supporting former White Lion and Megadeth bass player James LoMenzo (above left), who most recently toured Indonesia with Megadeth in 2007. (White Lion singer Mike Tramp is married to local celebrity Ayu Azhari).
It is not known whether Indonesian immigration officials would have deported these contestants – similar to Maria Ozawa – if they had known their day job was Chippendales: