From November 11–22, the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang will be abuzz with the start of the 26th Southeast Asia Games.
Contestants from 11 countries will compete for 542 gold medals in more than 40 sports and games, ranging from familiar Olympic standards like football and table tennis to competitions with a uniquely Southeast Asian flavor, such as sepak takraw (kick volleyball) and pencak silat (a martial art practiced in Malaysia and Indonesia).
This year will also see the debut of a wide variety of new events, including wakeboarding, paragliding, bridge, roller-skating, kempo (a martial art from Japan), vovinam (a Vietnamese martial art developed in the 1930s), and pétanque (a form of boules, played by tossing hollow metal balls as close as possible to a smaller wooden ball).
In preparation for the games, the Palembang airport has been expanded by more than 100% to accommodate an increase in international and domestic flights. The Jakarta government, meanwhile, has promised to take steps to tame the city’s notorious traffic on game days.
Tickets are available at competition venues, or, for those who have BCA Bank accounts, via the online agent RajaKarcis.