Beautiful Borobodur Temple
Trip Start May 20, 2010
195Trip End Sep 05, 2011
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Day : 108
Temperature : 34 degrees
Weather : Sunny
The World Heritage site of Borodobur Temple is Indonesia's single biggest tourist attraction and can attract up to 90,000 tourists during Indonesian holidays. Thankfully, it's Ramadan right now, and we virtually had the temple to ourselves! Haa haa...and it was incredible!
The Buddhist temple of Borobodur was built approximately 1,200 years ago, was discovered in 1818, and is built in the shape of a stupa. It has been compared to Angkor Wat of Cambodia and it sits on a 118m by 118m base overlooking the village of Borobodur
We arrived at Borobodur just after lunchtime, checked into our hotel, headed out for a bite to eat then relaxed for the afternoon. The best time to see the temple is early morning or late afternoon when the light is softer and the atmosphere is richer. We eagerly decided we would get up for sunrise..that was until we discovered we needed to get up at 5am!!! But, we had come to Borobodur only for one day and we were determined not to miss the sunrise. So, this morning we wearily dragged our bodies from their slumber, got dressed and headed out before dawn. As the ticket office opened it's doors we expected to see dozens of coaches from Yogya and hordes of tourists, but to our surprise there were only a handful of people. Entrance to the temple is $15 per person which on our budget is a fair amount, but it was most certainly worth it.
As we entered the park, the mist hung low in the sky, creating a heavy, moody atmosphere. As the sun rose higher, the mist gradually cleared and the hills in the distance pierced the clouds. The palm trees were visible far below and the squaking of birds in the trees could be heard all around
After recharging our batteries we packed our rucksacks and caught a bus to Tempel (which caused total confusion at the bus station because the local bus driver thought we wanted to go Borobodur "Temple"!) From there we caught an angkot to Pakem, and from there another bus to Kaliurang. All this cost us less than £1.50 each! Travel is cheap in Indonesia. So, here we are for the night hoping to see one of the most active volcanoes in Java. Right now the cloud is covering the hills, and according to the hotel, Merapi is quiet at the moment. This is the second volcano we have come to see, and the second volcano that is snoozing. Ironically, we were only a few miles away from the volcano in Sumatra which blew it's top in a violent fury last Saturday...only hours after we left the area....having not erupted for over 400 years!!! Typical!
Tomorrow we head back to Yogya and hope to catch a train further east, forever in the search of more volcanoes. Until then, we keep our fingers crossed that we might just see a wee puff of smoke from the mighty Merapi.....