Blogs from Borobudur, Java, Indonesia, Asia


Asia » Indonesia » Java » Borobudur May 26th 2018

We decide to skip the 3am departure to watch the sun rise over Borobudur, and instead allow ourselves a lie in till 6am, which allows time for breakfast and a very brief glimpse of the volcano before it vanishes back into the mist. Borobudur is an hour’s drive away, and August takes us on the back routes which are far more scenic and rural and much quieter than the highway. All the guide books say it’s vital to get there before 7.30am when the tour parties arrive, as it gets appallingly crowded. We are nervous that our need for sleep may result in a dreadful visit fighting off the crowds, so are pleasantly surprised, not to say relieved, when we arrive to find a peaceful car park and nobody ahead of us in the ticket queue. ... read more
Volcanic Mount Merapi
The approach to Prambanan

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Borobudur May 4th 2018

We spent the morning at Borobudur, the world's largest standalone Buddhist temple - originally built in the 8th-9th century although restored due to earthquakes/volcanic eruptions and some other security incidents. It was too hazy to come out in pictures, but the Merapi volcano was smoking in the background while we were there. It was amazing, I would have loved to explore for a lot longer. It's huge, and covered with artwork depicting Buddhist stories, apparently with the world's largest intact collection of Buddhist reliefs/stories. Adding a bit of chaos, it's the largest tourist destination in Indonesia and was a school holiday of some sort the day we were there - it was overflowing with students, and it seemed like all of them wanted pictures with us and/or to interview us in English for school (this involved ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Borobudur January 5th 2017

Let's get spiritual, spiritual, I wanna be spiritual, let me hear your ....... Oops. I was going all Olivia Newton John on myself chasing down a few temples in Java. Islam may be the king pin religion here (in fact Indonesia is the largest Muslim nation on the onion) but a few of the other faiths still get a minor guernsey. The surprise is, given the at best boutique following of Hinduism and Buddhism on Java, the world's two largest relics paying homage to both faiths sit on the outskirts of Yogyakarta. Prambanan and Borobodur are a mere 20 and 40 clicks respectively from Yogya's CBD and their UNESCO listings had me firing up the Nikon, more so with the brochure descriptions of especially Borobudur: "Dating back well over a millennia. 9 levels. Thousands of intricate ... read more
You want buy batik?
So that explains the burning ring of fire every morning.
Visitors to Prambanan.

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Borobudur August 3rd 2016

Arrived here in Borobudur on a $36, 1.5 hour flight from Jakarta. $36! There was even a snack service! Actually arrived in Yogyakarta, a 1.5 hour bus ride from Borobudur. Booked a Javanese style guesthouse which is a great relief from Jakarta. There’s still motorcycle noise, since motorcycles are the primary form of transportation here, but little traffic. The air is clean. The primary noise comes from calls to prayer which come from several mosques nearby. There are rice fields just across the street. Temperature is cooler, a nice relief from the hot weather so far since I left SF. Borobudur is just a 20 minute walk away. Decided to get Borobudur out of the way the next morning at sunrise. 4 AM wake up. 4:30 AM at Borobudur. Borobudur is a 9th century Buddhist Temple. ... read more
Sunrise over Borobudur
Borobudur Sunrise

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Borobudur April 29th 2016

We spent the day in the pool to get rid of the kids energy and it certainly helped my legs which are very stiff and sore from the climb. About 3.30 our car arrived for the 40 minute drive to Borobudur. Built in AD760, and taking sixty years to complete, it is the wolds largest Buddhist temple. It was forgotten for over a 1000 years and rediscovered around 1850, overgrown and covered. We took the first level corridor, about 8 foot wide, and walked around the whole perimeter. Then moved up to the second level and so on. The walls of each corridor are covered with stone carvings, telling the story of Buddhism. After 4 levels you reach three circular levels with giant stone stupas (bell shaped with intricate holes). We'd chosen to come in the ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Borobudur December 24th 2015

This blog is a little different as it is based on our 10 day cruise around the Indonesian archipelago. We started in hot and sticky Singapore, joining the Azamara Quest – with just 636 passengers onboard instead of the usual 3,000+ as on the mega-ships. For the first 2 days of the cruise we didn't see any sunshine only torrential rain (well it is the middle of the rainy season)! Fortunately, on arrival in Semarang (Central Java) the sun was shining with hardly a cloud in the sky. However, it was all very bizarre to be welcomed by a country and western band – complete with cowboy hats - playing the Johnny Cash song 'Ring Of Fire'. We later learned that due to all the volcanoes in the vicinity, the whole area is known as 'The ... read more
Borobudur Temple
Komodo National Park
Komodo National Park

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Borobudur September 28th 2015

Het is al even geleden dat we geblogd hebben, en deze is wat langer geworden dan gepland, ook al beslaat hij maar 3 dagen. Anders gaan we te ver achterlopen, onze excuses hiervoor. Met de gratis airport shuttle gaan we van het centrum van Jogjakarta naar het vliegveld, dat tegen de stad aangeplakt ligt. Om 11 uur hebben we afgesproken met de autoverhuurder. In Indonesië is het gebruikelijk om een auto met chauffeur te huren, gezien de hectiek op straat lijkt dat ook nodig. Toch verhuren sommige bedrijven ook auto’s zonder chauffeur en na wat speurwerk op internet hebben wij er een gevonden. Op het vliegveld zien we niemand van de verhuurmaatschappij, na wat heen en weergemail met de baas treffen we toch iemand bij de informatiebalie van het vliegveld. Hij spreekt bijna geen Engels en ... read more
Tabak drogen
Het wordt al lichter

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Borobudur July 17th 2015

After some camp and the Womens' World Cup, I am going to Indonesia! The only thing is Indonesia is on the opposite side of the world, so it takes like 2 days to get there. We packed and got ready to go to the airport. Ania will drive us since she has a different flight. When we got to the airport she gave us hugs and then we went through security. We then boarded our first flight which was to Switzeraland which took 9 hours! After, we went on a plane to Thailand which took another 10 hours. When we got to Thailand, we finally took a 3 hour flight to Jakarta, Indonesia. We got there about 3 o'clock and got a taxi to our hotel. The hotel was awesome! It had a huge swimming pool, ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Borobudur April 6th 2015

The whole purpose of this brief trip to Indonesia was to visit the Buddhist temple at Borobudur. Built in the 9th Century, the temple complex looked stunning, and our mission was to visit at sunrise. I was a bit dubious about my chances given a history of failed attempts to see either sunrises or sunsets at various famous places, Angkor Wat being the most recent. However I am nothing if not an optimist, hence the early start. The alarm went off at 3.30 and it didn't feel like I had been asleep for long. Soon enough though I was wide awake, as our driver drove like a madman. We were on the edge of our seats, so it was hardly a relaxing drive, wondering if we would make it alive or not! But luck was on ... read more
Sunrise at Borobudur
Sunrise at Borobudur
Sunrise at Borobudur

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Borobudur September 3rd 2013

In the darkness of the minutes before dawn, Arik and I are negotiating the steep stairway up the Borobudur. The only source of light in the enveloping blackness is our flashlights. I quicken my pace on the last few steps. The air is cold and the stars overhead bring a feeling of calmness. A few others have arrived before us and are jealously guarding their spots, there with the same purpose as mine – to wait for the sunrise. There is a collective sense of anticipation. “We’re lucky,” whispers Arik, my motorbike guide from ViaVia, a Belgian company that, aside from running a restaurant and a guesthouse in Yogyakarta, does a number of really interesting alternative tours across Java. “The sky looks great. It’s going to be a very lovely sunrise.” With the letdown of the ... read more
Hello Sunshine
Golden Hour

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