Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Borobudur was built in the 9th century and is one of the most impressive Buddhist monuments in the world. It is made up of 6 circular levels and decorated with over 500 Buddha statues seated inside the stupas.
This UNESCO listed site had been hidden for centuries and was buried under layers volcanic ash and reclaimed by the jungle – it is still an enduring mystery why it was abandoned but the numerous restoration projects have preserved this wonderful site and is well worth the visit. There were people everywhere climbing up and down its narrow staircases, it was hard to get photos without the hordes of tourists getting into every frame.
Being right next to the equator it was extremely hot and humid, shortly after we arrived so did a short tropical downpour cooling down the scorching hot site and bringing some relief. Sitting under the tin roof sipping ice coffee from a bag with a plastic straw we decided to head over to the ruins of Prambanan temple which was also built in the same period and worshipped by Hindus. It is the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia and one of the biggest in Southeast Asia.
The temple site itself is very well-preserved but after the temples, in Cambodia, we find ourselves slightly underwhelmed.
Yogya itself is not a very attractive or inviting tourist stop were it not for Borobudur so we are glad to leave it for the remote beaches of Lombok and the last leg of our 10-day trip.