13.01.2017 30 °C
An early start - up at 4am in order to get to the Borobudur complex before sunrise and the hoards of tourists that would
no doubt would be descending on the site later in the day.
We got a pack up breakfast and left just after 5am for the drive north to the site about 25 miles away.
Borobudur was built in the 9th century is the worlds largest Buddhist temple complex with over 500 Buddha statues,
set on a hill, it circles it's way up the 9 levels to represent the 9 stages to enlightenment .
We were lucky - there were only a few people were there at 6am, we made our with our guide around the temple,
ascending up the levels to the stupa at the top and reaching "Nirvana" - Enlightenment ! - to get some great views.
After some free time walking around on our own and getting "attacked" by local tourists and school kids from Indonesia,
who wanted to speak and have there photos taken with "White Westerners" we made our way back to Yogyakarta.
We arrived back by mid morning and got dropped in the centre as we wanted to visit the Kraton area of the city where
The Sultans Palace (Royal Palace) was, before it closed to the public at noon.
The Sultan was in residence and certain areas were closed off but we got a good idea of the palace and
again we were no western tourists there apart from us. Nearby was another complex called the Taman Sari,
which was a series of secret underground buildings built specially for the Sultan complete with a
Water Palace, a Mosque and other quarters, it was hard to find but worth it in the end.
By this time we were in need of a break before the afternoon plan - a visit to Prambanan,
so we returned in the busy traffic on rickshaw to our hotel and went to a local Gelato ! and a chillout before leaving again at 3pm.
Prambanan is located about 10 miles east of the city and is the largest Hindu Temple in Java and
is mainly visited by the large Indian population of Indonesia.
On arrival we were greeted by the hoards of Hawkers and a rain storm, but no sooner had we borrowed a brolly,
the rain passed and it dried up immediately - as it always does in this part of the world and we escaped the rain and the hawkers !
Borobudur may have been a "must see place" but this in comparison was fantastic and certainly had the "Wow" factor.
Built just after Borobudur in the 9th century it has 3 main Temples representing the main Indian gods (Bahama, Shiva and Vishnu) and small ones around it. The park closed at 5pm, but we managed to stay inside as our guide "fixed it" with the security guard and
we saw a great sunset over the temples.
Soon after we returned to our hotel after a non stop 14 hour day and went out for some well deserved beers -
Bintang and Bali Hai, sadly both bland lagers but they were cold, 5% and did the trick :-)