Java, Indonesia

Sorry for the long absence! We’ve been off the grid travelling Australia and New Zealand by camper. Can’t wait to share what that was like with all of you! But before I do, let me finish up with Indonesia…

We decided that we wanted to experience a little bit more of Indonesia than just Bali so we hopped on a quick (just over an hour) and cheap ($50 round trip!) flight to Java to visit the Buddhist temple site of Borobudur and the Hindu temple site of Prambanan as well as to see Mount Merapi, the most active volcano in Indonesia. All three are easily accessible by flying into Yogyakarta in central Java. We based ourselves close by Borobudur and travelled by hired car to Prambanan and Merapi.

Seeing Borobudur and Prambanan, we couldn’t help but compare them to Angkor in Cambodia. Stylistically they are similar having been built around the same time and eventhough Borobudur is the world’s largest Buddhist temple, both Borobudur and Prambanan are dwarfed by the size of Angkor (since it is a site of a city, not just a temple). Borobudur and Prambanan are also listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Borobudur

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Walking up to Borobudur

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Looking out from Borobudur

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Two of the many panels of carved Buddhist reliefs covering the temple

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Lots of boy size ledges to rest

 

 

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Some of the 72 stupas of Borobudur

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Inside each stupa is a seated Buddha

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An exposed Buddha sitting inside a stupa

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Us of course:)

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Another shot of the iconic stupas

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West side (back) of Borobudur

Mendut temple (one of the two other temples that form a straight line with Borobudur)

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Prambanan

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Walking up to Prambanan

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It’s clear Prambanan is a Hindu temple from its more intricate structure

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One of the smaller temples in the Prambanan complex

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The restoration efforts are daunting

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Mount Merapi (aka Fire Mountain) has erupted regularly since 1548 with the most recent large scale eruption in 2010. It can easily be visited on the way to or from Prambanan.

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The way most people visit Merapi without having to hike it.

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Smoke is always rising out the top of Merapi

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Route the lava flowed in the 2010 eruption

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Many damaged and abandoned homes like this one all around Merapi

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A memorial for the 2010 eruption shows the carnage in the form of animal bones, melted household goods and lava booms

Our experience in Muslim Java was quite different from Hindu Bali. The people were friendly but definitely more reserved than the Balinese. And the sound of prayer woke us up in the morning and lulled us to sleep in the evening. I’m really glad we were able to visit a different part of Indonesia to give us a different perspective.

 

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4 thoughts on “Java, Indonesia

  1. Lovely post! I am in Singapore and Indonesia next month and will keep all this in mind! I don’t want to go to the crowded touristic place and central Java looks pristine.. will add these temples to my list now 🙂

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  2. I think it’s doable but you would be moving around so much that you might not have the chance to fully appreciate your experience which is the whole point of travelling in my opinion. There were some places where I wish our travel had been slower. Perhaps if you really want to experience Java, Bali and Lombok, you can limit the places you visit to a max of 2 or alternatively reduce your trip to just two of the islands?

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