Yogyakarta – Borobudur & Prambanan

September 28 to October 2 – Yogyakarta

After the Komodo Dragons, fish, and beaches of Labuan Bajo, we made our way to Java for some temples and volcanoes. We started in Yogyakarta which is known as the art capital of Indonesia. That would should be enough of a reason to keep me away but I wanted to go to see Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world, possibly the whole universe.


Travel half way around the world and we find our doppelgangers.


Ahhhhh, the “very famous” Neo Awana. After roughing it in our last hotels finally we have a nice place.


These becaks, bicycle rickshaws, saw Johnny and me all over Yogyakarta. They were a bit awkward though because drivers would be lined up asking for our business but we’d walk right by all the pedal powered ones and only go with the motorized ones. It always made us feel bad for the ones who couldn’t afford a motor.


We went to visit the Kraton, or Sultan’s Palace. It’s where the sultan of Yogyakarta lives along with 25,000 other people.


This Javanese dancer was at the Kraton.


I thought the Kraton was kind of funny. Basically from what I can tell it’s nothing more than a big complex that holds all of the sultan’s stuff. Here is the tea cup collection. Next door you’ll see the tea kettles, then his boy scout uniforms, then room after room after room of more junk.


These kids recognized us from our blog and asked for a selfie.


The Water Palace. It was a bunch of courtyards with pools in it. Pretty cool for such a hot place like Yogyakarta. This must be where the sultan hung out before air conditioning.


In Indonesia people make fun of you if you don’t have a selfie stick.


Yogyakarta is famous (infamous?) for batik galleries. Clearly we feel into the trap. The guy kept saying we needed one more and we kept falling for it. Haha.


This is how you make batik. You have a little needle type thing that applies a drop of wax to fabric. You then dye the fabric which leaves the waxed fabric undyed. Repeat over and over and over and you have a pretty cool looking design. The cloth this woman is working on will take one month. Our batik art in the previous photo also take about a month to do.


A lot of this trip was highlighted by very early mornings. This day we woke up at 3:30AM to be out the door at 4 to catch the Borobudur sunrise. When we agreed to this we thought we’d be much closer to Borobudur. Oh well. We did get to see a volcano sunrise.


After the sunrise we had a lot of time to check the place out before actually going to Borobudur.






There it is, Borobudur!


Borobudur is the largest Buddhist temple in the world. It was built in the 9th century but abandoned in the 14th when other religions took favor. In the early 1800s it was “rediscovered” and this is what you see today after multiple restoration projects.


We hired a guide to show us around. The info the guide provided was great but it was also nice because it meant there was someone to take photos of us.


There are 504 Buddha statues at Borobudur.


You see how nice and smooth those blocks of stone are in the front? See those unfinished stones on the left? When Borobudur was built it wasn’t entirely stable so the builders had to extend the base and bury the nice finished stone in the front with those unfinished stones. After the restoration projects the foundation was improved so that the nicer stones beneath could be displayed.


This is one panel of 2672 on Borobudur. On this platform the panels show how Buddha became Buddha.


It’s common for Buddha heads to go missing because people want souvenirs.


At the upper platforms are 72 stupas.


You see how the stupas in front have diamond cutouts? In the back the cutouts are square. That has something to do with how square is a more perfect shape than diamond and symbolizes Buddha reaching perfection. I think in that very central stupa there is no Buddha because at that point he is so perfect that his image cannot be recreated… or something.



This is what’s inside all of the stupas. Hi Buddha.


Johnny wanted a better shot of the Buddha inside the stupa so he knocked some blocks over.




Johnny made a friend to bring back to Rafa and Cisco.


Am I at nirvana yet?


Hawaii 2011…


Borobudur 2016.


I replaced one of the missing Buddha heads!


It always seems like I have to put these things on but for some reason Johnny never has to.


After Borobudur we went to see the Hindu temples of Prambanan. The Hindu’s needed a response to the awesomeness of Borobudur so this is what they built in the 9th century.



Prambanan was heavily damaged after abandonment and earthquakes. Johnny can’t seem to find where this piece goes.





He found a piece! It’s so heavy though.


Trying to put this thing back together again would be near the top as worst job in the world.



There are several temples on the site and nothing makes visiting them easier than this handy train.


Back in Yogyakarta, there is this well hidden “underground mosque”. The guy who sold us all of the batik said it’s beautiful and we need to see it. It was ok.



A restaurant next to our hotel appeared to be the cool place for all the teens in Yogyakarta to hang out. It was hard to ignore so we went one evening. It’s a sambal restaurant where there are dozens of small dishes for order each for 30 to 50 cents. They were really good for a bit then it became grueling as each bite was spicier than the next. Glad we tried it but I don’t want to go back. This is only a small portion of everything we ordered.


This was cool. Organic chemistry set to make coffee. I want one.


One day we went to Malioboro which is a street full of shopping and food vendors. We found ourselves in the mall and my eyes immediately found the word vegan next to a food cart. There was a vegan festival going on in Yogyakarta. Johnny insisted I support the vegan movement so we went there two days in a row.


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