Monday, August 11, 2014

The Temples of Jogjakarta: Prambanan vs Borobudur

I had five nights in Jogjakarta, and the temples were the first ones I have visited.

Upon arrival, on my second day, I visited the Prambanan temple which was around 19kms from the town center. Then, on my third day, I visited Borobudur Temple, which was around 40+kms. 

Between the two, I thought I appreciated Prambanan more than Borobudur; Borobudur was one massive solid figure, while Prambanan has several chambers with more detailed inscribes; There's interestingly more depictions on the wall carvings in the prambanan temple; I was told, it has something to do with the religion, as Prambanan was Hindu, and the other was something else.

Both temples were also reconstructed, and I thought Borobudur was overdone; The bricks were cut so perfectly fine as if newly built, and don't really give you a glimpse of how old this temple is.

Both destinations have a museum which some artifacts, and pictures which gives some story of the reconstruction and discovery of these temples. Then again, I would have been more interested in the significance of these temples to the surrounding villages at their times; or any rituals, practices, etc done in these temples before.

Both temples charge a $30 entrance fees for foreigners; And, upon entry, every visitor has to wear a sarong to cover the lower part of the body; Sarong is provided at the entrance and is collected upon exit.

Just like what is said on the reviews, if you're a white caucasian, expect to get a lot of request for pictures with the locals. There was a group of senior germans I came across with a lot, and saw them getting those requests, and the last few ones, I could see how one of them is almost disgusted with it already.

Bring some water or drinks as both temples require a lot of walking, especially Borobudur (and some stairs too).

En route to Borobudur, perhaps about a kilometer before reaching the temple, there is another temple that some visitors drop by. Also, From the nearby town of Magelang, there is a narrow cut towards Borobudur that has a  scenic ricefield.

Travelling via motorbike is alright, generally smooth, although there will be occasional potholes on the road.

This post is part of the #limbonisASIA tripSee link for more stories, detailed expenses and itinerary

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