Java - Day 16 - Travel as locals do!
Nov 26, 2011
|Woke up at 5:30am to meet Delphine and Nick for breakfast at 6am. Ate our traditional Indonesian dish and walked down the gang to pick up our scooters. We rented them each at $50,000 rupees for the day.
Drove 150km round trip today with the scooters, no problems what so ever and fueled up twice which barely costs anything. It was a lot of fun and we got to experience the true way of transportation for the many locals of Yogyakarta. Motorcycles and scooters seem to be the most prevalent forms of transportation. We zoomed in and out of traffic, following the locals, sucking in all the vehicle fumes as we went. Jason had programmed the entire trip destinations within our GPS, I held it while Jason drove trying to make sure that we turned when we needed to. Traffic was very heavy within Yogyakarta but once we breeched the outer limits we were flying like Eagles between 60 -70 km/hr when permitted.
We arrived at Borobudur around 9:30am with the sun already out in full force. As we walked into the grounds we noticed a there were two entrances, one for locals and one for international tourists. Locals pay a $20,000 rupee entry fee while tourists pay $135,000 per person. Plus locals and tourists each have to wear a sarong while visiting the temple however, there is one pattern of sarong for locals and a different one for tourists. You can pick out all the tourists like you can a fly on white!
Borobudur, is the largest Buddhist temple in the world. Located in the Sub district of Borobudur, Magelang Regency, Central Java Province. It's location is 269 meters above sea level and is surrounded by several mountains, the weight of the temple building is 3,5000,000 tons. The temple is an ancient temple inherited by Buddhism and was built as a place to meditate or to stand in silence. The temple is made up of piles, more than 2,000,000 andesitic rocks. There are 10 levels, 24 entrances, 6 are on each temple side, 32 lion statues which function as gate guards of the temple - the lion also represents the vehicle used to carry the deceased Buddha up to Nirvana/heaven.
This temple was amazingly beautiful. So much architecture and illustrated scenes. We ended up staying at Borobudur for just a little over 3 hours, taking in the sights and walking through the archaeological museum. We jumped back on our scooters and continued on our way stopping for a bite to eat at a place called 'Taste of Indonesia'.
We were all glad to get out of the heat and eat in a cooler environment. We quickly stopped in at the on-site silver shop where we were given a tour to see how the silver jewellery is hand made. Took a look in the shop, the prices were crazy high. (the same necklace Jason bought for 500,000 rupees was 2.4 million rupees here!) Jumped on our scooters again and along the way to Prambanan Temple we stopped to top up our fuel, grab some ice cold water and grab a quick view of Mount Merapi Volcano.
We arrived at Prambanan Temple just a little before 4pm. Prambanan is a ninth century Hindu temple, dedicated to the Trimurti, the expression of God as the Creator (Brahma), the Sustainer (Vishnu) and the Destroyer (Shiva). It is the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia, and is one of the largest and the most beautiful Hindu temples in Southeast Asia. It is characterized by its tall and pointed architecture, typical of Hindu temple architecture, and by the towering 47m high central building inside a large complex of individual temples. The first temple was built at the site around 850 CE. It was damaged during the May 2006 Java earthquake. Early research suggested that although the complex was structurally intact, the damage was significant. Large pieces of debris, including carvings, were scattered over the ground.
As we got closer to Prambanan the enormous temples came into view. What a sight to behold! Such beautiful, huge temples rising into the sky. We parked our bikes and walked up to a fence that encircled the entire grounds of the temple. Jason and Delphine grabbed a few photos and than we decided to move to a better vantage point of Prambanan. As we got closer to the 'Exit' gate a vendor flagged us in and we entered the grounds for free. Soon after we entered the grounds and started to climb the steps we were surrounded by high school students. All Muslims in full body attire and eagerly waiting with anticipation to have their pictures taking with us. We felt like celebrities, the girls screaming with happiness that we accepted a photo op, gathering around us to take pictures with several different camera's. This went on for some time in several different locations until we decided we needed to run into a nearby temple to get away from them.
One of my favorite photos that Jason took is of the 'Sun God' located in a smaller temple across from the main structure. As the sun reaches a certain height it hits the Sun God within the temple, bathing the statue with a warm glow and makes it pop out from the darkness that surrounds it. As the moon rises, so too does the light envelope the Moon God. These temples rise into the sky like huge bee hives and are spectacular.
On our way out of the temple grounds Jason and Nick got caught by a group of high school girls, one of them studying journalism. They whip out their recorders and start interviewing Jason. Nick caught and recorded the entire event - classic.
We left the temples and continued our drive back into Yogyakarta, trying to arrive back in time before sunset. We stopped to top up the gas one more time. I happened to miss one of the turns on the GPS and we had to back track. Just as we got back to the main street close to our hotel, "Good-Night Irene" the GPS died. Perfect timing.
We returned the scooters, got back to the hotel, jumped in the shower and joined Delphine & Nick for supper at our ole' stopping grounds, 'Mi Casa Su Casa'. Indulging in a nice cold Bali Hai to star, and reviewing the awesome day we spent together. It was a great adventure on the scooters and we thoroughly enjoyed our day!