Early rise (5am) today as we explored two breathtaking temples. The first, 8th century Borobudor, the largest Buddhist temple in the world. Beautiful and enigmatic, Borobudor is a marvelous structure and one of the great treasures of South East Asia. Built as a large single stupa and when viewed from above, resembles a giant mandala. The story of Buddhist cosmology is carved in stone that is portrayed in panels, explaining important lessons in the pilgrimage towards enlightenment . We were given traditional sarongs for our visit which we wore while we were there.
We visited the sultans palace on the way home. It was built by Prince Manguku-Bumi in 1755 in the heart of the city. It still remains the hub of Yogya's traditional life and shows off the elegant and classical Javanese architecture. It cost 12,500 Rp which is about $1.10. Prices in Java are extremely cheap and meals so far have costs between 50 cents to $5 including a drink! Its been really great but our guide has warned us that Bali will be more expensive as its catered to tourists.
Four of us decided to take a pony carriage to a restaurant near our hotel. It was quite a fun little ride with all of us packed in. It was so hot that we literally had to jump in the pool to cool ourselves off before the next temple.
Prambanan is an impressive temple complex that encompasses 224 ruined temples and is currently undergoing painstaking restoration. It is the largest Hindu complex in Java and one of the worlds greatest. We spent about an hour walking around and were able to see it at sunset which was really something. At both temples, we were mobbed by school children who wanted our pictures with them. They would get really excited when you agreed and then would call all their friends over to join the pictures.