This trip was booked way back last November (yes, it was that long ago) during an Air Asia sale as it was ridiculously cheap then. So I bought the flight tickets then and left the trip to sit on the shelf until recently.
At first I thought twice about going, what with recent incidents as well as the calamities, thankfully all is well and no one even bothered with any 'sweeping'.
Jogja's main attraction is undoubtedly Candi Borobudur, the world's largest Buddhist temple. It's also Indonesia's third main tourist destination after Bali and Jakarta, and I can understand why.
Commemorative stone, with the temple in the background.
I read this before I ascended the steps.
Enter east, exit north.
View towards park entrance.
Simple information on the relief panels.
The East steps.
No climbing allowed. Very tempting though to catch views from certain angles.
This was on the middle level of stupas, if I'm not mistaken.
A Buddha statue, without its stupa?
Playing with shadows.
The quiet, serene setting is perfect for meditating - this lady had a little candle and flower with her; I hope I didn't intrude her privacy.
These are called 'reliefs'.
Information board describing the relief panels on the Rupadhatu level, numbering 1300 in total.
Taken by a fellow traveller from Holland.
You can still see misty mountains in the horizon.
The unfinished Buddha, that was thought to originate from the main stupa.
After two hours of roaming around the complex, we had our breakfast at a stall within the park - it was really getting very very hot at this hour and it was only just 8 am!
We then proceeded to Mendut temple, a 15 minutes drive. This was a smaller temple, with a huge banyan tree in the compound.
A single temple.
The huge banyan tree, with men continuously sweeping its surroundings.
One of the three statues inside dark Mendut.
Would take years to grow one.
Prambanan was next - oh what a sight! I was told to magnify that feeling 100 times more for Angkor Wat :)
Prambanan, about 30 minutes from Jogja, is a Hindu temple complex, and was quite badly affected by the quake in May 2006. The three main temples of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, are off limits and undergoing repair works.
The intact shrine, surrounded by ruins of the rest.
Originally, altogether there were 224 small shrines in the temple complex, now almost all are in ruins. I saw only one that looked complete. Apparently, a temple or shrine will only be rebuilt if it had at least 75% of its original stones.
View from the front, just before my camera gave up on me :(, I had to rely on Masami's camera for the rest of the pictures. Hopefully she'll be able to email them to me soon as she gets back to Tokyo.
Accommodation-wise, I stayed in Hotel Merbabu on Jln. Sosrowijayan, and then moved to Hotel Mataram along Jln. Pasar Kembang, near the Tugu Train Station. Both hotels include breakfast in their rates.
On the second night, I decided to catch the Ramayana Ballet at Puriwisata since I won't be able to make it to the one the next evening at Prambanan itself. I was pleasantly surprised that it was performed nightly without fail since 1976, in an ampitheatre located near the Sultan's Palace. I went with a new friend from Tokyo, Masami, whom I met at Borobudur.
At the Puriwisata, entrance to the ampitheatre.
Main cast taking a bow - poor quality pic :( Need to practice my night shots.
With the stage behind me.
p.s. Pictures to come later hopefully, blogger is slow to upload. Updated.