I didn’t even know about Borobudur until I met a lovely lady on a bus traveling from Bali to Yogyakarta. She said her and a friend were going to see it and invited me to come. I almost declined, because I still felt “templed out” from my previous trip around Asia, even though it was over 6 months ago. Curiosity got the better of me and we set off to see this Hindu temple at 6am. We arrived just before it opened and were surprised to see that there were so few tourists around. As the sun sleepily traced its way higher in the sky, we walked through the beautiful grounds to see Borobudur’s temple in all it’s glory. The entire time we were walking around, there were only a handful of other tourists. As we turned the corners, it felt as if we’d been given this striking temple to explore all on our own.
I like to say that Borobudur is “my Angkor Wat”. I know it’s not good to compare places, but I can still appreciate their own merits. While Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples are incredible, it’s hard to enjoy it entirely when there are hoards of tourists, there’s rarely an opportunity to take a photo without a bunch of random people ending up in the frame. I personally enjoyed the different style of carving at Borobudur – it seems a lot deeper and you can see the Hindu influence. The temple dates back to the 9th century and was covered in volcanic ash and vegetation for hundreds of years. In 1814 it was rediscovered and underwent massive restoration. This might just be my favourite temple in the whole world, if you are traveling around Java, make the journey to visit it and spend a while in Yogyakarta soaking up Java’s artistic hub.
Want more postcard goodness? See my postcards from Gili T