My desire to visit Borobudur was almost the same as my feelings for Angkor Wat. Now who wouldn't be interested in seeing a 1,200 year old Southeast Asia colossal marvel up close?
A visit though will cost you a hefty $15 (non-Indonesians). Lucky for us Sandi took over the ticket-buying and we scored admission discounts, with Shervin as a foreign student ($7), and me as a 'local' (15,000 Rp).
If you don't have private transportation or not under a tour package, here's how to get to Borobudur: Take the Trans-Jogya to Jombor Bus Station on Jalan Magelang (3,000 Rp). From there, you can hop on a bus bound for Borobudur. Travel time, 1 hour and a half (10,000 Rp). Last bus going back to Central Yogyakarta is at 5:00 PM. Take note that the bus station is about a kilometer away from Borobudur, so make sure to leave earlier.
Before heading up the temple complex, we sat on a grassy clearing nearby and ate our breakfast take-away. After our picnic, we walked up and down the platforms with countless groups of local and foreign tourists plus hundreds of students on a field trip.
It's sad that the crowdedness took away the solemnity in the air. Yes, a little solitude would have made the moment perfect, but we were ecstatic anyway. It was a dream come true to be there.
The noon time heat and chaos made us cut our visit short.
We had lunch at Jejamuran, a restaurant serving mainly mushroom dishes (mushroom satay is a must try!). It is popular among locals not only because their meals are to die for, but also because the meals are perfectly suited to Muslims.
I was still in tears from the mushroom curry dish when Sandi drove us to Sogan Village. There we witnessed how batik is done (they also conduct classes for people who are interested to learn the craft).
I wanted to buy a blouse for my mom, but the products sold at Sogan Village were too pricey for me. If you don't have much budget allocated for souvenirs like me, then Jalan Malioboro is the place for you!
Back at Sandi's house, we had a nap for two hours. When we got up, Sandi and his mom invited us to have dinner at a local eatery which has been around for years. We ordered fried noodles and nasi goreng upon Sandi's mom's recommendation.
Shervin also tried the 'garbage' tea, named so because of the different tea leaves mixed together which sorta makes it look like uhm, trash.
Before calling it a day (or night), Sandi took us to a park he described as 'spooky'. We got out of the car and walked to a stall that has blindfolds for rent (3,000 Rp each).
After renting a blindfold, Sandi pointed at two old trees standing about ten meters (please don't quote me, I'm not good in estimating distance) across each other. Sandi asked Shervin if he wanted to try the game first. He blindfolded him and asked him to make a wish. The goal of the game is to walk past, in between the two trees. If you successfully do it, your wish will come true.
Sounds easy, but believe me, people walk to every direction - especially if the start line is about thirty meters (can be farther to increase difficulty and fun-factor) away from the trees.
Although none of us got past the trees (not even close), we had a blast. We headed home laughing in the car, recounting the silly directions we walked while blindfolded.
[This blog is part of the South East Asia in Six Weeks series which took place May-June 2009. Price of goods, transportation and so forth may already be different.]
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