Friday, July 2, 2010

Borobudur: A Chaperoned Monthsary

As planned, we got there for our monthsary (pardon my mushiness). Our Couchsurfing host Sandi, who didn't have work then because of a public holiday, drove and accompanied us to the magnificent-but-darn-crowded Borobudur.

Boroudur's stupas. Thank goodness I managed to take a photo of a deserted spot.

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?

Before entering the gate.

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.

Picnicking with an awesome view!

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.

Not so hectic on this side, so we stayed here for a while.

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.

Mushroom Satay and Smokin' hot Mushroom Curry.

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).

Watching a local make batik.

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.

My Nasi Goreng and Shervin's Garbage Tea.

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).

We didn't know what it's for, but we rented one as Sandi instructed.

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.

Before Shervin's first attempt.

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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4 comments:

thepinaysolobackpacker said...
July 27, 2010 at 9:54 AM

hmmmm..I think papasa din ako as a 'local'.. humihingi ba ng ID or kakausapin ka ba in Indonesian? hihi

kate said...
July 27, 2010 at 3:18 PM

wow, this is a really helpful post! We will be in Jakarta for 6 days this September. I hope we can go here. I'm still planning a route map :P

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
July 27, 2010 at 3:37 PM

Papasa ka for sure Gael! They do not ask for IDs. Just hope they will not chitchat with you. Hahaha!

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
July 27, 2010 at 3:55 PM

I do hope you could add Yogyakarta on your itinerary, Kate. Happy planning!

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