The temple of temples

(This entry is part of the Coming 2016 side blog)

I’m a sucker for ancient temple sites. No matter how touristy it may be and how cheesy some travellers might find it, I LOVED Angkor Wat. It inspired me. It moved me. It dazzled me. So ever since that experience, I’ve enlarged my to do list with those other majestic sites: Bagan in Myanmar, and Borobudur in Indonesia.

A few days before the full moon, I’ll leave Yogya for what I expect to be the highlight of this journey: Vesak day at Borobudur.

Vesak day (or Waisak day, as it’s also called) is Buddha birthday. The festival is celebrated all around Asia, in different ways. But almost all of those ways involve light. Candles, lanterns, fireworks. I was lucky enough to experience this in Korea, where temples were stunningly adorned and riverbeds got completely lit up with live sized paper statues that shone vividly at night. Now I will time my visit to the great Borobudur with this even grander festival. I want to join the procession. I want to hear the chants. I want to see the sky filled with lampions.

However, I’ll arrive early. Not just for the festival, but also – simply- for the heritage. To bicycle between the fields, hear monks chant in the monasteries, see the sunrise over those ancient stupas. Lord yes, I look forward to Borobudur. I look forward to it a lot!


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