Tag Archives: Yogyakarta

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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Yogya

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

From Jakarta’s fameless countryside to the culture capital of Yogyakarta: it’s quite the leap – and not only thematically. It will take about 9 hours to traverse these 455km, mostly by train. I don’t know if it’s a good decision to go overland, but truth is flying won’t save me much time and the operating airlines seem shady – so rail road it is. The views better be nice!

I’ve heard tons of praise about Yogyakarta but funny enough, there don’t seem to be that many sights. So then I wonder… where does the fame come from? That said, I plan on taking a cooking class and maybe some yoga workshops. There are also lots of amazing temples in the vicinity. Some of those I’ll be visiting on a daytrip, but one – the one – requires more time. I’ll tell you all about that one in the next post!