Although I travel all over the world for my job, I often never have time to see anything in the places that I visit. So on this current trip to Indonesia, it’s nice to get the time to do a little bit of sightseeing on an afternoon off. On Saturday, we visited Borobudur Temple, about an hour’s drive from our hotel in Yogyakarta. An undeniable cultural masterpiece, the temple was built around the 8th century and is the biggest Buddhist place of worship in the world, attracting thousands of pilgrims every year. The structure is built entirely of stone with an anti-earthquake design, in that they used no cement when building it so that stones can move without causing damage to the temple. It has been damaged and abandoned many times since it was first built, but is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most beautiful that I have been to. There’s no surprise that it is Indonesia’s number one ‘tourist attraction’.
It is recommended to go at sunrise for some of the most stunning views in the world, however due to the weather not looking promising, we opted to go towards the end of the day, which was still a breathtaking experience. Entry cost $20 (about £14) per person for a non-resident, which was pretty pricey compared to everything else in Indonesia, but we sucked it up anyway. We also paid for a guide (RP 75,000 – around £4/$6) which was very useful as he taught us many things about buddhism, as well as about Indonesian culture. There are many stories explaining the teaching of buddhism around the temple – around 5km of stone carvings to be exact, each one representing a belief or tradition. It was interesting to learn more about a place I had previously known very little of.