Prambanan Temple

Prambanan Temple

After an amazing morning visit to the Borobudur temple I head over to the Prambanan temple closer to Yogyakarta in the afternoon. It is also a 9th century temple but this one is a Hindu temple. Not as impressive as Borobudur but still a nice temple to visit.

Prambanan is a UNESCO sight that happens to be the largest Hindu complex in Indonesia. Some bricks lay outside the main temple structures that must have been remnants of a 16th century earthquake that destroyed the temples. Restoration efforts started in the early 1900’s and continue to present day. Luckily they have restored a good part of the temples for us now to enjoy.

It is a warm beautiful day at the temples. The crowds are thicker here with school children and seemingly mostly local visitors.

It is at Prambanan temple that I started to realize how popular I am in Indonesia. I stand out pretty much every where I travel (I never do a great job at fitting in) but in Indonesia I really stand out. At places like Prambanan that doesn’t get as many western tourists I am a novelty. I am used to students in south east Asia wanting to speak with me to practice their English – I even welcome it. However in Yogyakarta it proved to be a little inconvenient, especially at these temples. There were so many groups of students and not as many of “me” types so I am constantly being stopped for school projects. Besides the students there are groups of males wanting to take pictures with me. It is flattering only to a degree but then I spent the rest of my visit literally hiding behind temples until the coast is clear to go exploring again. I know it sounds like I am exaggerating but the attention is excessive. Looking back maybe I could have made time for every group of students that wanted to talk with me, maybe not. At least I hope I am a positive representative of an American while I am a guest in the country.

One of the friendly groups of students I chatted with

Walking back to the park entrance I find these fun straw creatures being assembled nearby.

I’m beat after a long day of sightseeing so I head back to my hotel to rest up and get ready for a night food tour I have scheduled. Been a great day so far in Yogyakarta, looking forward to trying to new food.

Sunrise at Borobudur

One of the most popular things to see in Yogyakarta Indonesia is the Borobudur temple. This 9th century UNESCO temple is considered to be the largest Buddhist monument on Earth.

I am going to see it at sunrise.

Borobudur temple sunrise viewing is probably the best sunrise viewing I have ever witnessed.

I almost regretted this 3 am wake up call for sunrise but I am definitely glad I went to see it.

I tried to nap during the car ride to the temple. Everything is still pitch black when I arrive. I arrive at the main building to check in and retrieve a sticker to show I have paid admission. The plan is to head out to the temple to watch the sunrise then head back to the main building for a buffet breakfast.

It is off in the dark with a little flashlight to the temple.

I get up to the top of the temple and soon the sun starts sneaking up the horizon.

I find the dragonflies flying around the temple at sunrise charming. Someone tells me their life span is very short.

I actually had tears in my eyes watching the colors off in the distance against the shadow of the mountains. I have never cried at a sunrise before.

The sun puts light on the temple so gently.

After the sun rises I view the temple in full light.

It gets quiet in areas as the crowd dies down. It really is a peaceful experience.

I descend the temple to walk to the main building get my buffet breakfast. Not memorable but I enjoy the coffee (I am so addicted).

Temple from the bottom looks very different

Video of the experience….very sorry about it being vertical.

After breakfast we head out to another temple. I am definitely going to nap on the way!

Bali Silent Retreat Day 2

Bale for Yoga and meditation

We are given a warning gong in the morning to wake up and another to signify the start of meditation in the morning.

It is my first morning at the retreat and I missed the first gong – I must’ve slept through it. I hear the neighbors stirring and I don’t have much time until the second round goes off. I contemplate skipping meditation because it is 40 minutes long and I really don’t know what I’m doing but I go anyway. I never got around to buying yoga pants during my travels and show up in my PJ shorts and T-shirts. My attire seems to work out ok. Meditation is challenging since it has been a long while since I have last attempted meditating. During the class I sit there and pretty much do my own thing and I guess that is fine.

Next is yoga right after the meditation. I think about skipping out on that too but I stuck around. Luckily all the poses I have done before for the most part (Sun salutations, warrior poses). However I am out of shape so the poses are challenging enough. I sweat like a pig. There are no fans and no AC so it’s not the greatest for me. I run back to my room and shower before breakfast.

Breakfast is amazing especially the sourdough bread they provide every day however there is no coffee. How did I not notice that there would be no coffee or caffeine for three days? I’m going to die. I start looking at maps to see if there are any local coffee shops. It appears that there is nothing nearby. There is an optional temple tour coming up today so I table the issue. Maybe I’ll find Coffee near the temple. Except during our temple outing I left my money in the locker in the ashram🙁. It doesn’t matter since there was no where to buy coffee anyway.

We go to a temple where we see them prepare offerings. So much work goes into making little baskets and such.

Batu Karu temple

Temples

I come back from the temple tour and eat all the delicious lunch. I wish I would have taken a picture of the spread but I respected their wishes and kept my phone out of the kitchen.

The rest the afternoon is spent wandering the retreat, resting, writing in the journal and reading.

I read some more in the lodge until it darkens. I walk back to my room and prepare for bed. I hear some noises from around: talking in the distance, kids playing, birds, bugs, and some evil geckos. The water usage from the rooms around me seem to echo loudly in mine but I try to pay it no mind. I fall asleep soon enough.

Angkor Small Circuit: Ta Prohm

The second most popular temple in Siem Reap Cambodia is the Angkor Ta Prohm temple. It is the second to the last temple I see during my two day temple extravaganza.

Ta Prohm is impressive for its size and the beautiful trees growing in and out of the ruins. It is also the temple from the famed movie Tomb Raider (which I still have not seen). As it is a highly anticipated and popular temple and I try to not let other rude guests ruin my experience. My patience is really challenged here because people are especially inconsiderate at this temple. I even caught myself scolding others for their inconsideration (not my best moment but sometimes you have to stand up for yourself as a solo traveler). Despite the drama it is a lovely temple. I highly recommend this 12-ish century temple.

Look at those trees!

The temple is mostly preserved as it was found but there are some repairs in progress above.

Angkor Small Circuit: Banteay Kdei

The Buddhist temple Bantaey Kdei is actually the last temple I saw in Siem Reap. I didn’t leave it to last in my posts because I believe in ending my temple posts with the more impressive Ta Prohm .

It isn’t as impressive as some of the others but it is peaceful and quiet and a nice end of two days of extreme temple sightseeing.

Nice terrace across the street