Emma Bonvecchio


Temple tales: a day of surprises and splendors in Yogyakarta – Exploring Indonesia

Join me on an adventure to Yogyakarta, where our plans met unexpected weather twists but uncovered hidden treasures. From the enigmatic Borobudur tothe majestic Prambanan temples, we’ll navigate history and heritage in a day filled with surprises. Don’t miss our whirlwind journey!”

Yogyakarta, Indonesia
26 Settembre 2023

Alright, let’s rewind the clock to a crazy early morning – in Yogyakarta, 3:30 AM early. What madness possessed us?

Emma Bonvecchio Photography - Yogyakarta - Borobudur, Prambanan

Well, it was all for a grand plan. We hopped into our trusty car and embarked on a two-hour journey from downtown Yogyakarta. The mission? To witness a glorious sunrise with the Borobudur temple as our backdrop.
Sounds epic, right? Well, here’s the twist: Mother Nature had other ideas. The sky was draped in haze and clouds, and our sunrise view turned into a ‘Where’s the sun?’ game.

But you know what they say, when you’re on the road, you can plan your heart out, but the weather’s the boss.

Fast forward to 7 AM, and we stumbled upon a quirky church atop a nearby hill. Yep, the one that resembles a giant chicken – no kidding! Allow me to introduce you to the ‘Chicken Church.’ Originally meant for Christian worship, it never quite got there due to financial hurdles.
Today, it stands not as a religious sanctuary but as a unique attraction, admired for its bizarre design.

Now, let’s talk breakfast. Local ladies treated us to crispy fried Cassava, a delightful regional snack. And of course, we couldn’t skip the coffee. I won’t lie; it wasn’t a match made in heaven, but it got the job done. The place exuded a cool, laid-back vibe that we couldn’t help but embrace.

But hold on tight; our adventure was just getting started. I’ve got more tales and photos from the rest of our day, where we explored the world-famous Borobudur and Prambanan temples.

So, after refueling with our Indonesian breakfast, we set our sights on Borobudur. This colossal complex is the largest Buddhist temple on the planet. Dating back to the 9th century, it boasts a central stupa, encircled by intricate terraces adorned with mesmerizing relief carvings. It’s a physical representation of the Buddhist universe, with pilgrims traditionally circumambulating it while ascending to the summit.

Now, brace yourselves for spoiler number two: the temple authorities decided to close off the upper levels on Mondays for a thorough cleaning and maintenance session. And guess what day it was when we visited? Yep, Monday strikes again!

Jokes aside, even though we missed out on the upper levels, the temple’s aura is something that words struggle to capture.

After our Borobudur rendezvous, we made tracks for Prambanan. Here’s the lowdown: Prambanan is a colossal Hindu temple complex from the 9th century. It ranks among Southeast Asia’s largest temple compounds. Unlike Borobudur’s Buddhist roots, Prambanan is dedicated to Hindu deities, with Lord Shiva taking center stage. The complex flaunts numerous temples, including towering ones devoted to Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma.

Both Borobudur and Prambanan proudly wear the UNESCO World Heritage Site badge.

Spoiler number three, you ask? Well, it’s déjà vu. Just like Borobudur, Prambanan decided that our visit day should be a maintenance day too. The upper floors? Off-limits.

But hey, despite these twists of fate, both Prambanan and the entire temple complex remained spectacular. Personally, I found Prambanan a smidge more enchanting, but that’s just personal preference.

Have any of you fellow adventurers explored these temples? If so, I sincerely hope you picked a day other than Monday, haha!

Now, as you near the end of this adventure-packed ‘story,’ you might be thinking, ‘Phew, what a day filled with ups and downs.’ But let me tell you, it was nothing short of fantastic. Yes, it was demanding, the sun was relentless, and we had our share of hiccups. Still, it unfolded into a day brimming with marvelous discoveries. And that’s coming from someone who isn’t typically drawn to museums, guided tours, or historical stuff.

And here we are again, gearing up for yet another thrilling adventure, and I’m absolutely buzzing with excitement! Stay tuned because next one will be fire! 🛕🏴‍☠️

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