Trip Start Apr 01, 2010
58Trip End Aug 08, 2010
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Where I stayed
We had a walk around the area we are in, bought our first bit of souvernier of our travels. We've had so many people try to sell us different tat over the last couple of monts I usually don't even hear people any more but we stopped in a local art shop, Yogykarta is reknowned as the artistic capital of the region and the batique artwork is fantastic, cheap and portable, so we bought a simple piece with Geckos on. Batique is a speciality Indonesian artwork, just using wax and natural, or sometimes synthetic, dyes they create a huge variety of effects
Still knackered we had an early night, crashing out at about 7.30, this worked out well though as we had a 5am bus to the biggest local sight Borobudur, the largest Buddist structure in the world. I had seen images but it never seemed that impressive, when we arrived I realised I was wrong, it's simpy quite difficult to portray the scale and detail of the structure in pictures.
The morning was misty and we couldn't see the massive structure until we were right on top of it. Like a pyramid but inside out, there are 7 layers, representing the 7 levels of enlightenment in the Buddist faith. The first few layers are open air corridors adorned with carvings of stories. The top layers are the ones that are usually photographed, dozens of huge stone, bell shaped structure each containing a buddha statue the size of a man. The whole place is incredible and makes me think of the central American pyramids, Jo said they felt like a set for a Indiana Jones film and that was definitely the feeling. It helps that they are surrounded by a large park, in the mist you couldn't see any signs of civilisation.
It wasn't even that busy and with it's size it could sustain the numbers without feeling to crowded or ruining the atmosphere. Most of the visitors were Asian, they seemed to be from Java and apparently for these visitors the structure isn't the only attraction. When we reached the top it was quite busy with school age children and Jo was quickly asked to be in a photo with a group of girls, several cameras were passed round, then there was the next group, then there was the guy who wanted a picture with me and his father (I think because I was about 2 feet taller than his father) this continued until we ducked out of the top levels and back into the quieter lower levels
So the sight was really good, as long as you don't mind being a bit of an exhibit yourself, although it is quite expensive to visit. In fact while the almost everything in here is very cheap the cost to enter attractions is pretty high, we spent over half our budget getting to and into Burabudor today. This isn't a big deal if you're on holiday but if you're a traveler counting their pennies its a bit painful. Overall we're a big fan of Java so far, it has a great setup for travelers but doesn't seem to be full of them (or should I say us)