We arrived in Yogyakarta the Saturday before Christmas but purposely waited until Monday to visit Borobudur because we thought it might be less crowded. With schools being out this week, it’s prime tourist season so I don’t think we got too much of a break from the crowd. But the trip was still well worth the drive, about an hour from central Yogya where we were staying.
Borobudur was built during the 9th century and consists of nine stacked platforms with a central dome at the top and we climbed them all in the hot summer sun! With 2.5 million guests per year it is the most visited tourist sight in the country and for good reason. The architecture and design are amazing. To think that this was constructed in the 9th century is pretty hard to fathom. The attention to detail in every stone is incredible and the views from the top aren’t too shabby either.
In total Borobudur contains 504 Buddha statues and 72 stupas (bell shaped shrines)- there are even Buddhas inside the stupas. There are relief walls throughout depicting what day to day life was like in Java in the 8th and 9th century in Java. (Oh the things you can learn from Wikipedia!)
There were hundreds of tourists in the temple complex with us and all of them with camera in hand. We got stopped quite a few times by people who wanted photos with us- I don’t feel like we’re that exciting but apparently school girls of rural Java don’t get to meet a lot of white folks. Joel was nice enough to go along with all my excessive photo taking for the day and even pose for a couple selfies for our holiday greeting.