Sunday, August 23, 2009

Breathtaking Borobudur

It started with my colleague telling me that I “SHOULD” visit Borobudur few months back after the earthquake in Jogjakarta, incase if there’s another earthquake. Since I am absolutely crazy about Wonders of the Worlds (my quest) or any of the UNESCO site. I feel there’s a “NEED” for me to visit the mystical place of worship. Suckers aren’t I….. Anyway; thus, my trip to Jogja in May07.

Checked Air Asia, asked my friend Anna whether she will be interested, YES the answer, same goes for my sis. YEAY! I went ahead and book - 3D2N according to my colleague advice (it's good enough if you are not a shoppaholic), he even gave me a travel agent he used for his trip - Lengga. No regret here, she was informative, good, and responsible and go to great length on my weirdest request. Thanks too google on this, I seem to want to visit all the places I read and she was ever so helpful.

We packed light for this trip since it going to be 3D2N, what is there to see right. As usual - WRONG! Hahaha….. This is ok as I ABSOLUTELY IN LOVE with historical sights. I did some “research”, and found a few places that I MUST MUST MUST go (note the MUST in cap). Parambanan Temple, Parangritis Beach, Taman Sari, Secret Passage, Maliaboro, Mendut Temple and ofcos the famous Borobudur Temple.

Lengga picked us up from Solo as during this time AA doesn’t fly directly to Jogja. We were shocked upon arrival at the Solo airport; it was an old old small airport of which the immigration counter was 10mtr from the entrance. This is light, you get down from airplane, walked for about 50mtr, reach the main entrance of the airport and immediately you queue for 10mtr to get your passport stamp. And next to us was the baggage lane where you can see the mover loading our bag to out begin the immigration (all this within your eye-view). We burst out laughing! This is yet the smallest old airport I have ever been and I thought Vietnam airport that I went few years back was bad. This is definitely starting of a new adventure for us.

I told Lengga what I wanted to do & places I wanted to visit. I had sms-ed her prior to this to get her quote, the tour cost is very reasonable around Rupiah 950k per pax, of which ended up her taking us to find a good Bakso, shopping at Carrefour (oh! I love shopping for toiletries at other country’s supermart), taking us for massage and waited 3 hours as she is not convince to leave us 3 girls there at night. Gave her good tip… *all happy* :D

The journey took us about 1 hour to reach Jogja due to small winding road. I had made earlier booking at Duta Rest House which cost us around Rupiah 250k (we added extra bed as there are 3 pax per room). It is located at backpackers area which consist of few houses that was converted into small guesthouses, comes with a pool, a very nice rock garden and the best part - they serves tea & cakes in the evening at the verandah. Perfect! Money well spent we thought.

1st on the list - Parambanan Temple, is one of the largest Hindu temples in south-east Asia and it was effected badly after the earthquake, they cordon certain areas from tourist to avoid accidents. I mean, IT IS an old building thus it can collapse without any warning at any time. Oh! One thing that I must warn everyone is that it is FREAKING HOT there… somehow the sun pokes your skin. Argh….. As if Malaysia is not hot enough. But for a travelholic like me, I can endure (Drama!).

Next site, Parangtritis Beach. This was recommended by Farhan, our relative that studied in Jogja for few years. It is not a “swimming beach however, it has a errr… legend to the locals that visitors (or perhaps anyone) not to wear the colour green, or the Queen [Ratu Kidul's] will entice the wearer into the ocean to drown. Hemm…. Luckily none of us were in green that day. *phew*

The good this is that, before taking us to see the beach itself, she took us to this trunk road (rugged track more like it) and ofcos we did get panic at this point as we were in this so called “jungle”. She kept saying “usah risau” not to worry, I will take you see this resort on a cliff. We were thinking, on a cliff??…hemmm… Biar betul! BUUUUT, what we saw before our eyes were…..*and still speechless till now*. A quaint 17 room resort located on a cliff over looking Parangtritis beach AND the vast Indian Ocean. We ran all over the resort to take pictures. We found out that it has been close for awhile after the earthquake and they plan to reopen in 2008. It was badly damage *sob sob*.

Lengga later took us to the beach of which we jumped up and down “wanna ride the horse cart by the beach!” we basically acted like perak (amazed upon looking at something weird or abnormal - not that a horse or a cart was abnormal! Hahahah but we do tend to get carried away easily).

We rode to the resort foot cliff and back, stopover at the warungs (stalls) for a coconut drink. If only a hammock was there….plus an acapella singer strumming his guitar…..sigh…. The horse ride? Rupiah 10k ONLY.

2nd day starts. Ah….. I googled and found out, that it will be MORE interesting if you visit Borobudur at sunrise. I’ve inform Lengga this via sms and she found how this can be done, you ofcos have to pay extra as the entrance for sunrise package (Rupiah 150k includes a torchlight, shorter walk and a breakfast overlooking Borobudur - trust me, you won‘t regret!) is via Manohara Hotel.

If you were to visit Borobudur anytime during the day time, be PREPARED to walk a loooong distance - from the car park to the foot of Borobudur, and REMEMBER the HOT PRICKLING SUN!?!?! However, not many took this package which is good for us (not crowded), perhaps 10-15 of us only. After all, you need to wake up at 3ish, the van will pick us up at 4ish and the journey is close to 1 hour from Jogja. Talking about the view during sunrise… it was mystical as you wait for the glimpse of the sunrise. It is REALLY WORTH IT.

By the way, did you know Borobudur is 300 years OLDER then Angkor Wat unfortunately less popular. It is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside perforated stupa. Estimated 75 years to build and been completed in 825. I guess we need to call Lara Croft over for publicity. Hehhehe….


We stop at Taman Sari, a water castle which was built in 1758 by Sultan Hamengkubuwono I as a rest house and pleasure park for the Royal family. I read it somewhere and saw a pic of a unique staircase nearby and insisted Lengga to take us there, at first she was abit confuse but after awhile she knows which one I was referring to. We need to go thru this “secret passage tunnel” for the king (which exited at a nearby market/housing area in order to see the staircase site). The legend says about this secret tunnel connecting to the south sea (Indian Ocean) where Queen of the South has her palace (the same one as Parangtritis). This secret tunnels is gateway to the world where the Sultan meeting his supernatural wife. However the building also functioned as a hiding place for the royal family against the enemy attack.

We stopped at Carrefour and spa on the 2nd day, what is going to Indon without going to the spa right. Apparently it is not popular here like in Jakarta/Bali. It’s kinda expensive, but we manage to find a PLC spa - Peng, Leng and Cheng (Cheap, Pretty & Good - just learnt this from my Chinese friend) :D


That's about it, next I'll take you to my Mooncake lantern journey. Till then, Selamat sore, permisi dulu.


Credits : Wikipedia, Air Asia, Duta Garden Hotel, Borobudur Park & Yogyes.

3 comments:

fatt said...

tq 4 this link!
omg, aku rasa aku tak tau la pasal sikret passage ni. dang!

aku rasa kita punya hobi yg sama iaitu beli toiletries kat supermarket sini. hahaha...tp harga mmg murah gile kan. aku slalu borong berus gg sbb kat sini murah. oral b tak sampai rm2...pepsodent tak smpai rm1. gile!

eh btw nape u punye blog tak kuar feeder i eh...like i duno when u update..aiseh...why eh?

Lily Riani said...

pegi again jek...ehhehehhe...

indon n thailand so far supermart diarang best and murah and byk bende merapu. watson pun i happy ok! i selalu beli listerine, shampoo, mandi lulur etc.

i pun tak tau awat tak reflect, tak tau camna nak ratify... hemm...

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