Yogyakarta was thankfully a lot nicer than the filthy chaos of Jakarta we were pleased to note as soon as we arrived that it was a little cleaner and less stressful all round!
Our main destination in Jogja was to visit the temples of Borobudur and Prambanan which are Buddhist and Hindu temples respectively! I hate to admit it but both Liam and I were pretty disappointed when we saw Borobudur first. I think we have been spoilt a long our journey with all the awe-inspiring things we have seen, particularly relating to this the temples of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap. After seeing all of the temples in Cambodia this really did not compare, I wish that we could have taken it on face value and treated it as a temple in its own right as it properly deserves but it just was not having the same effect on us! It didn’t help that the entry price was as much as we paid for a 3 day pass for numerous temples in Cambodia so it was clear that they were cashing in as much as possible!
We had a good walk around the temple anyway and found that we were more impressed by the environment around it as it was surrounded by lush mountainous jungles! It was a place I could have sat contemplating for many an hour!
Prambanan was possibly a little more interesting for us as even though it had the same structure and layout as many of the temples we have seen previously it was actually a Hindu temple which is something we haven’t encountered before. Now we wouldn’t have actually learnt anything new or been particularly interested by this if we didn’t have some wonderful school students, called Mala and Arik, offer us to guide us and give us a little bit of information! As they explained it, it seems that the process is part of their curriculum and maybe they will get extra credits for it. I’m not sure but it was a great idea and a breath of fresh air compared to being accosted by a local to pay for a guided tour!
They advised us of the stories behind each of the temples, letting us know that each god from the Hindi religion has their own temple as well as a temple for the sacred animals. They also told us of the stories that were depicted from the chiselled stone, it was actually really interesting and it made it so much better to be able to walk around the temple complex with just that little bit more knowledge! Unfortunately the Prambanan temple and the surrounding other temples in the complex had been affected by an earthquake in 2006 which meant that much of it was still being restored. The Buddhist Sewu temple that we visited showed the aftereffects of the earthquake the most as it was in total disrepair apart from the main building they had reconstructed therefore it showed just how much more hard work that’s still to come. It’s certain to be a long process as well as each small temple within a temple takes one year to rebuild!