Borobudur Temple 10 Things You Should Do, Who travels to Yogyakarta, proberly also brings a visit the well known Borobudur Temple. And ofcourse it is a must to visit this beautifull temple. A Buddist temple with nine platforms, where on each platform the reliefs are telling you the story about Buddha. It is really beautifull but often also very crouded toursitic place. Luckely the area around the Borobudur temple has more to offer.
1: Gereja Ayam (chicken church)
This funny shaped construction is called “Gereja Ayam” which means Chicken Church. It is for sure a unique building and just 5 minutes away from the Borobudur temple. Although it is called chicken church, it offically does not have the shape of a chicken but of a dove. Daniel Alamsjah says that after having a vision he felted he needed to build a prayer house in the shape of a dove. In 1990 he started with some other locals to build this prayer house, on the top of a hill. Which gaves you after going up the stairs a nice view. Going up the stairs asks some guts though. The construction was never finnsihed and recently they started to continue on building / finnsihing this dove.
Daniel Alamsjah is not really satisfied that his building got the name “Gereja Ayam”, as it now sounds like it is a church. Yes he is Christian but he build this as a prayer house, where relegion doesnt suppose to matter. Every one could come to worship his or her God in this peacefull place. It exist of several private prayer chambers and a large central meeting hall. So when you come a bring a visit to this nice please, keep in mind that it is build not to make fun of it, but out of fact that it supose to bring people together nevermind their relegion.
2: Village Tour
The area around Borobudur also gives a good oppertunity to get a good look in the real Indonesian Village life. What are people doing here to survive, how does their daily life looks like… By “Andong” (also called horsecar) , or “Onthell” (vintage bicycle) you will bring a visit to this area, under guidens of a local guide. During this tour you will bring a visit to people’s home to see how there house looks like and what kind of work they do. Here you can see some traditions back which are fading a way in the city, such as people who are still wearing the traditional clothes. See the daily activities from the farmers, and bring a visit to some people who started their own small busines from their house, such as selling krupuk, selling tempe, making bamboo carpets etc. How are casave chips produced, how is tahu and Javanese sugar made, these are some questions which will be answered. Experience the real Indonesia village life.
3: Rafting Elo
For the more adventural people, not further then 10 minutes away from the Borobudur you have the possebility to go for whitewater rafting. 3 rivers with different level of difficulties and durations. “Sungai Elo”, “Sungai Serayu” and “Sungai Progo”, gives everyone the oppertunity to go on an adventure. Passing by green landscapes on one of these rivers makes you having a adventure you will not quickly forget.
4: Sunrise Borobudur from Manohara
5: Sunrise Borobudur from Puthuk Setumbu
Although the Borobudur gives the oppertunity to see the sunrise from the inside, not everyone is able to pay this pretty exspensive entrance ticket. But it is still possible to experience the Sunrise with the Borobudur on the background. Although the Borobudur is way smaller, Setumbu hill can let you exeperience a magical sunrise. Not further that 10-15 minutes away from the Borobudur you have a beautifull view over the Borobudur and the area around it. A small entrance fee for this viewpoint is asked. When you travel by yourself it is not easy to find, but the friendly local people will tell you how to come there. This place is getting more known, so please dont suspect that you would be the only person.
After sunrise it is adviced to go down / back to the Borobudur soon as possible and try to enter the Borobudur immediatly when it opens. Get inside before the big crowed will come, so you will have the change to make a picture from the Borobudur with less / no people on it.
6: Mendut Temple
Mendut temple is a smaller Buddhist temple just minutes away from the Borobudur. You pass it at your right side when you are driving to the Borobudur from Yogyakarta. It is build in the ninth century and is even older that the Borobudur. It was discovered in 1836 in a different state as it is in now, a ruin covered with bushes. In 1897 the renovation started which was finnsihed in 1925. This small square northwest facing temple, has some reliefs, but unfortunatly misses some parts of its original state. It had 2 chambers, a large main chamber where till now you can find three carved large stone statues, and a smaller chamber in the front. From this smaller chamber some walls and the roof are missing. The uppermost part is also missing the roof where they think before a stupa was build. The three statues in the main chamber are still in pretty good condition, they say even in the best condition compared with all the other temples on Java. This little temple is still used during an annual ritual where monks and other Buddists walking from Mendut passing to Pawon and end at the Borobudur. A side of the Mendut temple you find a small monestry, where people from the outside are allowed to join the daily meditation at 7 o’clock.
7: Pawon Temple
This small Buddist Temple is located between Mendut temple and the bigger Borobudur. The local people say it is a jewel of the Javanese temple architecture. This temple is slightly facing northwest and is build on a square base. Also this temple is carved with reliefs, but does not have any statues inside as Mendut temple has, it has a square basin in the middle. In the chamber some small holes are build to give ventilation. People think that this temple was build with the idea that people could purify their mind before bringing a visit to the Borobudur.
8: Elephant ride
It is not really cheap, but a great adventure. Making a ride on a elephant!! Starting from the Borobudur you can choose if you would like to stay inside the Borobudur complex, or you prefer to go outside to see more about from the area around the Borobudur. Choosing for a package into the village, will give you an amazing experience. There are several possible routes with different durations and ofcourse different prices. On top of these friendly animals, you will pase by rice fields, rivers, villages and hills….. An experience you will never forget.
9: Beong (Culinary)
Beong is fresh water fish. It is popular culinary to those who like spicy food. It is located not far from Borobudur Temple, direction to Salaman and its just on the side of the road. Dare to try?
10. Soup Empal Bu Haryoko (Culinary)
One of the best culinary nearby Yogyakarta. Soup Empal is beef meat. You must try this!!