Creepy Dark Temples

Mar 13, 2011 No Comments by

Normally I don’t care to sign up for tours. Most of the time you either get too much or too little time at your destination, you pay a much higher fee and in general I think it takes away from the fun of getting there yourself. That had been my plan originally with Borobudur Buddhist Temple, to take the public bus. After talking it through with the Dutch guys staying at my hostel I changed my mind. They had done the same thing the day before and said that it wasn’t worth the hassle. First, you needed to get to the bus station outside of town by a taxi, becak or bus. Then you took a bus out to Borobudur for 20,000 and the same for a return ticket. All in all it ran them about 50,000 while the tour option was 60,000. Not worth the hassle for only 10,000 with equals to about $1.

While arranging for the tour at my hostel I ran into a guy from Hong Kong who begged me to go on the sunrise tour instead. He was desperate to go for the sunrise but couldn’t round up another person. Almost all tours operate with a minimum of 2 and traveling by yourself causes issues constantly. I had been in his position multiple times before and so decided to join him. The cost was considerably more, but when is the next time I’ll get the chance for a Buddhist temple at sunrise? Go big or go home.

The only downside was the wakeup call: 3AM. That’s right folks, me of all people was up at 3. Probably should have gone to bed before 11PM but I was having so much fun! A few people from the hostel went out for dinner and drinks. And who wants to be a party pooper on a night like that?! Anyways 3AM rolls around; I hate my life but drag myself out of bed. Soon me and my new HK buddy are in a van heading out of town. It takes about an hour to get there and we mostly doze on the way.

Once we arrive at the temple we meet the other 10 people who will be joining us for the sunrise. A small but happy group consisting of Israelis and Germans, an eclectic mix to be sure. We’re handed our flashlights and then we’re off! Our guide takes us through the jungle path and up into the temple itself where he turns us loose. The only rule? We can’t go all the way to the top as it’s been closed for conservation following the eruption of Mount Myrapi. Sad panda but still cool. Plus nothing better for a girl with an overactive imagination to be wandering around a gigantic ruined temple in the dark. I eventually lost the group and had to spend several minutes convincing myself that there were not ghosts chasing me. Or serial killers. Or crazed batik salesmen. Ok I made that last part up.

It seems I have bad luck with sunrises as it was too cloudy to get the photos I wanted, but it still was an amazing experience. It was awesome to be so alone in the temple and you got to see it ways that few people do. It was even more apparent as soon as the hordes descended at 7. Soon the temple complex was crawling with tourists and we were out of there.

Stay classy Borobudur!


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One die-hard Mac Geek set on traveling the globe.
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