[10] Exploring Yogyakarta

Kelvin and I had the opportunity to travel to Yogyakarta, which is about an hour and a half flight from Jakarta. We were told that there was so much culture to see and so many places to visit and that was definitely accurate information!

The first place we visited was Prambanan Temple, which is the largest Hindu temple in all of Indonesia. It was absolutely stunning as it was not only massive, but had so many intricate details carved into what seemed like every centimetre of the structures.

The photos above are from the main area, where the majority of the tourists all flock to (like us!). However, as we stepped away from this main area, it was breathtaking to see different perspectives and to enjoy less crowded areas.

Part of being a tourist at these locations is to learn to accept that it will most likely have many moments that look like this…

The next day, we went to Borobudur Temple, which is another well-known temple to visit. It is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple, and is actually the largest Buddhist temple in the world, which was incredible to get to see.

One of the areas that was quite upsetting to see was where they kept the elephants. It launched Kelvin and I into a great conversation about how our money to purchase the entrance tickets continue to keep these places open. This also goes the same for the practices that happen within these places, such as keeping elephants chained up near where the tourists can look. It was a great reminder to look into all that a place offers before choosing to spend more to go as we want to ensure our money is supporting places that we can stand by.

Looking back, I wish we had spent more time at these markets, which are located right outside the temple. They had so many beautiful handmade products and especially so many stunning pieces of Indonesian art. Next time we go back, we will for sure plan to bring some art back with us!

One aspect of visiting the second temple was not anticipating how busy it would be as we were there on a holiday. By the time we had left, I am guessing we had 80 requests for either a photo or for us to have a conversation in English with some of the school groups as they had clearly come to the temple to practice their English. If you ever want to know what it feels like to be a celebrity, I highly recommend visiting these places in the middle of the day, while on a holiday…

After we left, we decided to head to a place that we knew would satisfy our desire for nature. Our friends recommended that we check out the ‘Pine Forest,’ and we are so beyond thankful we did. It was so refreshing to be surrounding by so much nature after having lived in Jakarta for several months.

And then in true Kelvin fashion, he obviously had to stop to climb up all the hammocks, give his wife a near heart attack, and enjoy the lovely view from the top! One of my favourite moments was seeing how impressed the locals were that the white guy could actually climb!

This was a great mini-vacation and we loved getting to learn more about different religions, different areas in Indonesia, and spend some time away together. Definitely a win on all fronts!

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