After being stunned speechless by Mount Merapi, we headed for Prambanan Temple, a Hindu temple in Yogja. Our driver told us we didn't need to hire a guide - he said just know that there are three temples inside dedicated to three Hindu gods - Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. And then Google everything else. Haha.. he said different guides tell different stories so just read up everything online.
National Monument (MONAS)
Linked closely to the history of Jakarta, this monument was built to honor the Indonesian struggle for Independence. Built by the first President in 1961, the monument is locally called "Monas". Standing at a height of 137 meters, the structure symbolizes a rice pestle, while the cup symbolizes a rice barn. Both of these stand for agriculture and fertility. The monument harbors a modest yet interesting museum and is usually a local spot for weekend holidays. Of course, you can't miss it and you will enjoy an amazing view from the top. But take a lot of time because the queue can be quite long.
Borobudur Temple, located near Magelang in Central Java, is purported to be the largest Buddhist temple in the world. It is both a shrine and a place of pilgrimage. It didn’t feel that large to me. However, it is impressive and because of its location within a very verdant valley it draws both those seeking the beautiful in nature and the beautiful in man’s creation. The primary source of its physical draw is the intricacy and sheer magnitude of its 2,672 relief panels. A pilgrim could easily believe that the temple’s layers are a sort of stairway towards heaven. There is a constant feeling of reaching ever higher. At the top one finds a main dome and 72 Buddha statues seated inside perforated stupas which are in addition to the 504 Buddhas that already dot the lower layers of the temple. Though the temple was constructed in the 9th century, it may have been abandoned in the 14th after a decline in Buddhist and Hindu tradition once Islam began to take hold in Java. British ruler of Java in 1814, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, was alerted to its existence which then led to it being officially preserved, and provided for restorations to begin. It was in the early 1980′s that Borobudur was then listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a status it still retains today. It is Indonesia’s most visited tourist attraction. To visit for yourself, check out Indonesia’s resources page here.
This is a 15th century set of rock carvings, which can be reached on foot from the town, though it is a few kilometres. From the entrance, a long walk down, on sometimes broken steps, there and back is maybe 4kms. During my visit in January 2014 I was surprised by the absence of vendors, also by the lack of other visitors. This is not on the tourist trail.At the end of your mini-trek you will seen a ~50 metre long line of rock carvings on your left. These depict scenes from every day life, in the good old days. The carvings are worn, but clearly discernable. The principal feature is a statue of the Hindu god Ganesh. If you wish, you can make (after buying from a little old lady nearby) an offering here.Near the entrance is a good, small restaurant, the Yeh Pulu Cafe. Owned and managed by an enterprising Balinese woman. Both Yeh Pulu and the restaurant are recommended.
Gunung Kawi Sebatu Temple
En-route, we visited Gunung Kawi and Tirtha Empul. Gunung Kawi is a temple complex, where 10-rock cut shrines have been carved into around 23ft of cliff face. There are five temples on the east side, which belong to King Udayana, his wife and three sons. On the west side, there are similar temples that belong to the king’s minor queens.
Lot of amazing cafes, restaurants, Bars & night club..!! Fantastic Shopping.. Very lively place in South Bali! While diving I met a girl from Swiss who was working in China. Apparently she became my Diving buddy! After we finished Diving, we planned our trip ahead to Seminyak.. We made more friends enroute.. Friends from Philippines.. We visited Tanah Lot as it is considered to be one of the most beautiful sunset points in Bali! Since it was our last day and we did not know when would we meet next.. We went partying at Potato Head Beach Club! It would be one of the best located clubs with an infinity pool facing the sea! It was just one of the best trips of my life..! I miss Bali..!
Ubud is 40 km from Batur and is said to be a cultural capital of Bali. Ubud enjoys cooler temperatures than the coast. It once served as the major source of medicinal herbs and the healing tradition in still deeply ingrained in the people here. If you are looking for beads, Buddha, barong and Balinese traditional carvings, silver jewelry, pearls, handmade leather bags, Batik scarves and pashminas, Jalan Raya Ubud is the place for you. You will get some of the best deals here. The culturally rich vibe of this area is waiting to entrap you. The traditional market is from 5am until 9am. Spend some time relaxing at Bali Botanical Day Spa with a range of revitalizing treats. At night retreat to Oka Wati’s Homestay which has been sheltering tourists since 1980. Once you are here, you know you are in the right place away from all the noise. Spend a quiet night here in the middle of Ubud in the rustic charm of this house.