Monday, October 28, 2013

Catching the Sunrise in the Ancient Temple of Borobudur

I picked up the pace as I made my way through the landscaped grounds of the temple complex. The morning light already bathed the sky a faint blue, but the sun's rays were still nowhere to be found. The crowd of tourists I just escaped from was beginning to emerge from the entrance gates. The complex had just opened and we were the first set of visitors to walk in that day. I knew that if I had any chance of getting myself a decent spot on top of the lone ancient temple here to catch the sunrise, I needed to get there first.

I climbed up a set of stairs to get to the temple on top of the hill, and then climbed the steep steps on the eastern side of the temple itself. Up ahead, I saw some people already sat and settled on the edge of the circular platforms which formed the three highest levels of the temple. I was still catching my breath as I reached the lowest of the circular platforms when I suddenly heard the crowd exclaim in unison, "Whoaaa."

The sun had just risen on Borobudur.

Borobudur, Magelang, Indonesia
Catching the sunrise in Borobudur ancient Buddhist temple

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

How to Go to Prambanan from Yogyakarta

Prambanan is a complex of ancient temples dating back to the 10th century when Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms still ruled Java Island, Indonesia. It is located at the city limits of Yogyakarta and is thus very easy to reach from here. Coming from Yogyakarta city center, the Prambanan temple complex is the same direction as Yogyakarta Airport. Both are northeast of the city and are easily accessible from the Yogyakarta-Solo highway.

Before anything else, know that to get inside the Prambanan temple complex, foreign travelers will need to pay an entrance fee of 170,000 IDR (17 USD), independent of any transport costs.

Prambanan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
The main set of temples in the Prambanan complex: Loro Jonggrang

Monday, October 21, 2013

It Started with an Old Photo of Prambanan

It all started with a photo, an old photo of my cousins from when they traveled to Indonesia back when their dad still worked in the country. My cousins were still kids at the time, as can be seen from their genuinely wacky poses. The photo has been a part, a staple really, of family albums and later on family reunion slideshows for longer than I can remember. It was always something that we as a family, my three cousins included, liked to amuse ourselves with.

Old Photo of Prambanan
Wacky poses back when wacky poses were not invented yet
Photo by Rely Baluyot

Growing up, I have always been curious about the photo and the intriguing place where it was taken. For some reason, I have always believed it to be Borobudur, an ancient temple in Central Java. I would soon discover I was wrong, of course, something I would only realize too late. The photo was actually taken in another ancient temple in Central Java—Prambanan.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Foodie Friday: Eating Masakan Padang Style

(We all know I love to eat, so you know I am not kidding around when talking about food. On Fridays, let me torture myself and anyone who might stumble upon this travel blog with a photo of a delicious food I had in my travels. This week, Foodie Friday features the glorious culinary tradition of Masakan Padang.)

Masakan Padang,  Indonesian Food
A sumptuous dinner in a Masakan Padang restaurant

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

And Then There Was Yogyakarta

"Why have I not been here before?" I asked myself a few days into traveling through Yogyakarta, an independent city in Central Java, Indonesia. It has everything I love in travel destination: a strong culture, a rich history, and good food.

I guess there are just those places, those places that pleasantly surprise you. Yogyakarta was one of those places for me.

Kraton, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Yogyakarta, cultural heartland of the Javanese

Friday, October 11, 2013

Foodie Friday: The Humble Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice)

(We all know I love to eat, so you know I am not kidding around when talking about food. On Fridays, let me torture myself and anyone who might stumble upon this travel blog with a photo of a delicious food I had in my travels. This includes food I made myself. Yes, I cook. This week, Foodie Friday features the humble Nasi Goreng or fried rice.)

Nasi Goreng, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
It is good, simple, and filling: the humble nasi goreng (fried rice).

Friday, October 4, 2013

Capture the Color 2013: The Bright Colors of Asia

Once again, I am joining in on the fun at this year's Capture the Color Photoblogging Competition organized by Travel Supermarket. I normally shy away from photography competitions because most involve popularity contests (likes, retweets, etc.) or a long list of requirements. This one does not involve either.

The instructions are simple. In your travel blog, post five travel photos which capture the colors blue, red, green, white, and yellow. Nominate five other travel bloggers. Submit your entry. That is it! Five esteemed judges, whose work I already admire, will then choose five category winners (one color, one category) and one overall winner after the competition period ends.

Collage for Capture the Color 2013
Capturing the bright colors of Asia