On my last trip to Indonesia I was lucky enough to visit so many interesting places, as my trip was organized by the Indonesian Embassy in Athens. I felt pretty secure about locations and points of interest, because I knew I would get to know new places and pretty pure places, not the touristy (only).
While the tourist areas of Bali are a safe choice for most people, we decided they were so much to explore so Java came first on the list. It seemed like a great opportunity to see a new place!
My favorite part of this Java trip was exploring the cities of Yogyakarta and Megelang.
A FEW WORDS ABOUT YOGYAKARTA
the nation state of Indonesia is the largest island country in the world with more than 17,000 officially listed islands in the territory. One of those islands is Java, the most populous island in the world, as it is home to more than half of the country's population - over 145 million people - 56.7% of Indonesia's population.
The capital of the island of Java is Jakarta, which is the second most populous urban area in the world. Although Jakarta is the financial and industrial powerhouse of Java, Yogyakarta is his soul. As the only Indonesian royal city still ruled by a monarchy, Yogyakarta is considered an important center of classical folk arts and culture, such as ballet, batik, textiles, theater, literature, music, visual arts, poetry, wayang puppetry, goldsmithing and fine arts.
Yogyakarta is the center of Java's artistic and intellectual heritage, where the arts and traditions shine brightly and keep the island's artistic and spiritual heritage alive. In addition, the city succeeds perfectly in preserving the arts and traditions of Indonesian culture visible.
The city has its own international airport, so it is easily accessible from other cities in Indonesia or Asia, then Yogyakarta should definitely be on your list for your next trip to Indonesia! From here you can reach the city of Megelang only in one hour from Yogyakarta. Like this, you can combine these two cities in one visit.
SUNRISE AT BOROBUDUR TEMPLE IN MEGELANG
Borobudur temple is a 9th century Buddhist temple and is the first and most important reason to visit the city of Megelang. It is the largest Buddhist temple in the world as well as one of the most important Buddhist monuments in the world. It has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered one of the wonders of the world.
If you follow me on INSTAGRAM you probably saw that I had to wake up at 2:30 a.m. in order to visit the temple just in time for a perfect sunrise. I have arrived at Borobudur at 4:00 am with a local guide and all the necessary equipment, just to enjoy the sunrise from the highest point of the temple.
Enjoy the sunrise from the Borobudur temple has been one of the most powerful experiences of my life.
You can see all of Borobudur's videos on INDONESIA on my Instagram account.
The temple consists of nine stacked platforms, six square and three circular, topped by a central dome. Climbing these nine levels will give you a breathtaking view from the top! The pilgrims' journey begins at the base of the monument and follows a path around the monument, ascending to the top through three symbolic levels of Buddhist cosmology: Kāmadhātu (the world of desire), Rūpadhātu (the world of forms) and Arūpadhātu (the world of formlessness).
The temple is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 statues of Buddha. The central dome is surrounded by 72 statues of Buddha, each sitting inside a perforated stupa. Such a wonderful feeling to be surrounded by these statues!
From the lower level to the summit, the Buddha statues depict him in six different postures: meditation, courage, teaching and learning, the spinning of the Dharma wheel, contact with the earth, and the posture of offering and helping.
SOME THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING BOROBUDUR
You can visit the temple on your own, however, I would recommend booking a local guide who will give you all the necessary information regarding the history of the temple. If you book a guided tour in advance, the entrance ticket will already be included in the price. But you can also get your ticket at the entrance to the temple.
The monument is visited by thousands of tourists every week and it is important to be well prepared: arrive on time, climb to the top in complete safety, respect the serenity at sunrise and above all learn in advance about the temple and its importance.
As with any place with a religious influence, I would recommend being well dressed. It is extremely important to respect the local culture, morals, customs and religious traditions. It is one of the most important Buddhist temples in the world, so respect is needed.
After the visit you can walk around the monument and have breakfast or lunch at the local restaurant. Local flavors and Indonesian coffee are served, overlooking Borobudur temple!
Believe me, the sunrise in Borobudur will be a very memorable experience in your life!
Warning: I would like to thank the Indonesian Embassy in Athens for inviting me to explore wonderful Indonesia and meet the treasures of this land in person! All opinions are personal.
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The best time to visit Italy are the months of May, June, and September. Compared to the peak summer months of July and August, these months offer more comfortable temperatures and there are fewer crowds ( except around Easter ). The country experiences four classic seasons per year, although there is a marked difference between the wetter, cooler North and the drier, warmer South. The rainiest months pretty much everywhere are usually October and November.
Fall ( September – November ) : temperatures cool down gradually, although September is usually still very pleasant. Expect crisp fall leaves and some sunnier days, but plan for wet weather too. Fall carries many of the same benefits as spring, but with slightly less predictable weather.
Winter : temperatures in the South remain mild in winter, while Northern Italy is normally wet and cold. Winter in the Italian Alps is fantastic though for skiing and snowboarding, but the ski resorts do get crowded so book early.
Travelers wishing to visit Italy can use a bus, train, plane, or boat to get there. Most tourists arrive by plane though, often landing in Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport, the country’s busiest airport. This is the preferred point of entry in Italy when you want to visit Rome, or tour the entire country. Click here for a continuously updated list of airlines that offer direct flights to Rome.
Although Rome is the main getaway for most visitors to Italy, it’s often easier and cheaper to fly directly to/from one of the country’s other airports. It can also save you a lot of time to book a multi-city ticket, hereby arriving in one airport and leaving from another ( for example fly in Milan in the north and fly out via Naples in the south ). The following airports are of interest for most tourist itineraries :
Milan Malpenza Airport ( north ) is the largest international airport in the Milan metropolitan area in northern Italy ( and also the main getaway to the Italian Lakes ). Click here for a continuously updated list of airlines that offer direct flights to Milan.
Venice Marco Polo airport ( north ) is the international airport of Venice. It offers flights to many European metropolitan areas as well as some partly seasonal long-haul routes to the United States, Canada, South Korea and the Middle East. Click here for a continuously updated list of airlines that offer direct flights to Venice.