When I booked my flight to Indonesia, quite spontaneously, I knew I was going to make a stop in Yogjakarta because I have a friend there whom I met in Taiwan. I did not really know what to do there but figured I’d have fun anyways. Later I came to know that two of the most important sights of Indonesia are just outside this University City.

To visit this temple my alarm went off at 2.45! Extremely tired I got into the taxi that took me too the Manohara hotel. Entrance fee was 380.000RPH (25euro) for foreigners and since I am not a morning person, I started to regret the decision to get to Borobudor so early. We walked to the temple with flashlights, and started climbing this enormous temple without even seeing it. After 20 minutes the roosters started crowing, the sun started to come up and for the first time that day I didn’t mind that I had to get up so early, because the view was breathtaking…

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The last eruption of the Merapi Vulcano was in 2010. It is insane to be on a mountain that only 4 years ago caused so much death and destruction. We took a jeep tour where we saw the bunker where villagers tried to hide from the lava, but failed. Saw the large construction sight of where the Lava used to flow. But the most impressive thing that day was when the guide took us to an open space full of dirt and rocks. I walked around and asked, what is there to see here and he replied: now we are at a place where there used to be a village: 15 meter below us…

Even though there was so much dark and recent history in this place, we had a great day and our guide purposely tried to find the most rough terrains to drive through. However, this trip is the definition of dark tourism. (Note: the girl in the second photo is not the guide but my Indonesian friend Tiara)

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Prambanan is a gigantic Hindu temple compound from the 9th century. According to this legend, Prambanan is constructed of 999 temples:

‘Rara is a beautiful princes and daughter of the King of the region where Prambanan is build. One day a warrior from another kingdom pays a visit and asks Rara to be his wife. Jokingly Rara replies that she will marry him if he can build 1000 temples in one night. The warrior commands his entire army to start building the temples. They worked so hard that they almost finish the task. Scared by the fact Rara has to marry the warrior she tells her servants to start their morning ritual early, hooping the roosters would announce the daylight. Her plan worked, and the workers only managed to finish 999 temples, before the roosters started crowing. The warrior is furious by the betrayal of Rara and turns here into a statue, screaming that she will be the 1000 temple.’

Her statue can be found in Shiva’s (God of destruction) temple, the largest temple of the compound.

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