By Flipnomad for Yahoo! Travel
Borubudur, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is said to be one of the biggest Buddhist monument in the world and the single most visited tourist attraction in Indonesia. This monument is composed of six square platforms and a main dome located on top. It is also said that Borubudur is decorated with more than 500 Buddha statues.
Legend has it that a heavenly architect built the Borubudur in a single day and put a curse on anyone who will go to this holy shrine. True or not, Borubudur still attracts a lot of visitors from all over the world and thus helps put Yogyakarta on the tourism industry maps.
Once a year, Buddhists in Indonesia observe Vesak day remembering the birth, death and ascension of Siddharta Gautama to the highest wisdom and the ceremony is centered at three Buddhist temples that includes Borubudur as the end point.
A lot of travel agencies around Yogyakarta could arrange a trip to Borubudur for you for a price. But if you are travelling on a tight budget, you could easily visit Borubudur by yourself. Here's how you could do it:
1. From Malioboro, you can take a 2A Trans-Jogja Bus for only 3,000 Rupiah and alight at Jombor bus station.
2. From Jombor bus station, you can take a one hour bus that goes to Borubudur bus terminal which cost locals only 7,000 Rupiah but most bus inspectors usually charge higher for tourists. We paid for 10,000 Rupiah each on our last trip.
3. Once you reach Borubudur, you can walk for approximately 15 minutes towards the entrance gate. Alternatively, you can take a rickshaw or a horse-drawn carriage.
4. Borubudur Entrance fee for foreigners cost $15 or 135,000 Rupiah with free bottled water. Tourist guides inside the temple are available for an additional fee.
Other ancient structures popular to tourists are Prambanan and Ratu Boko.
Prambanan, another UNESCO World Heritage site, is a Hindu Temple that is said to be built in the ninth century in honour of Trimutri, the expression of God as the creator, sustainer and destroyer. This is also known as the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia.
There are a lot of temples inside the Prambanan Complex but a lot of them were damaged during the 2006 Java earthquake. Fortunately, the three most majestic temples survived the catastrophic event.
Prambanan also hosts the Ramayana dance ballet. This dance performance is said to have started in 1960 and has continued ever since.
Ratu Boko is another archaeological complex located a few kilometres from Prambanan. The precise function of this temple is unknown but it is believed by locals to be the palace of King Boko which is mentioned in the Loro Jonggrang folklore.
Ratu Boko is popular among tourists because of its beauty during sunset.
Just like Borubudur, a trip to Prambanan and Ratu Boko can be arranged thru a travel agency in Yogyakarta but you still have an option to go there yourself. Here's how you can do it:
1. From Malioboro, you can take 1A TransJogja bus to Prambanan Terminal for only 3,000 Rupiah.
2. The entrance gate is just around 10 minutes walk from the terminal. Entrance fee to Prambanan costs $13 or $20 if it includes a trip to Ratu Boko. The $20 fee includes a shuttle from Prambanan to Ratu Boko and an option to be dropped off to Trans Jogja bus station or Prambanan Terminal.
Going there yourself is not really that difficult and you'd be able to save a lot of money, especially if you're travelling in a small group.