Friday, September 5, 2014

Searching For Aliens In Prambanan and Borobudur

An hour’s worth of sleep in Soekarno Hatta International Airport left me groggy. My alarm went off; it was time to catch my  Yogyakarta flight. Man, I’m getting old, sleeping in airports is not my thing anymore. :P There’s an airport fee of IDR 40,000 when I flew from CGK to JOG. Fee was collected at Air Asia’s check-in counter. I fastened my seatbelt upon finding my seat and slept peacefully. I was asleep even before the plane was filled with all the passengers.

I arrived early in Adisucipto International Airport past 6am. The tourist information center was still closed. The Customer Service booth was open, I was able to get a city map there. I also asked where I could find the Transjogya terminal. There are nosy touts when I exited the airport but I held my nose up and pretended I was a local and I knew what I was doing – even with my camera in front of me. Maybe I partially succeeded coz they left me alone.  I followed where the buses stopped, and I deduced that it was the Transjogya station. I was right. I paid IDR 3,000 at the entrance. I waiter for Bus 1A that will take me to Malioboro station. Journey took around 45 minutes.

Transjogya station

Transjogya Yogyakarta bus routes
I was reunited with my bestie Beth (or Mimi nowadays)! Food vs. Sleep. Food won. We grabbed breakfast at a nearby place. We passed by Cakra Tours in a street perpendicular to Malioboro and booked Prambanan and Borobudur tours with them. It is way cheaper to travel to Prambanan via Transjogya but our inner senyoritas won. Convenience and aircon won. We booked an afternoon tour going to Prambanan for 260,000. This includes the ticket, and our vehicle was a Toyota Innova. I have no idea why they have to specify the brand of the vehicle.

Pose na. Entrance pa lang.
That left me with less than 4 hours of sleep. I maximized that time. I conked out in the vehicle. The ride to Prambanan took one hour. So much for catching up with Beth. LOL. Talaga nga naman, ang hirap bawiin ng “jet-lag”.
Area map of Prambanan

Gloomy skies greeted us in Prambanan. Our driver led us the entrance. They serve water for free at the entrance. In other days, the sun may be unforgiving. They had this “uniform”, every tourist had to wear one.

Beth conceptualized the Ultraman pose. This trip is about the aliens.

Fab pose in this crumble

Selfie within a selfie.

Because we had time, we explored the other minor temples, just because we had time.

No sunset for us.

Beth has been to Bangkok and I’ve been to theAngkor Wat so... Prambanan was not that grand. Based on blog posts, I knew that Prambanan will be an afternoon-filler instead of a huwaw-destination. Not good to compare, but I can’t help it. Nevertheless, it was a good “primer” for Borobudur. If you’d rather conserve your money and energy, you can spend the afternoon eating your heart's content in Yogyakarta.

It was another early day for us. Groggy, I heeded to the alarm when it rang at 3:20am. The van was picking us up at 3:45am for our Borobudur tour. We got a sunrise package of IDR 320,000 which includes a sunrise in Penanjakan point (ticket not included), breakfast, and ticket to Borobudur. Travel time is also around one hour – which I maximized by sleeping again. We paid IDR 30,000 for the entrance fee in Penanjakan. We weren’t expecting that we had to hike for at least 30 minutes going up to the view point. It was dark and cold. But we managed.
The tourist agency was very clear with us that the sunrise will NOT be in Borobudur. If you want to experience the “magica/surreal/amazing” Borobudur sunrise, you’ll have to splurge on your accommodation and stay in Manohara hotel – which costs $120 a night, for the room alone. Maharlika. I think I’ll still be able to enjoy Borobudur even without a sunrise. Di naman kelangan laging “best way” ang piliin.   

The ants were interesting enough

The sun didn’t show up either. 

I feel your pain guys. No sunrise. Sayang gising natin.

The vehicle parked in the grounds of Borobudur. We were led to a stall and ordered breakfast. For the first time, we encountered a Filipino in Jogya! Hindi uso ang Pinoy in Yogyakarta. He was touring with some other people from his hostel.

Conquering Borobudur: You have circle the level before climbing the next one. I was expecting that there will be loads of people but the crowd turned out to be pretty manageable. Difficult to own your own frame, but that’s expected.
Pretty grand. Find me.
  Beth needed some photo-taking tips.

I had a nice pose. With no view.
Now this is better!
 I'm rambling aimlessly here while sharing some nice photos.

Find your own point of interest
Trying out some emo pose

Aliens, right? Looks like there's  UFO here.

Find the UFO.
There's another UFO!

We chanced upon another Pinoy who was travelling with some of his English-speaking friends. He said he has been with them for days and ‘twas good that he found some Pinoys. Pagod na raw siya mag-English.


He told one of his friends: “I’m just resting my tounge”. LOL. I understand the Filipino/Tagalog translation of that: “pinagpapahinga ko lang dila ko”. But the English translation is funny!

Buddha inside

We went around Borobudur with Xy (the Pinoy traveller we met at breakfast). We “abused” his presence and made him take our photos. Hehehehe! I also shared that the reason I’m in Borobudur was because of Ancient Aliens. It was fun to meet Pinoys along the road. 

Prambanan was disappointing but Borobudur did not disappoint!

With Xy  - leftmost

Bring the following:
1. Sunblock
2. Water bottle
3. Sunglasses 
4. Umbrella
5. A scarf would also be useful as a mat

So, Aliens. Yes. I think so. 

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