25 February 2016

The Magnificent Temple of Borobudur

High on a mountain in Central Java, the Borobudur Temple rises up towards the sky. In Buddhist belief, the closer you are to Heaven, the closer you are to the gods. [source]

It's been nearly 15 years since the last time I visited this wonderful Temple of Borobudur. I still have that embarrassing photo of 10-years-old-me sitting "nicely" in front of a stupa. I wanted to share that picture but then I realized it will ruin the content so I decided not to. Haha.

Anyway, this temple is still as pretty as it was before, or must I say, even more prettier! This time I explored this temple with my boyfriend, KL, and we really had such an awesome day together, especially that terribly wet body and camera from the heavy rain in the half way back, of course!

The admission ticket for local (Indonesian ID holder) is IDR 30,000 and for international tourist is IDR 100,000. Even if KL is Singaporean, we got these two admission tickets for only IDR 60,000, which means we cheated! I just had to ask KL to shut his mouth up tight and act like normal Chinese-Indonesian during the passing entrance session and we're safe to go. They never asked to show my ID when I bought the tickets for two so this wasn't purely our fault. But if you're a foreigner or group of foreigners and no one of your group speaks Bahasa Indonesia well, I highly recommend you get your ticket in the right place! Especially if you don't look like common Indonesian people. I know what we did was wrong but we just had to do it because... well, we can! Hehe.

Even if KL passed the entrance without being caught, the security here was quite tight. They checked our bags and belongings one by one and scanned our body in walk-through body scanner. We inserted our admission ticket here and we're ready to explore the temple!

Along the way after we crossed the entrance, we were offered to rent umbrella by so many ladies. I rented this cute pink umbrella for IDR 5,000. Some people may find them annoying but please note that those ladies are just trying to help you! It's good to protect your body from overexposure if it's hot and of course, from the rain if it's raining. And oh, I also bought this cute round straw hat near the entrance.

The trip from entrance to the temple was about 2km. You can choose to walk if you'd like to enjoy the green scenery, which in my case was not an option because the sky started to get cloudy and there was this kind of vehicle that can take us to the temple faster. If sore feet won't be a problem, you can opt for walking. However if you're energy saver just like us, you can ride this green fake-train for only IDR 10,000 per person and not only they will help you skip the walking, but also will give you a bottled water too! You will still need to walk quite long and climb quite high in the temple, so taking this train is a smart choice.

This is what we got to enjoy during the fake train trip: elephants and green park. The park is quite lonely because apparently people choose to ride the fake train over walking. Anyway, the fake train will only take you to the temple but will never take you back. You have no other option than to walk from the temple to the exit door later.

And this is it: The Magnificent Temple of Borobudur

Borobudur Temple is the largest Buddhist temple in the world. It was built in the 8th and 9th centuries during the reign of the Syailendra Dynasty, hundreds of years before Cambodia's Angkor Wat and the great cathedrals in Europe were built. Since the middle of the 9th century until the early of 11th century, Borobudur became a place of pilgrimage of Buddhist from China, India, Tibet and Cambodia. The Borobudur Temple is one of the most important historical traces in the phase of human civilization.

One of the most interesting thing about this temple is that it was composed of 55,000 cubic meter of stone, consists of 2 million pieces of rocks. If you are strong enough, you can even lift up the rock because it was solely built by stacking heavy rocks with no help of concrete mixture to stick them together at all.

Another interesting thing I found in this temple is the reliefs. It's really amazing how in ancient time they covered the surface area of more than 2000 square meter with such an amazing relief panels and each of them even telling a meaningful story of Buddha's teachings.

There's this kind of old belief that I heard since I was young about this Borobudur stupa is that if you insert your hand and you can reach the Buddha statue inside of the stupa while making a wish, your wish will be granted. Regardless whether it's made up or not, it's still quite interesting, so we tried it. And, as you can see: Easy peasy! Our wish will come true. Ha!

Overall, we really enjoyed this trip. However, there's two important lessons we learnt from this trip:
  1. Wear something below the knee if you do not wish to wear sarong
  2. Never ever leave your umbrella, even if you think the rain has stopped

The Borobudur Temple

Jl Raya Jogya - Solo Km 16 Prambanan, Sleman, Yogyakarta 55571, Indonesia

Admission ticket:
IDR 30,000 for local
IDR 100,000 for foreigner

Visit the website: http://borobudurpark.com/

14 February 2016

Things I Love about You

Just wanted to take time to wish my love happy Valentine's Day!

My boyfriend has been on a trip to South Korea since 5 days ago and he can't be with me today, February 14th. Do you think I'm sad? No. I miss him, yes. But it's not like I only miss him just on Valentine's Day, I miss him everyday. Because we're in a long distance relationship and missing seems like a daily hunger that we'll always crave from each other everyday, not just today.

Honestly, I've never really made such effort before just to give someone a gift on Valentine's Day, or any other special day. I spent around 3 weeks to finally complete this book and I had such a fun time making it. I've always wanted to make someone a book filled with my drawings, but apparently not many people around me will really appreciate it if I do (even my Mum! ha!). They will like it, of course, but they'll mostly just don't know how to do with the book and it will just end up being stacked somewhere. But now that I have a sweet and lovely partner who I know will always appreciate my drawings, I decided to make him a book. I know he'll treasure it, just like how he has treasured all of my efforts before. The book is called "Things I Love about You", and it is filled with my feelings for him.

He is always wondering how much I love him but I know that words will just never enough to explain it because every part of him, I love it! And these are just a few of them.

I still remember when I asked him why do we even need Valentine's Day when we can just love each other everyday and his answer is right, it's to remind us about how much we love each other.

I hope he'll always feel reminded with this mini book.

08 February 2016

Happy Year of the Monkey 2016/2567!

Happy Chinese New Year!

A big thumbs up (and hug) to my boyfriend, because of him, I eventually come up with something nice to post this Chinese New Year. He requested this illustration since a very long time ago and it's finally done now. I only did the drawing and my boyfriend helped me with the animation. And yup, I just found out his amazing skill in Flash!

Anyway, the main concept of monkey flying with a paper plane is actually from him. This because the year of 2016 is going to be a travel year for him, he will be traveling a lot this year. Also, earlier this year, we've talked about doing a big trip and fulfilling many other amazing plans together in 2016, so hopefully this year is going to be a great year for both of us, and for all of you too!

Wishing you happiness and prosperity throughout the year. May good luck and good fortune always be with you.