yogyakarta: the borobudur letdown

i LOVED yogyakarta. not because of it’s famous temples, or the 1-hr away beaches, leather goods, or other tourist activities available. it’s because i did close to nothing there but sleep, walk a little bit, and making myself available to rabid mosquitoes. however the laziness permeated to my travel experience, as my tourist-bait activity was poorly informed, that turned borderline disappointing

Borobudur: Another One of Them Sunrise and Cycling Tours

once again, i went to a place with no pre-planning, or a general idea of what to do there beyond the typical tourist traps. so the first thing i did was secure a ticket to see the sunrise at borobudur. to fill up the whole day, i threw in a cycling tour around the city. according to the pamphlet, all in all the tour will finish at 5pm.Borobudur Temple 1

so i guess, after seeing angkor wat, every other temple in south east asia is just…meh (i hear ya japan). there’s nothing much to do after the sun has risen, as it’s just one small circle of same-ness. i circled the temple repeatedly until i just got bored and went down early for the cycling tour

*i should note that i paid IDR375,000 for this package (around US$27.32) while a 3-day pass for the whole angkor wat complex was US$30. and i thought that was expensive.

since this was a tour, i was expecting a tourguide to tell us all about them temple. NOPE. we had a driver whose english we could not understand, that left directions so confusing that i spent 1hr waiting for people i thought were also cycling with me, and wondering where i should go for the cycling tour

i did get a sarong (i think it’s a sarong) out of it, so that made me somewhat happy (free souvenirs!)

to be fair, i got these pictures, which helps propagate the idea that i had a banging good time in borobudur (it was only ok). again, don’t understand the story behind the temple, nor have i done research 😁

then off to the mountain biking around the city

More Biking, Even More Pain, with Less Understanding

this is one of them things where i again questioned my reasoning and decision-making skills. i went in with zero knowledge of what “cycling tour in borobudur” means and just assumed my unfit self can sustain the heat and topology of the place. i thought it was just gonna be like angkor wat where all the roads are flat, and when you need to climb anything you park the regular bike somewhere and off you go

so i was kinda…surprised (?) when i saw a real mountain bike with an actual helmet. i’ve done several “bike tours” around asia and it was never a mountain bike and i never was given much safety. rentals were more concerned with us stealing the bike. once again, i’ve eaten more than i can chew

more concrete roads, less bamboo bridges pls
more concrete roads, less bamboo bridges pls

i was with a swedish couple, and we did not interact that much. no time to build rapport and all that (it would have been more enjoyable if we were comfy with each other). at first i worried that i will drag the whole team down, but good thing we were all in the same fitness levels: can’t cope with steep uphills and downhills that we had to get off our bikes and just walk

then the heat just became too much. the two water bottles i had with me were not enough, and i just wanted it all to stop until we stopped by a pottery! this made the need to throw a tantrum stop lol

Borobudur City Cycling Tour 5
don’t be fooled – it’s damn hard

i’ve always wanted to try pottery, and thought that if i were a damn artist, i’d want to be a potter (no, it’s not because of ghost. it’s more because of the japanese dorama yasashii jikan). it looked easy, but damn it was hard! i couldn’t even make an indentation on the clay while spinning the wheel without assistance. the potter mentioned that she can make 41 pieces in a day, but i bet because of us disturbing her flow she’s down to half that on the day we visited

i liked our tourguide. he looked like a nice and gentle person, so i can forgive him for being shy that led to fast tracking the whole trip (thank god). even the swedes were like: we should end this before we get scorched.

he said something though, that made me sad when we passed by a muslim primary school: this is a muslim school for 6 yr olds but not the radical muslims. they are good muslims. as if we we think fundamentalists and terrorists when referring to muslims. *sigh*. (i just want to say that muslims are good people, like people of other religions, but that any form of extremism/fundamentalism is never a good thing, whatever your beliefs might be, christian fundamentalism included)

the whole trip was done a little after 1100, and i was back in the hostel to sleep the rest of the day by 1pm. woke up to eat dinner, meet up with my new tourguide for prambanan and ratu boko the next day, and sleep again. my kind of travel


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