Borobudur, and things in a new light.

The back of a stone Buddha’s head
The back of a stone Buddha’s head

I don’t think I’ve done very much travelling in my life but I always wondered, are we really that short on time when we travel, so much so that our blog posts about our trip end up being scattered across several days or weeks after we’ve come back home? If I were to spend several months travelling or even devoted my life to it, does that mean I would never write about it until I got back? Many months later?

I suppose the good thing to assume for now is yes… yes, travelling often constitutes holidays and the last thing on our minds is writing about it. At best, we have photos and small captions of text scattered across social media accounts to update everyone and assure them that we are alive. I’ve even done it myself, posting photos on Instagram. Why is it so much effort to blog, even though practically half my life now (yes, 12 out of 24 years) I have dedicated time to it?

It is a lot of trouble. It is a lot of time to go through a handful of photos. It’s at a point now where being ruthless is what matters, and where a few words are just as good as a thousand. So over the next few days – maybe weeks – I’ll drop a gem here and there about my recent ten-day trip to Indonesia.

Indonesia this year was a lot of fun, at the same time a few twists and turns occurred. We visited a lot of places I had already been, but a lot of places that were new. I’m grateful to my mum and aunts, uncles and cousins for putting up with me and Nick! I’m glad Nick had a better time than I thought. Like he said, though, going back into a routine is something we both need. I have to admit that the heat in Indonesia and the way of life is a bit too far from what we’re used to.

After visiting the Bogor Botanical Garden (more pictures to come, though some from a previous post!), we visited Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world.

Some of the stone carvings
Some of the stone carvings
A corner pathway
A corner pathway

I had been to Borobudur once before, and it was common to reach into the stupas (the bell-shaped things) to try and touch the Buddhas inside for good luck. They must have stopped this behaviour and not allowed people to touch, lean on or climb any part of the statues, as there must have been some damage.

A view over one of the levels of the temple
A view over one of the levels of the temple
Another view of the temple
Another view of the temple
What the stupas look like
What the stupas look like

Some guy was scolded for even just leaning on part of a large stupa to take a selfie. The temple was undergoing some restoration so perhaps that was why it did not look the way I remembered, and that could also have been a factor that disallowed the public from interacting with the monument. I also feel like the temple was much bigger and wider, but perhaps I have just grown. 😛

Far-away view of Borobudur
Far-away view of Borobudur
Front view of people going up the temple steps
Front view of people going up the temple steps
People approaching the steps to the temple
People approaching the steps to the temple
A high angle shot looking down on another level
A high angle shot looking down on another level

Nick and I got bombarded by schoolkids there. Now, I’m not entirely Caucasian, but the fact that I was with a Caucasian person made people think I was one as well. Indonesian people like tourists. I feel like I should have been warned about this. But… well, I wasn’t, so when swarms of schoolchildren gathered around us with their selfie sticks or just tried to take photos of us from where they were standing, we just smiled and posed.

Normally I’d be really pissed off. I recall hating trips to Indonesia because strangers like creepy old men would make comments about how ‘white’ my skin was, or worse, catcall me. I felt a bit more at ease with Nick by my side, and people must have thought we were cute or something (someone did ask if we were a couple).

I tried to embed an Instagram photo but it didn’t work, here is a visual for the above.

Then again, I suppose children behave completely differently to adults, and children in Indonesia are possibly intrigued by foreigners because we just look different. Some of the children interviewed us, speaking in fairly decent English, asking us how long we had been in Indonesia, our favourite Indonesian food, why we were visiting, and where we were from. A couple of them asked for autographs, some recorded videos, and others simply wrote down what we were saying.

With that said, yes, I have been known to be rather bitter about trips to visit Indonesia, despite the majority of my family living there. I am not fond of the weather, as I mentioned, or the lifestyle, and I know for sure that I wouldn’t be able to live in Indonesia. But I did try to make this trip a better one, and try and enjoy it more.

I’ll share more stories over the next week. 🙂

Other posts about my 2015 trip to Indonesia

Closer side angled view
Closer side angled view
A Buddha uncovered
A Buddha uncovered

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Comments on this post

That’s cute about the kids 🙂 Asking for autographs while you and Nick were out visiting this beautiful place in Indonesia. This temple is rich full of history and looks amazing. Looks like you both had a great time and the pictures definitely tell a story. It’s okay, some of us which include me, don’t care for traveling and would rather hear the stories of those that did. I find that I can live through those stories and find some happiness.

That is good to hear Michelle! I wouldn’t mind having a go at convincing you to travel, but I am sure you have your reasons too. 🙂 I personally don’t care too much for historical buildings in general, but some of them can be a really incredible experience to visit.

I did read your previous post but never got around to commenting. Love hearing about your little Indonesian adventure.

That’s really cute about the kids! I didn’t realise it was like that over there. I know they go crazy over white people in China. They have some addiction to white skin which I feel is a shame – they already have lovely skin tones.

Borobudur looks amazing. Pity that you can’t touch the buddhas anymore 😞

Look forward to hearing more about the trip. 🙂

It’s very much like that in Asia! Everyone wants to be pale. Grass is always greener, I guess. I personally am already quite pale but I wouldn’t mind being a little less yellow haha.

Hello Georgie! Olivia of Ethetica introduced you to me, and I’m really excited! Olivia and I met through blogging as well, through another blogging friend of mine. I’m currently working as a web developer too. Web developers unite!

Your trip sounds amazing! Yeah it’s so true, when you visit a place as a child, and again when you’re older, the place seems different. Not only may the place have changed, but you have grown. Your perspective on the world changes over time, and you’re physically taller as well. These pictures are lovely and the weather looks pleasant. Those umbrellas remind me of tourists in China. They also carry umbrellas to protect their skin from the sun. I like that you included people in some of your pictures.

Hello Sue! So nice to meet you! I love looking for new blogs to read so I will be sure to visit yours. I feel like I have seen your face around the comments in people’s posts. 😉

Thank you so much! Oh it’s quite funny actually, when I was younger I never liked my photos to have people in them. I tried so hard to crop them out of the frame. Now I realise that they sometimes add value and life to a photo, even just in crowds.

I feel your irritiation sometimes with visiting your “homeland” LOL. I’m kinda the same way with visiting the Philippines because everyone just looks at you like you they know for 100% you don’t belong there because of your skin color or the way you carried yourself and yes the creepy ones following you around HAHAHAH. For me … it really didn’t help because apparently I looked like one of the “porn stars” there and I was like … “oh shit … that’s not good” so I had constant people follow me around asking for weird photos and stuff.

Still it’s fun to see family. I actually want to go there as a tourist one day and actually visit areas that I have never been to before. There’s only so much to do when you’re visiting family and you’re limited to where you can travel. Plus I want to see what’s it’s like to visit with my husband and see what kind of reactions we get because we are both Filipino and speak all English LOL.

Photos are beautiful!! Indonesia looks absolutely beautiful and exotic !! I really love seeing nice architectures and historic pieces/areas!! One day I’ll be able to travel like that. Maybe once my kids are moved out of the house LOL

Man, I had a feeling you would feel the same way. I am pretty pale myself and I just do not look like an Indonesian. Shame you had to look like one of the porn stars though, that would have been so uncomfortable. 😞

I agree! Normally I would not go and be a tourist when I visit my family but because Nick came along, I was able to do that.

Hope you get to visit Indonesia some day! 🙂 It has a lot to offer, and I myself have only been to one of the country’s many islands.