Making friends at Borobudur and Prambanan: Central Java, Indonesia

After more than a year traveling, Beau and I are still amazed by the historical monuments and architecture we have seen around the world. Borobudur, a Buddhist temple, and Prambanan, a Hindu temple, in Central Java did not disappoint. The one thing we did not expect to happen during our visit was to make new friends.  In the wee hours in the morning, our driver told us that on the weekends both temples are visited by school kids.  I don’t think we fully comprehended this statement until we entered the gates of Borobudur and heard giggles and yells.  We turned around and saw hundreds of kids…maybe even thousands!  The kids ranged from 8 to 16 years old and all had their school colors on.  Once their courage had built up, the little cuties started to approach us. Usually the kids would push out one to make the initial contact to ask for a photo.  Then as soon as Beau and I would happily agree the air filled with laughter and they would all come running.  This repeated over and over for each of the new westerners as they arrived up the stairs to the top covered in sweat.  Our smiles still across our faces, Beau and I made our way in the next temple, Prambanan.  We were instantly shocked that at 9:30 in the morning it was already in the high 90′s.  We agreed to photograph the temple by storm and head for the a/c as fast as possible.  Well plans changed.  At this temple we meet our new friends.  A group of young Javanese adults asked us if we didn’t mind answering some questions.  The group was there to practice their English and learn about other cultures.  The wonderful part was we got to learn about them too.  Beau and I had such a great time trying to answer the questions and make the group laugh.  We also learned that we are out of touch on what’s cool with teens but I think I am ok with that.  Beau and I ended up talking with the young adults for over an hour and walked away so happy and dehydrated.  Visiting Borobudur and Prambanan is wonderful in its own right but meeting the beautiful Javanese kids and young adults made our trip to Central Java! If you have the chance to meet them take the time to say hi.

3 Responses to Making friends at Borobudur and Prambanan: Central Java, Indonesia

  1. I had some similar experiences and these two temples. I thought I was in a photo shoot for a couple hours. However, the youth were very nice and loved to talk. I agree, if you do have a chance to meet some random people, always take that opportunity!

  2. Mimi says:

    too bad you guys didnt visit jepara, they are very famous for their ukiran furniture :D next time you should go there :) because from ur link i can see u love pretty furniture :)
    actually u guys miss a lot of things in jogja as well.. its kinda a shame because pasar beringharjo is famous for indonesian batik.. plus next time you should visit the local furniture workshop where you can admire the javanese gebyok ( carved wooden door) its very beautiful :)

  3. Hi Mimi,
    Thanks for visiting our website! We actually did go to Jepara, we stayed there for about a week working with several furniture artisans. We mentioned Jepara briefly on our last post, but didn’t go into much detail because this is another project of ours, in which we’ll go into much more detail later this year. We have not been to beringharjo yet, we will try to check that out the next time we’re in Java, which will be within the year. Thanks for the comment and suggestions.