Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Indonesia: Prambanan

So, the reason I've been a bit quiet this week is that I've been writing an article on a specific component of my teaching practice for an Australian journal. Nothing too scary academic, because I don't have research results to publish or anything like that (ha ha, like anybody pays me to do research, funny joke ha ha). When it's published in September I'll link it here, just as I did with my story about King Boat Festival in How Does One Dress to Buy Dragonfruit? which, if you haven't read, you really ought to.

Anyway, writing that article took a lot out of me, so I'm abdicating today and putting up a few more pictures from our trip to Indonesia in February. I also have posts about recent trips to Tainan, Kaohsiung and Yunlin and a weekender to Hong Kong to write about - I haven't just been hanging out in Taipei these past few weeks!

So, enjoy Prambanan in the rain.

This was a side trip between Borobudur and Surakarta (Solo), on a part of our trip that had us mostly visiting old temples. The easiest way to do this is to hire a car and driver - which you can do remarkably cheaply - and have them take you not only to Prambanan but a few of the other smaller temple complexes in the area, including the Plaosan group of temples, some more temples to the south and, near the town of Kalasan, the stand-alone temples of Candi Kalasan and Candi Sari. More than anywhere else these are influenced by the Hindu dynasties that once ruled in Java, meaning that if you've ever been to India and seen crumbling temple ruins there, these will look quite familiar. That said, the occasional Southeast Asian artistic flourish does become apparent if you look closely, especially on window and door lintels through the temples, even as the main gods the temples were built to worship are entirely of Indian origin.

All of these temples were built between the 8th-10th centuries AD.

Doing this properly, including time to stop and eat, and exploring temples beyond the Prambanan main complex before heading to Solo will take you most of the day, but unless you're slowed down by heavy monsoon rains or your driver gets a bit lost trying to find your final destination in Solo (as ours did), you can be sure to get from Borobudur to Solo before nightfall.

This was an interesting monsoon-y day to visit Prambanan, alternating between sunshine with fluffy white clouds and sheets of pouring rain - and the photos reflect this! We got caught out in the rain more than once, and Brendan ended up soaked. We also met and chatted with a nice Taiwanese guy and his wife, and ended up eating with them - it was great to be able to break out the Chinese that week and communicate clearly with someone other than Brendan and our friend Laszlo in Surabaya!













Check out my other Indonesia posts:

Surakarta (Solo)
Baluran National Park

...and maybe someday I'll blog my 2008 Sumatra trip, which I took before even starting this blog!

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