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The bell-shaped thing is called a «stupa». Borobudur Buddhist Temple, Indonesia.

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Getting there

Borobudur Buddhist Temple, located in Magelang, a ninety minutes drive from Malioboro street in Jogjakarta. The road to Borobudur goes through exciting rural environment, and you will pass several smaller temples that might be worth a closer look.

Geographic location by coordinates: -7.606619, 110.203751.
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Triangle of interest: Jogjakarta–Borobudur–Merapi. Borobudur geo coordinates: -7.606619, 110.203751.

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The park

Making money from tourists is a privilege, and of coarse sometimes a necessity, but Borobudur is out of control. It's close to organized crime, and it is not a comfortable place to be a tourist. Only if you have particular interest in Buddhism and temples, architecture or other elements tied to this location, it's worth the hassle of coming here. If not, go see Gunung Merapi, or an awesome Jogjakarta beach.

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You will not be alone. If you want to shoot postcard-like photos, wait for the rain or join a sunrise tour.

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Finding a parking place

It may be vacant parking spaces although guards says it is full. The guards will be refer­ring to private parking spaces nearby, to help family and friends grow their income.

Souvenir sellers

Even before you enter the park, you will be bombarded by souvenir sellers. You just have to try ignore them, unless there is something you really need to buy before you enter. If it's raining, you might want to buy an umbrella. Else there will be plenty of buying oportunities later. The last thing you want to do is carry additional souvenirs while you climb the steep stairs of Borobudur.

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A reconstructed ship, used to prove that long distance trade has occurred (read more at Wikipedia).

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Tickets and passport

By all means: bring your passport, or you will not be ble to enter the park.

Borobudur temple park operates with local price and foreigner price. Foreigners need to show their passport to get into the park, and the different tickets for locals and foreigners are sold in different slots. It can be a long line to buy tickets, so it may be okay to stand in the right queue immediately.

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Getting around the park. It's a large park, and if you are not in the mood for walking, this colorful horse taxies called «andongs» can help you around.

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The tickets for foreigners are far more expensive than tickets for locals, and foreigners have to pay for their children as well. In return, foreigners get something to drink when they enter the park, and they can ride a shuttle for free. Not sure if riding with «andongs» also are included.

Exiting the park

When the visit is over, ask to go out through the entrance. The poorly marked exit leads you through a maze of stalls and sellers, and it is like going through hell if you are already tired. Even worse; if you have tired children. You can buy more or less the same souvenirs outside, in the stalls between the entrance and the parking place.

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Souvenirs: The never-ending labyrinth of stalls.

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The park and the temple

Borobudur has long stairs, and as you get higher the view reveals impressive mountains dressed with jungle. How interesting the temple itself proves to be, depends on each individual's interest in architecture, East Asian history and Buddhist religion etc. It is possible to rent a guide right after the ticket counter, and if you travel without smaller children I suggest you do so. What you learn from the guide will make your visit far more exciting. If I too used a guide, I would have had very different pictures to show you.

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One of the Borobudur park keepers. The park keepers are doing a fantastic job.

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Please note: The temple stairs become slippery when it rains, and it can be both a painful dangerous to fall.

The park is incredible clean and well kept, and apart from over-enthusiastic salesmen, the park it self is a nice experience. The park even hold a nice surprise: tame fallow deers.

Fallow deers

The park has both elephants and deers, and both seem to get little attention by visitors. In particular the deers. The deers live in a kind of backyard. They are tame, they like to be petted, and they eat from your hand. For kids and others who loves animals, the deers might be the park's main attraction. The deers loves the kids, and the kids loves the deers.

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One fallow deer who seemed happy for food and attention.

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3 months later …

More than three months after the visit: looking back, do I regret going there? No. It's a satisfying thought to have been there, but knowing the hassle, I'm not tempted to visit the temple again.