We arrived in Borobudur just a little over six in the morning. Our van driver told us that if we hurried, we would be able to catch “a beautiful view of Borobudur in the early morning.”
When we finally got to the temple’s base, a group was already there. Thankfully, they weren’t the typical rowdy tourists one often reads about in guidebooks. Instead, two Buddhist monks in their distinctive brown garb led the group in prayer. So we were able to explore the complex in relative quiet.
Borobudur was everything I imagined. It was a magnificent sight to behold, especially in the early morning. The structure, built in the 9th century, is set between twin volcanoes and two rivers. At 869 feet above sea level, it is the perfect place for contemplation. I’m not sure if it’s because of the 504 Buddha statues that surrounded the temple or the dents on the stones left by pilgrims past, but something about it forced me to look inwards.