I still have a fond memory of Candi Borobudur when I was at the elementary school and went there for a study trip. Located in Magelang in the central of Java, this architectural marvel was still known as one of the 7 Wonders of the World by then.
And after 25 years, I finally had chance to return to this place during Waisak (Vesak) celebration this year. Of course, this time I came with different preparation and expectation; departing at 4am from Yogyakarta (this is a major hub in this region, and a place I would recommend to go if you are keen to learn about Javanese culture) and carrying my full camera gear ready to capture the moment. It was less than an hour trip by car, and when I arrived there it was still dark. I joined a sunrise trip (only one provider available, organized by Manohara Hotel, just nearby the temple) and started to climb up the temple and reached the summit (yeap, it is harder this time than 25 years ago :-)) . I then began my routine to set up my gear, waiting patiently for the light and mist to show up.
After the first light revealed, I soaked the moment and then realized that it might be a different journey than 25 years ago, but the magical view, the ambience, the inspiration, and the amazement I had, were still the same!