Today we woke up at 4:30a to visit the largest Buddhist temple in SE Asia, located about an hour from Yogyakarta. We arrived to a mostly empty site and were able to take in the breathtaking splendor (and all 504 Buddah statues!) before the entire site was filled with more kids asking for photos. (See the photos below as more kids flood the site!)
Borobudur was built in the 9th century and abandoned in the 14th century when much of Java converted to Muslim. In 1814 it was found again by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, overgrown with plants and badly neglected. It has taken several rounds of restorations to get it where it is today. There are 3 levels and to properly visit the site you must walk around each level clockwise. We were one of the few to do this, so spent 3 sides with few tourists and then would meet the rest of the group making their way up the main stairway.
A stunning site that was worth the early wake up!
Click on any of the images to enlarge: