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CENTRAL JAVA > CANDI BOROBUDUR > The Archaeological Park
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LOCATION:
Candi Borobudur is located some 45 minutes northeast of Yogyakarta.  It sits on a hill in the town of Muntilan in the Magelang District.

The archaeological park (Taman Wisata Borobudur) is basically the open area where Candi Borobudur is located.

DESCRIPTION:

The massive expanse of this 85-hectare archaeological park was built during the second restoration project of Candi Borobudur back in late 1970s and early 1980s. It was the brainchild of the Indonesian government to recreate a meaningful historical experience by blending the world-famous temple with modern ancillary structures that are both pleasing and academic.

I found the park to be rather nice although it was somewhat unnecessary because one to walk quite far through the park to get to the main attraction, the temple itself, and another substantial walk to get back to the exit. Not to mention the higher possibility of harrowingly being chased by gift vendors and street beggars going up and down the temple. Early morning visit was the best since there were less tourists hence less street sellers.

Among the facilities built in the park are Borobudur Study Centre, Archaeological Gallery, Information Centre where backdated photos of the temple could be viewed along with the restoration history, and Stone Conservation Centre (Karmawibhangga Museum) where you could witness stone samples taken from the temple for recording and restoration purposes.

The variety of plants grown in the park is also decidedly delectable. There are coconut trees, bodi / bodhi trees (ficus religiosa, the tree that holds a great significance to Buddha enthusiasts), chempaka / cempaka (michelia champaca), tanjung / tanjong (mimisops elengei), kemuning (murraya paniculate) and kenanga (cananga odorat).

Logistic and transportation facilities are also well provided by the park authority. There is a parking lot that can hold close to 500 cars and motorcycles while there is a separate space for tourist buses, vans and trucks. As for souvenir kiosks, the park brochure claims to have 87 of them, although I felt there were like 200+ judging from the zigzagging path I had to take across these kiosks (fortunately many yet to open for business in the morning). As it is common everywhere in touristy areas in Indonesia, you will notice that the exit seems so near, yet so far.

MY VERDICT:
Nicely-landscaped open park with great facilities but be wary of street and kiosk sellers.

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