New from our research, here’s a mind map showing over 80 Buddhist centres and organizations in the UK, divided into centres in London vs rest of UK, plus Buddhist retreats in the UK, educational organizations, top web resources, and a few shops/bookshops.
There are so many options for tours around the countries featured in our Golden Lands Buddhist architecture book: Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. All the big international companies offer readymade tours for a range of budgets, but for each country there are also more specialized and local tours available, if you search a bit deeper. There are also tour companies offering packages for adventure travel, culture, diving, pilgrimage, and rail journeys.
To help you discover some of the best options for SE Asia travel, we’ve researched and put together a mind map of the tour companies.
The following image is a preview of our mind map, and see the link below for the full web page.
Some of the tour companies have Twitter accounts, and we’ve gathered the ones which are more focused on these particular countries (not big generalists) into a Twitter list of Southeast Asia Tour Companies here, so you can subscribe to all their feeds with one click.
15:00: Visit the Tugu, Jogja’s most famous landmark:
For some people the Tugu might look familiar, as there is a bigger version in Jakarta. It has quite some stories to tell with an age of almost 300 years. The legend goes, that when students graduate from any university in Yogyakarta, they will come over to hug the Tugu and being thankful for passing all exams and for future success in life and on work.
Motor scooter rental: IDR 50.000 for 24 hours
Taxi: ca. IDR 25000 for 15 minutes
15:30: Visit the Vredeburg Fortress:
Leave the Tugu via Jalan Malioboro, the hub of Yogyakarta. Have a short glimpse of bicycle-rickshaw drivers, shops in various sizes, fast food chains next to Warungs (small local restaurants).
The Vredeburg Fortress was a former Dutch fortress, but serves now as museum. Learn about the Dutch colonization of Indonesia until 1949.
Entry fee: IDR 3000 per person (US$ 0.30)
Opening times: Tue-Thu: 08.30-13.30, Fri: 08.30-11.00, Sat&Sun: 08.30-12.00
Tel.: +62 274 586934 and +62 274 510996
Address: Jalan Jenderal Ahmad Yani 6
17:30: See colonial Dutch architecture:
Now it is time to explore the surroundings by walking. Leave the Vredeburg Fortress and stroll around its neighbourhood; visit the nearby ‘Bank Indonesia’ or ‘POS Indonesia’ and see the colonial buildings which are in fantastic shape. On the opposite you can find lots of hawkers, selling silver jewellery at affordable prices.
19:00: Indulge into Indonesia’s cuisine:
It’s time for an early dinner, since we have to leave early for Borobudur in the morning. Yogyakarta boasts all kinds of restaurants, from street food to splurge.
Recommendation: Start with Indonesia’s national dish, “Nasi Goreng” (fried rice), caution: It might be spicy! Tell the waiter: “Sedikit panas” (slightly spicy).
Price: start: IDR 10.000 (US$ 1) per meal
DAY 2: Borobudur Temple, Pawon & Mendut
04:00: Leave Yogyakarta in the early morning by a pre-booked bus or via private driver towards Borobudur, the single largest Buddhist structure on earth. Arrive right before sunset and climb up the top to see the sun rising.
Location: approx. 40km from Yogyakarta
Entry: IDR230.000, ca. US$ 20 per person
Transport: private car-with-driver rental recommended; Prices for full day (8-10 hours):
12:00: Only located 2 kilometres away from Borubudur, lays the Pawon Temple, the midpoint of the Three Buddha Temples. It is located right on the axis lines connecting Mendut and Borobudur.
Location: 1.75 km northeast of Borobudur
Entry: IDR 3300 per person for Mendut and Pawon Temple
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun from 07.00 – 18.00
13:30: Visit the third important Buddhist temple, the Mendut Temple. Different from Borobudur, which faces the rising sun, Mendut is faced westwards.
Location: 1.15 km to the southwest of Pawon
Entry: IDR 3300 per person for Mendut and Pawon Temple
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun from 07.00 – 18.00
16:00: Back to your hotel
DAY 3: Candi Prambanan Complex
09:00: Start your day by exploring Yogyakarta’s famous road Jalan Malioboro by trishaw, the tricycle-/ rickshaw combination.
You will find them all over. Don’t forget to haggle down the price you first get offered, it should cost not more than IDR 10.000-15.000 per ride.
12:00: Check out from your hotel in Yogyakarta and leave towards the impressive Prambanan temple complex. Check-in new hotel.
15:00: Start with yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Hindu Temple of Prambanan, built in honor of Lord Shiva and explore its compound of more than 200 temples. See the very interesting similarities between the previous visited Buddhist temple Borobudur and the Hindu temple of Prambanan. Once finished exploring the grounds, book a ticket for the Prambanan ballet at night.
Location: about 17km south west of Yogyakarta
Entry: IDR 210.000 per person
Transport: Taxi: ca. IDR 50.000, around 20 minutes
Opening Hours: 06.00 to 18.00, ticket sell closes at 17:15.
Ballet at Prambanan: Tickets range between IDR 100.000 – 350.000, depending on seat location
Food: – Local food hawkers selling traditional Indonesian everywhere around the temple
– Abhayagiri Restaurant: Address: Dusun Sumberwatu, Sambirejo, Prambanan; Tel.: +62 446 9277 and +62 821 3453 5000
– Kali Opak Restaurant: Address: Bokoharjo village, Ngablak, Prambanan; Tel.: +62 274 652 2976
DAY 4: Candi Sewu Complex
09:00: Start the day by visiting Candi Bubrah a Buddhist temple now in ruins and Candi Lumbung (Javanese: “Rice Barn Temple”), a temple which dates back to the 9th century.
The main temple is surrounded by 16 smaller temples. Both temples are located just a few hundred meters away from Prambanan.
Then head over to Candi Sewu, located only 800m north of Prambanan and easily reached by walking. Candi Sewu means 1000 temples, but has in fact 253 buildings. It is the second largest Buddhist temple in Java, Borobudur being the largest.
13:30: Get energized! Have lunch at the ‘Abhayagiri Restaurant’ which offers casual dining with stunning views towards the Prabanan Temple and Mount Merapi.
Entry fee Candi Sewu, Bubrah, Lumbung: Included in Prambanan ticket.
*Note: No up to date information about whether Prambanan offers multiple day passes like Angkor in Cambodia does. The guests might purchase every day a new ticket or ask for information in advance at email@example.com
Opening times: Mon-Sun 06.00-17.30
Lunch: as per consumption
15:30: Take a short drive towards Banyunibo – The temple in the middle of the field. The complex consists of one main temple and six supplementary temples. Banyunibo is situated in Cepit Hamlet, Bokoharjo Village.
Entry fee: FREE
18:30: Back to your hotel
DAY 5: Candi Kalasan, Candi Sari and King Boko Palace:
09:00: Now it’s time to visit Candi Kalasan, also known as Tara Temple. Though not considered as the most famous temple around Yogyakarta, Borobudur, it is the oldest Buddhism heritage site in Yogyakarta.
The building also inspired Atisha, a Buddhist from India who once visited Borobudur and spread Buddhism to Tibet. Candi Kalasan is located approx. 2km from the Prambanan Temple and reachable by walking.
Opening times: Mon-Sun 06.00-18.00
Entry fees: IDR 2000 per person
11:30: Visit Candi Sari, an interesting temple from the 8th century, which also served as dormitory for Buddhist monks. It is only 130 metres northeast from Kalasan Temple.
Opening times: 09.00 to 17.00
Entry fees: IDR 2000
15:00: King Boko Palace was a luxurious building which is now a large archaeological site located almost 200m above the sea level and covers almost 15 ha. Its distance to Prambanan is about 3km. You are further able to see and visit Candi Batu Putih and Candi Pembakaran and the Pendopo (audience hall), which also features a number of small temples / shrines in its surrounding.
Entry fees: IDR 150.000 per person, special package prices available
Web: www.borobudurpark.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
18:30: Back to your hotel
DAY 6: Candi Plaosan
09:00: Check out from your hotel. (Option 1)
09:30-15:30: Today you will visit yet another impressive complex: Candi Plaosan. Located 1km north of Prambanan, the complex is divided into north -and south temple. Since both temples look very similar to each other, they are often called ‘twin temples’.
Candi Plaosan is surrounded by rice paddies, offering a picturesque landscape. It is made up of 116 stupas and 58 shrines. Take your time to discover the temple.
16:00: Back to Yogyakarta and hotel check-in (Option 1) or remain at the hotel near Prambanan until tomorrow (Option 2) >> This option is best if you would like to see/experience/buy anything from Yogyakarta.
19:30: Dinner in Prambanan (Opt.1) or time for a special cup of coffee in Yogyakarta (Opt.2)
Visit Angkringan Malioboro, next to the famous road Jalan Malioboro for a so called Kopi Jos. Sidewalks with carpets spread on are turned into coffee shops at night and you can see locals from all walks of life sipping coffee and eating Gorengan (tasty small fried snacks, e.g. fried tofu or banana). Tip: try Tape, a fermented rice drink!
Afterwards you can stroll on Jalan Malioboro for some last impressions and to buy souvenirs for family and loved ones.
Entry fee Plaosan: IDR 3000
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 06.00-17.30
Prices Kopi Jus: Around IDR 25000 for 2 persons.
DAY 7: Candi Sambisari & transfer to airport
08:00: Check-out from your hotel >> if you are still in Prambanan, it would be best to check out by 07.30.
08:30: Before flying out of Yogyakarta, you will visit the Sambisari temple, located close to the airport. Actually a Hindu temple, it was buried about five meters underground and only accidentally discovered by a farmer in 1966. It took an impressive 21 years to reconstruct the temple piece by piece.
The Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta –Mgallery Collection***** www.mgallery.com
Jalan Jenderal Sudiman 9, 55233 Yogyakarta
Tel.: +62 274 566617; Fax: +62 274 566856; email: email@example.com
Jambuluwuk Malioboro Boutique Hotel**** www.jambuluwuk.co.id
Jalan Gajah Mada No 67, 55112 Yogyakarta
Tel.: +62 274 58 56 55; Fax: +62 274 58 56 15
Recommended Hotels near Prambanan:
Hotel Tentrem****, 1.2km from Prambanan www.hoteltentrem.com
Jalan AM Sangaji No 72a, 55233 Yogyakarta
Tel.: +62 274 641 5555, Fax: +62 274 641 5588; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Driver + private vehicle:
ADAM Jogja Transport, standby at the airport
Tel.: +62 823 2389 7555, +62 858 7834 6106, +62 877 3936 5095
Toyota Avanza 1.3 M/T, 7 seater, 12 hours = IDR 325.000
Excluding: Fuel, entry fees
Fuel: IDR 6500 per litre
Honda Vario or similar: IDR 50.000 per 24 hours
Note: There are many shops renting motorbikes, best to ask the concierge / front desk staff (who might put commission on top).
Article research and text: Kian
Photo selection via Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 – please contact us for amendments and attribution improvements.
Myanmar (Burma) is one of the best places in Asia to see Buddhist architecture and monuments. All over the country are countless iconic sights and pagodas. Here are three of the top Buddhist monuments to see on a visit to the country.
Shwedagon is the major Buddhist monument in Burma and is a landmark in Yangon. There has been a religious site here for over 2500 years and the golden stupa has been rebuilt several times; the latest in 1769.
Gilding the stupa began in the 15th century and today the golden zedi has thousands of tons of gold around its structure. At the very top are thousands of diamonds with a single 76 carat gem at the tip of the orb.
All around the zedi are smaller shrines for worship and a constant movement of people walking around the religious site, many in prayer.
The most novel, and technically challenging aspect of the several years of research for The Golden Lands has been the surveying of these scores of Buddhist architectural sites, and CAD-illustration into accurate 3D rendered computer models. This has been an incredibly detailed and demanding process, pioneered by the author Vikram Lall.
On this page you can see just a few examples of the architectural diagrams produced in this book, and please sign up to the book newsletter or contact us for more resources related to the surveying and diagrams of Buddhist architecture as we continue the series.
The Golden Lands is a groundbreaking study of Buddhist Architecture in terms of detail and rigour, but also in breadth: this first book in the 6-book “Architecture of the Buddhist World” series is over 280 pages and 95 different sites are shown in illustrations or photographs, including 24 selected sites covered in depth.
Check out the gallery of sample page spreads from The Golden Lands below. Click on the thumbnails to view full size. Please respect copyright and don’t reproduce without authorization. Media / Publishers please contact us for full press pack.