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Daily Daydream: Borobudur Temple, Indonesia

SmarterTravel

Located on an island and surrounded by steaming, active volcanos, the Borobudur Temple Complex in Indonesia appears almost otherworldly. Borobudur is the largest Buddhist monument in the world, and attracts a number of religious pilgrams every year. The temple was built almost 300 years before the famous Angkor Wat (between AD 750 and 842).

The temple is a huge stone pyramid, built on a hill, and offers amazing views from the higher terraces. You could spend days exploring this monument and not see everything in enough detail—there are more than 500 Buddha statues here, as well as thousands of hand-carved stone panels.

After extensive restoration in the 1970s and 80s, Borobudur was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Where is it? Central Java, Indonesia. You can fly into the nearby international airport in Yogyakarta, about 40 km away.

Where to stay? Stay at the nearby Villa Sumbing Indah, which features a beautiful outdoor pool, terrace, and gardens.

What else should I know? The best time of day to go is during sunrise, when the mist in the air and the changing colors of the sky make the temple look even more mystical.

Who’s it for? Buddhists, historians, art-lovers, anyone with an interest in world religion.

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