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Best Ways to Explore The Enchanting Borobudur Temple
08 Aug 2017IDEASBY SweetEscape

This ancient site is widely considered to be one of the world’s seven wonders seated majestically on a hilltop overlooking lush green fields and distant hills. If you think this is a mainstream touristy spot that only primary school students visit during their study trip, you better think again. Borobudur, which has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers a very enchanting view especially during sunrise.

Interestingly, the temple consists of nine stacked platforms like a set of massive interlocking Lego blocks held together without any glue, decorated with 504 Buddha statues and 2,672 relief panels! It’s located in an elevated area between two twin volcanoes, Sundoro-Sumbing and Merbabu-Merapi, and two rivers, the Progo and the Elo. According to local myth, this area is a Javanese sacred place called “the garden of Java” due to its high agricultural fertility.

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Enough with the fun facts.

The best way to explore Borobudur is on foot. As you climb to the top of this enchanting temple you will marvel at the intricate detailed stone carvings displayed on the temples wall. Alternatively, you can chart a cart (pulled by a horse) at a reasonable price. If you’re okay to pay more to experience the astounding sunrise from Borobudur, get into Borobudur via the Manohara hotel. You don’t have to line up with the other tourists and worry too much that you might not get the best spot to capture your memorable moment at Borobudur. Or, come like an hour and a half before everyone else. You can be at the top of the temple, taking photos with the Borobudur sunrise as your backdrop when everyone else is still lining up the gates, waiting to get in.

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Time of year also matters. If you visit it during Indonesia’s rainy season, a thick muggy haze might hung around graying out the sky until about 11am each morning. Another way to check on the condition of recent sunrises is to look at Instagram (#borobudursunrise) to see how other people’s recent photos have come out.

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8 Things To Do This Holiday Season, The Filipino Way
17 Dec 2018IDEASBY SweetEscape

Filipinos are known for their long holiday celebration. Many traditions and new ways keep this season alive no matter which city or town you go. You won't run out of things to do (but your budget probably will!) when you celebrate the holidays in the Philippines through these activities:

1. Go Christmas shopping in bazaars.

It's this time of the year when massive pop-up year-end bazaar and sale events happen, so go ahead and take advantage of the markdown madness to complete your Christmas gift list.

2. Complete the Misa de Gallo.

How many masses have you attended so far? Get up early or spare an hour so you could attend the mass at night because as they say, completing the 9-day or -night series will make a wish come true.

3. Visit music and lights shows and displays around the metro.

As soon as the holiday season comes, many parks and tourist attractions open Christmas-themed shows that are perfect for all ages. These Instagram-worthy locations are usually free of charge, making them picturesque and cheery venues to gather with your friends and families.

4. Spread the holiday cheer through Christmas carols

It has been part of the Filipino tradition to gather in groups and sing either classic or remixed tunes as they go from one house to another. Just as long as you know the lyrics to the in-trend Christmas songs, you'll definitely get those coins, or if you're lucky, you'll receive bills from your kind neighbors!

5. Organize a reunion party.

Many Filipinos love merrymaking, so expect most of your December weekends, and sometimes, weekdays too, to blocked off with schedules of parties. It's also a time to meet the newborns or catch up with the relatives who you haven't spoken to for a long time. Make your reunion party more memorable and let SweetEscape photographers turn your moments into beautiful photographs. Special for this holiday season, get 50% OFF on your 2-hour photo shoot, anywhere in Manila.

6. Pick a gift for your "monito" or "monita"

The Filipino version of Secret Santa is a more exciting and interesting one because gift-giving is done in small batches. Whether the category's something big, something fluffy, something embarrassing, or something naughty, you'll surely go home with a smile on your face because your friend or officemate could surely find a gift to pull that category or theme off!

7. Go on a staycation with your family

For some Filipinos, the holiday season means quality time, without the hassle of preparing feasts or organizing parties. Some simply prefer staying in or booking an accommodation where they could all relax and exchange thoughtful gifts after a hearty meal.

8. Go for a quick holiday vacation.

To some who've been looking forward to a unique kind of celebration for the holidays, setting off to another country is an option. School or office breaks give them a chance to explore new places, making their holidays a more memorable one.

In times like these, memories are meant to be saved. Especially if you've waited long enough for your family to be complete this holiday season, don't miss the chance to document those moments — let SweetEscape do it for you.

SweetEscape now offers a one-hour photo shoot that'll capture your best holiday moments in 1-2 spots. Your edited photos will be ready in 3 business days, just in time for sharing with everyone else around the world. Learn more about our one-hour photoshoot here: https://www.sweetescape.com/en/one-hour-photo-shoot

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