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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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5 Underrated Local Destinations You Simply Must Not Miss
16 Aug 2018PLACESBY SweetEscape

We all know that Indonesia extends beyond Bali, Sumba or Raja Ampat, or do we really?

With SweetEscape, exploring Indonesia to its fullest potential is now possible even to the parts of our Nusantara that are still rarely heard of. Yeap, we’re one of the first photography company serving many of these magical yet underrated local regions for a lot of reasons, from how mind-blowingly picturesque they are to the promise of an adventure of a lifetime.

Here are 5 underrated local destinations you simply must not miss, recommended by SweetEscape:

Ambon, a tropical fantasy

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The sweet ‘manise’ Ambon is best known as the capital of Maluku province. What you probably don’t know is that Ambon offers the tropical-island quite unlike any other places can.

The charming main town is brimming with history and culture, which is a result of being one of the earliest places in Indonesia to be colonized. So for history buffs out there, you’ll be met with a lot of historic remnants from Pattimura Monument, Ambon War Cemetery to the World Peace Gong that’s truly quite a spectacle.

But the winning parts of Ambon for us is definitely the beaches. There’s Liang Beach with calm waves and the bluest colors of waters. Ora Beach, a white powdery beach with crystal clear water and pristine corals. There’s also Namalatu Beach and Hunimua Beach that was listed as the most beautiful Place in Indonesia by the UN Program back in the days. Intrigued yet?

Kupang, a relaxing seaside city

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Kupang is definitely not as popular as other destinations in East Nusa Tenggara. But don’t be quick to dismiss it, because this waterfront city did not make the list of our SweetEscape destinations for no reason.

Granted, the main town probably isn’t as attractive with not much different than any other big cities. Still, anyone would be amazed at the hidden gem of The Crystal Cave, which much like its name does look like a cave filled with dazzling crystals of different colors.

Then there’s the famous Oenosue waterfall and several beaches with different features. There’s white sandy beach of Kalbano with clear blue water, Oetune beach with its mysterious dark sand and last but not least, Tablolong Beach is just the perfect spot for sunset-watching amidst its pristine sandy beach.

Makassar, a hip metropolitan with surprises

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Another lesser travelled Indonesian cities, Makassar is the largest city on Sulawesi and has its fair share of historic journey in becoming a great city port of Eastern Indonesia.

Thanks to its seafaring root, Makassar is where you’ll get to experience mouth-watering plethora of seafoods that are fresh, juicy and simply to-die-for. It also houses the Bantimurung National Park and Leang-leang Prehistoric Park for you nature enthusiasts. More panoramic journey awaits at its waterfall spots in Maros Regency and the Lae- lae Island, which is located near Fort Rotterdam, a 1545 fort of Makassar Harbor.

All that wonders, mixed with the modern urban lifestyle happening in Makassar city, this is one place that truly has it all.

Sorong, a paradise in Papua

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As the gateway to Raja Ampat Islands, Sorong is often overlooked as a holiday spot. At first glance, you might be right. But upon further look, you’ll come to find a lot of hidden treasures waiting to be unearthed for your full enjoyment.

First, there’s Tanjung Kasuari Beach that is just less than an hour away from Sorong, followed by endless throngs of beaches, such as Werur, Seget, Dofior and plenty more! After you’re done with the excellent beaches, head over to the tranquil Taman Wisata Alam Sorong with 5-meter waterfall and bird-watching activity. Want something different? Visit the beautiful Sapta Ratna Pagoda built but its Chinese community up on the cool highland of Sorong.

Last but not least, do you know that Sorong hosts some of the best restaurants with special cuisines dominated by some of the freshest seafood selection? Now that you do, wait no more!

Cirebon, more than a culinary escapade

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From breathtaking landscapes to cultural heritage, Cirebon is an interesting destination that’s perfect for the budget travelers. History and culture fans will probably fit right in at this endaring city, especially with its open kraton buildings, royal palaces and other ancient buildings swamped with thick traditional vibes.

Magnificent architectures aside, Cirebon also offers natural attractions which include Gronggong Hills, Kejawanan Beach, or Setu Patok. When you’re all done, do some batik shopping, delman-hopping and food-tasting. We promise you’ll never look at Cirebon the same way ever again.

SweetEscape is an online platform that connects you with local photographers around the world. Our mission is to capture your life precious moments, anywhere in the world. SweetEscape is available in over 400 cities around the world. Book your first session and get $50 OFF. Enter the code: FIRSTESCAPE at checkout.

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