A trip to erotic temple Candi Sukuh: Part 1

This is post part 1 of 3.

I realize that a lot of my posts are about the destination: How grand the palace was, how sad the castle was and so on.

So this time, I want to do an experiment. Instead of bringing you straight to the destination, I want to bring you along on the trip to Candi Sukuh.

Are you ready?

Sights of Candi Sukuh
Sights of Candi Sukuh

Prologue

During my eight-day trip to Yogyakarta, Indonesia, D and I headed to Solo for a couple of days. I don’t remember why we chose to go to Solo but it might be because of the relatively short train ride to the city.

While in Solo, we took a day trip to Candi Sukuh. I admit that my motif for visiting was due to its unofficial title as being an erotic temple.

On the day we were heading to Candi Sukuh, we dropped by the tourist information center opposite Hotel Dana where we were staying at.

The man at the information counter tried to persuade us to take a taxi there but we insisted on taking the public transport for two reasons:

  1. It’s more indie.
  2. It’s cheaper.

However, we did take a cab to the main bus terminal because Trans Solo wasn’t as efficient as Trans Jogja (or Trans Jakarta, which I found out months afterwars)

From the main terminal at Solo, we hopped on a bus heading to Karangpandan where we to switched to a smaller bus.

The bus from Solo was a large bus. The seats were divided by a narrow corridor: the seats on the right could sit three petite locals while the ones on the left were for two. Being big-boned, we took the 3-seater for the two of us.

While waiting for the rest of the passengers to board, the bus was a bit warm and stuffy but it cooled down when the bus started moving as an endless gust of wind come in from from the partly open windows and the never-closed door.

As the bus chugged past fields of paddy, the bus conductor hungout of the open door, making sounds like an ambulance as we passed by motorists. “Wee-woo-wee-woo!”

In front of our row was a family with a doe-eyed child. The kid stared at us a while before turning to the front.

Show your sexy move

Usually when I am on a bus with TV, I am more likely to look at the box than the scenery. I think this has something to do with the TV being my baby sitter while I was growing up.

But I was really shocked when I saw the shows on the bus. They were was playing really sexy music videos.

On the bus
On the bus

Women dressed in strips of cloth writhed in front of the camera to loud techno music. I pretty much stared at the TV, wide mouthed. How on earth is something this sexy shown when Lady Gaga is “chased out of Indonesia“.

Later, the videos switched to wild life so I end up staring at the back of the head kid who had peeped at us from his seat.

At one of the stops, a boy came on board with a small guitar (a ukelele?) and serenaded each row. No one gave him money so he left after a round on the corridor.

Touchy feely on the bus

Finally, we arrived at Karangpandan station where we switched to a smaller bus. This bus was much smaller with two seaters on each side of the corridor.

I sat by the windows with D next to the aisle. A bunch of old ladies later came onboard.

The bus seats were rather cramped and I held on to the window edge with my fingers in case my butt slipped too far.

During the ride, I heard the old ladies chattering for a while. Then D spoke out loud, “Hello madams.” The old ladies twittered but stopped talking.

Later, D told me that the old ladies discussed among themselves how fair she was. This escalated to arm touching to see if the skin was real. When D greeted them in Indonesian, they looked sheepish. :3

Foot of the hill

The bus climbed up hills after hills on a narrow road. It then stopped in a small town. The conductor told us this was our stop for Candi Sukuh.

foot of hill where we got rides to the temple
foot of hill where we got rides to the temple

We found a motorcycle workshop and asked if they provided lifts to the temple. (I’ve read on the Internet that it’s better to get a motorcycle ride than walk.)

Two of the men volunteered after we discussed a price. I went along with the younger driver.

Wearing my hair gel-smelling helmet, I enjoyed the view of the valley and the cool air. My driver kept persuading me to visit the tea plantations and another temple faraway.

view of tea garden
view of tea garden

After a very steep hill, our motorcycles stopped and the drivers told us that they will wait for us while we visited the temple grounds.

Continue with the adventure in part 2 of the visit to Candi Sukuh and see how the site resembles the ruins in South America.

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More about Liau Yun Qing

Yun Qing is a writer, improviser and curious person. She loves finding little adventures in life. In 2013, she went on a 130-day round-the-world trip. She wrote a book to help those who also want to go on a career break.

3 Comments

    1. Wow the view from the tea garden looks amazing!! I like this new approach, very visually stimulating. Feels like im there.

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