Waisak Day is a major event for Buddhists, who celebrate the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha on this day. Those who observe the religion use it as an opportunity to pay homage to The Enlightened One, seizing the opportunity to reiterate their devotion to principles of Buddhism. Borobudur, a Buddhist stupa and temple complex, located in Central Java, dating back to the 8th Century and is an UNESCO world heritage site. The temple is set against a magnificent backdrop of stunning scenery where thousands of Buddhists will celebrate the holy day.
Buddhist monks will join together to repeat mantras and meditate as they circuit the temple in a ritual called “Pradaksina”. This is a form of tribute to the temple.
The festival ends with one thousand lanterns set free in the night sky. As you can imagine, this creates an impressive and magical display to photograph.
Bali, Island of the Volcano Gods, is one of more than 17,000 islands in Indonesia. The island, one of the world’s loveliest, is a paradise for photographers, and remains a place where it is still possible to discover and witness authentic religious rituals. The Balinese are some of the most hospitable people, and are happy to be photographed.
MAY 24- DEPART FOR YOGYAKARTA (JOG)
MAY 26- YOGYAKARTA
Arrive at Yogyakarta airport and transfer to the hotel. Group dinner. Overnight Yogyakarta. (D)
MAY 27 - YOGYAKARTA CITY TOUR & BOROBUDUR
After breakfast photograph local dancers from Java for a private shoot at the grounds of our hotel. Photograph the Kraton, or Sultan’s Palace; the Taman Sari, or Waterkasteel (Water Castle), Visit and photograph a Batik place to photograph women applying batik on fabrics. After lunch drive to Borobudur making stops along the way to photograph rice fields, farmers and we will have the opportunity to take photos of a traditional Kris-Maker. Photograph Borobudur at sunset. (B,L,D)
MAY 28 - WAISAK FESTIVAL AT BOROBUDUR
After an early breakfast, visit the Waisak Festival, a Buddhist festival that celebrates the birth, death and the enlightenment of Buddha Shakyamuni. The three events comprising the festival are called Waisak Trisuci. At Borobudur, thousands of Buddhist monks will join together to repeat mantras and meditate as they circuit the temple in a ritual called "Pradaksina.” This is a form of tribute to the temple. Monks celebrate the special day by bottling holy water (which symbolises humility) and transporting flames (which symbolize light and enlightenment) from location to location. Our guide will accompany you to see the ceremony preparation in Mendut Temple, follow the parade, and witness the procession in Borobudur Temple. At 8pm participate and photograph the magical lantern release that will take place for a few hours. (B, L, D)
Overnight Borobudur. .
MAY 29 - WAISAK FESTIVAL & PRAMBANAN
Depart back to Borobudur at 4am to photograph monks at the the procession chanting and walking around the temple. After shooting sunrise at Borobudur go back to the hotel for breakfast. Depart at noon for Yogyakarta to photograph Prambanan, a 9th Century Hindu temple compound. After shooting sunset, we gain backstage access to the Ramayana Ballet, where we will witness and photograph dancers preparing to perform. The Ramayana Ballet tells a legendary epic love story, presented in a series of graceful dance accompanied by gamelan music-an orchestra of traditional Javanse instruments. Overnight Yogyakarta. (B, L,D)
MAY 30 - YOGYAKARTA TO BALI
After breakfast transfer to Yogyakarta airport for our flight to Bali. Upon arrival in Bali airport, meet with our guide and transfer to our hotel in Ubud. After lunch photograph a private Keack Dance performance in the beautiful Arma museum setting near our hotel. The Kecak dance features up to a hundred male performers who form a circle and sway and chant to hypnotic music. We will have an opportunity to take portraits of the dancers before and after the performance, followed by photographing the near rice terraces. Dinner at Arma Hotel. Overnight Alaya Ubud. (B, D)
MAY 31 - UBUD
Rise early to photograph the Tirta Emput Temple where locals perform rituals and prayers in the water. Afterwards photograph the rice terraces of Tegalalang with a private Balinese model. Drive to the monkey forest to get some good portraits of the monkeys. Photograph Tanah Lot Temple at sunset. Tanah Lot is an integral part of Balinese mythology and one of seven sea temples said to form a ‘chain’ around the island. The temple is only accessible at low tide but despite its off-shore location in the Indian Ocean, it features a fresh water spring at its base said to contain holy waterOvernight Alaya Ubud. (B,L)
JUNE 1 - East Ubud
Depart early en route to Subak Guliang, a traditional farming community east of Ubud. The homes in this village are based on the Asta Kosala Kosali tradition of house building, not dissimilar from the ancient art of Feng Shui. After a local lunch photograph Pura Kehan the 11th Century temple complex near the town of Bangli. Move on the Kintamani, the best location to photograph Mount Batur, an active volcano. From there on photograph Penglipuran Village followed by sunset at the Uluwata Temple with a kecak dance. Overnight Alaya Ubud.(B,L)
JUNE 2 - Central Bali
Depart early to transfer to the small town of Mengwi in Central Bali. Long associated with the Balinese Royal Family, Mengwi is home to the superb temple complex at Taman Ayun. Next, drive further north to Bedugul Regency, renowned for its stunning beauty and three caldera lakes (Beratan, Buyan and Tamblingan). After a break for lunch, return south, stopping along the way to view the rice terraces at Jatiluwih. Recognized by UNESCO, these endless rice paddies offer superb vistas in all directions. Photograph sunset at the Ulun Danu Floating Temple. Overnight Alaya Ubud.(B,L,D)
JUNE 3 - DEPART BALI IN THE EVENING.
*ITINERARY SUBJECT TO CHANGE
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$6200 based on double occupancy. A single supplement is available for an additional $1650.
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