There is nothing much to say when I breathtakingly witness one of the most awesome sunrise I’ve ever seen (as of the moment) in my entire life. The Borobudur Sunrise in the Island of Java, Yogyakarta is just an experience never to be missed when you paid a visit in Indonesia.
It was 3:30 in the morning when a wake up call was placed in my room at the Hotel I stayed in. From Atria Hotel Magelang, it will take us 30 to 45 minute drive going to Borobudur Park in Manohara. I was still sleepy and feeling lazy when we arrive at the place but at the moment I saw the huge temple, my laziness turns to excitement seeing something magnificent for the very first time.
Before enterring the Temple, you would need to register first at Manohara. Ticket prices for the Sunrise viewing is way too different from the regular ticket you can purchase from 6am onwards (Check out the prices down there). As one of the locals said, the tickets are 300 percent higher than the regular ones. I bet because the experience is also 300 percent different compared on the regular hours. A short seminar about the history of the temple and the other rules and regulations will also be held once you entered the place. A flashlight will also be handed upon entering.
A brief History of Borobudur Temple
Located in the Island of Java, the magnificent Borobudur temple is the world’s biggest Buddhist monument, an ancient site widely considered to be one of the World’s Seven Wonders. The temple sits majestically on a hilltop overlooking a lush fields and distant hills. Built in the 9th century during the reign of the Syailendra dynasty, the temple’s design in Gupta architecture reflects India’s influence on the region, yet there are enough indigenous scenes and elements incorporated to make Borobudur uniquely Indonesian. It covers an enormous area, measuring 123 x 123 meters, decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues.
And guess what, Borobudur was built without using any kind of cement of mortar! The structure is like a set of massive interlocking Lego blocks held together without any glue.
#NognogWears: Komono (Shades), SM Surplus (Shoal), H&M (Shirt & Pants), Soludos (Shoes)
The monument was rediscovered in 1815, buried under volcanic ash. In the 1970’s the Indonesian Government and UNESCO worked together to restore Borobudur to its former majesty. It was then considered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Tips for first timers + Things to expect when visiting Borobudur Temple
The breathtaking Borobudur sunrise starts in the morning around 4:30am prior to the general visitors that arrive at 6:00am. The panoramic view at the top will give beautiful lush greens, a hilly volcano and a view of the sun that rises at the east.
People mostly stay at the east side of the temple, so it is best for you to go up early and find the best spot to stay for that perfect sunrise shot. It gets to be chilly as well sometimes so better bring a jacket or a shoal if you plan to go up early. Taking photos or videos is not prohibited but flying a drone got some restrictions and would need to assist by one of the officers of the place.
The ticket also includes snacks and coffee that you can avail as you exit the temple. Returning the flashlight will also give you a scarf for souvenir.
Open Hours: 6:00am to 5:00pm | International USD 20/pax | Domestic IDR 30k/pax
Open Hours: 4:30am to 7:00am | International IDR 400k/pax | Domestic IDR 270k/pax
How to go to Borobudur Temple
From Jakarta Indonesia, you would need to take a flight to Yogyakarta. It is best to stay in a hotel near the village where Borobudur is located. According to locals, it is the best way to rent a car or a motorcycle when visiting the place. Going with small group of friends or family will cost you less while taking the public transport would only cost you more. Another way to do it is to ask your hotel to arrange a tour at Borobudur Temple. I think the latter is the simplest and the best way to do it.
Sidestory: I was feeling so bad early in that morning when I visited Borobudur to catch the early morning sunrise. I planned to capture a time-lapse shot of the sunrise so I setup my SJ CAM at one of the stone. I left it for about 30 minutes. When I was checking it after, I found out that the recording stops at 6 seconds. Sad to say I wasn’t able to get any usable shot from the recording. Such a bad timing!
*Will update this blog once I finished the video I shot here in Borobudur. Thank you Ministry of Tourism Indonesia for bringing us here.
With Ruth, Seph & Trice
More of the stories soon ... #NognoginIndonesia is a trip sponsored by Ministry of Tourism. Check out the tags #TripofWonders & #WonderfulIndonesia to find out the destinations we visited.