Temple Of Borobudur Sunrise In Java: Our DIY Guide
There are two Javanese sunrise spots that are well and truly on the map. The majority of travellers who make the effort to journey all the way to this awesome part of Indonesia will beeline to Mount Bromo and the Temple of Borobudur. Of course, there are plenty of other sunrise spots to enjoy but these two are the most popular, and for good reason. There are multiple ways to organise a temple of Borobudur sunrise, but in this post, we’ll be sharing our DIY experience with helpful tips, for those wishing to do the same.
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What Is The Temple Of Borobudur
The Temple of Borobudur is the single largest Buddhist structure anywhere on earth. It’s an 8th-century Buddhist stupa and temple complex that’s been given UNESCO World Heritage Site status. This truly great ancient monument consists of nine levels (six square and three round) built from two million stone blocks. It has four stairways, one on each side, which lead up through carved gateways to the very top.
The Temple of Borobudur is up there with other great religious monuments such as Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Bagan in Myanmar. You can’t fail to be impressed by Borobudur’s impressive scale and incredible attention to detail that went into the carvings and construction. The Temple of Borobudur is also set in the beautiful Kedu Plain with a backdrop of epic active volcanoes. It’s no wonder thousands of people want to experience the Temple of Borobudur sunrise!
To read more detail about the temple of Borobudur, click here.
The Best Way To See The Temple Of Borobudur Sunrise
Stay In Borobudur
You can add a trip to Borobudur to your list of things to do in Yogyakarta but the best way to see the Temple of Borobudur sunrise is by booking into some accommodation in Borobudur village. Borobudur village is a friendly little town with a couple of main streets and a huge atmospheric local market. Borobudur is also surrounded by gorgeous green rice fields, smaller villages, soaring limestone cliffs and puffing volcanoes.
For a town that has one of Java’s main tourist attractions, Borobudur is surprisingly non-touristy. We didn’t see any western restaurants or fancy coffee shops but there are plenty of clean and cheap local places to eat. The entrance to the Temple of Borobudur is right in the centre of town so very convenient for the early start to see the Borobudur sunrise.
We stayed for two nights at the awesome Griya Harja Homestay. This place is a five-minute drive from the Temple of Borobudur and surrounded by local rural life. The owner speaks perfect English, can assist your Borobudur sunrise, offers free bicycle hire and even goes out to purchase your meals which can be eaten on the veranda!
Other Things To Do In Borobudur
- Tour the rural villages, rice fields and farms by bicycle. Free hire at Griya Harja Homestay.
- Sunset from Setumbu Hill with an aerial view of the Temple of Borobudur.
- Visit the local market.
- Try Civet coffee at Pawon Luwak Coffee
- Javanese Massage – Can be booked through Griya Harja Homestay.
How To Get To From Yogyakarta To Borobudur
There are three ways to travel between Yogyakarta and Borobudur. The journey is approximately 90 minutes.
1 – Public Bus – 25,000 rupees per person
Head to Jombor bus terminal in north Yogyakarta and take the next bus heading directly to Borobudur. The Borobudur bus terminal is in the centre of town.
2 – Shared Van – IDR 80,000 per person
We booked into a shared van/car which was comfortable and offered accommodation collection and drop off. This can be booked through your accommodation or tour company.
3 – Private Car – IDR 600,000 per car
If you’ve got money to burn or travelling as a family, private cars are available through your accommodation or tour company.
How The Temple Of Borobudur Sunrise Works
The only way to see the Temple of Borobudur sunrise is to buy a ticket through Manohara Hotel. Manohara Hotel is the only hotel situated inside the gates of Borobudur temple. We arrived at the hotel at 4:30am to buy our ticket which gave us plenty of time to walk to the top of the temple for the Borobudur sunrise. If staying at Griya Harja Homestay they can drop you off and collect you later for 30,000 rupees per person.
The temple of Borobudur opens to the public at 6:30am, so those who purchase a Borobudur sunrise ticket get the place to themselves for 2 hours before the coaches of day-trippers arrive.
Temple Of Borobudur Sunrise Ticket Cost
Foreigner Visitor: IDR 450.000 per person
Domestic Visitor: IDR 325.000 per person
In house guest (staying at Manohara): IDR 275.000 per person
Foreigner Visitor: IDR 225.000 per person
Domestic Visitor: IDR 162.500 per person
In house guest (staying at Manohara): IDR 137.500 per person
The ticket also includes tea/coffee and a light snack at the hotel’s restaurant and a Borobudur scarf souvenir. For more details, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Temple Of Borobudur Sunrise Experience
Once we purchased our ticket from the Manohara Hotel reception, we followed the signs for Borobudur sunrise using the free torch provided. We visited in March, so being low season, there were just another 100 people joining us. This meant we could all grab a decent spot for the Borobudur sunrise. We heard in peak season it can be much busier and with lots of noisy Chinese tourists!
A sense of anticipation was in the air. Most of the tourists were being respectfully quiet, since for some, this is an enlightening and religious experience. The only sounds were the whispers between tourists, birds starting to wake and a man next to us humming as he meditated.
Unfortunately, like our Dieng Plateau sunrise experience, the weather was not on our side. It was very cloudy with quite a lot of mist. The mist was not our concern as it’s common, even on a clear day, for mist to shroud this area at this early hour. But the thick cloud was a bit of a worry.
As the clouds started to lighten, we realised the sun was rising but we couldn’t see it. This would continue for most of our Borobudur sunrise with only a few seconds of colour in the clouds and a glimpse or two of the orange sun. The cloud was also covering the backdrop of volcanoes that usually adds to this unique Borobudur sunrise.
However, getting to experience the Temple of Borobudur during the morning darkness and sunrise was still an enjoyable and unique encounter. Witnessing the temple come to light in the morning’s peacefulness is something we’ll remember forever. We can only imagine how amazing the Borobudur sunset must be on a clear day!
Top Tips For The Temple of Borobudur Sunrise
- Try to avoid weekends for fewer people joining the Borobudur sunrise tour.
- The best Borobudur sunrise spot is at the very top of the temple on the same side as the entrance.
- Be respectful and cover knees and shoulders.
- After your Borobudur sunrise, make sure to walk up Dagi Hill for an alternative view of the temple. It’s just 10-15 minutes from the temple to the top of Dagi Hill.