Why Sunrise is Worth it in Borobudur

Tripoto
8th Dec 2017

Sunrise at Ancient Borobudur Temple, Java, Indonesia

Photo of Why Sunrise is Worth it in Borobudur by Tara Anne Nikezic

The dim stream of light illuminating the path from your guide’s flashlight shows a neatly kept park leading to the entrance of Borobudur, an ancient temple complex that was forgotten and abandoned for centuries. The sky begins turning pink, lavender, and pale blue as you ascend through the three stages of the temple to prop yourself up, legs dangling over the side, in your own little corner sharing the space with multiple Buddhas housed in stupas. At 4:30 to 5:00AM, there aren’t as many fellow tourists sharing this experience with you as the massive flows of tour buses usually arrive much later, but with a park opening at 6:00AM, the Sunrise Entrance into Borobudur you have an extra premium experience and great photo opportunities.

Sunrises can be hit or miss, with the sight you behold completely at the whims of the weather and the sky, and the forecast can be fickle. Too much clouds and you may not see the sun as it rises, and even a clear sky doesn’t give the same auspicious reflections of the various arrays of color a sunrise in its full glory is capable of. But there is a special something you can bank on if you chose to do the Sunrise Tour experience at Borobudur that makes the early morning trek and premium cost worth the experience. There’s a mysticism that engulfs Borobudur with layers of clouds on the ground with the forest peaking through. Off in a distance you see in a 360 view of Java’s great volcanoes including Mt. Merapi which floats above the clouds. And following sunrise, the majesty of the mountain reveals itself.

Borobudur; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Borobudur Temple, Jalan Badrawati, Borobudur, Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia by Tara Anne Nikezic

Borobudur; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Borobudur Temple, Jalan Badrawati, Borobudur, Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia by Tara Anne Nikezic

Borobudur; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Borobudur Temple, Jalan Badrawati, Borobudur, Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia by Tara Anne Nikezic

Borobudur; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Borobudur Temple, Jalan Badrawati, Borobudur, Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia by Tara Anne Nikezic

Borobudur; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Borobudur Temple, Jalan Badrawati, Borobudur, Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia by Tara Anne Nikezic

Borobudur; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Borobudur Temple, Jalan Badrawati, Borobudur, Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia by Tara Anne Nikezic

Borobudur; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Borobudur Temple, Jalan Badrawati, Borobudur, Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia by Tara Anne Nikezic

Borobudur; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Borobudur Temple, Jalan Badrawati, Borobudur, Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia by Tara Anne Nikezic

Borobudur; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Borobudur Temple, Jalan Badrawati, Borobudur, Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia by Tara Anne Nikezic

GET IN

Borobudur temple is a wonder of Indonesian history, and is the single most visited sight in Indonesia. Arriving in Yogjakarta Airport, Borobudur village can be reached by an hour taxi ride for 200,000 IDR ($14.53 USD). Borobudur is easily explored an hour from Yogyakarta or it is pleasant to arrive the night before and stay in the village of Borobudur.

The park opens at 6:00AM, and the entrance fee for the early access Sunrise Tour cost an extra 175,000 IDR ($12.71 USD), for a total of 450,000 IDR ($32.69 USD); the regular entrance cost when the park opens is 275,000 IDR ($19.97 USD). Sunrise Tour Entrance is through the Manohora Hotel located on the park grounds. A private official tour guide can be hired for 275,000 IDR ($19.97 USD), and if in your budget is an excellent enhancement to the experience for not only briefing you on the history and directly pointing out the meanings of the carved reliefs decorating Borobudur, but also knowing the best picture spots at the sight and playing a helpful photographer.

WHERE TO STAY

There are several inexpensive homestay options, including Homestay Anugrah Borobudur which provided an economy double room for 175,000 IDR ($12.71 USD), and was a 5-minute walk over to the entrance for the Sunrise Tour at Manohora Hotel. Breakfast is also included with the homestay, and we enjoyed a traditional Indonesian meal after returning from the early entrance into the Borobudur complex.

CONSIDERATIONS

1. Is it the right time of the year? If you’re visiting August to April, the optimal sunrise time is well before the 6:00AM regular park opening hours, however May to July sunrise is around 5:45 to 5:55AM and an early access entrance isn’t really necessary. Additionally, during rainy season (October to April) the lower temperatures are more optimal for picturesque cloud formations and color. Dry Season (May to September) is the period for slash and burn clearing which causes a haze that grays out the colors of the clouds in the sky making it less colorful than Indonesia’s wet season.

2. How important are amazing photographs to you? Beat the crowds with the early morning entrance.

3. Is it in your budget? That’s a personal question.

In conclusion, if you're considering whether to do the early entrance to catch the sunrise at Borobudur, if all considerations above are met, it's definitely worth it to get up early and spring the extra cost to see the sunrise at Borobudur!

Borobudur; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Home Stay Anugrah Borobudur, Jalan Badrawati, Borobudur, Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia by Tara Anne Nikezic

Borobudur; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Home Stay Anugrah Borobudur, Jalan Badrawati, Borobudur, Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia by Tara Anne Nikezic
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