I am really happy for the chance to visit Borobudur Temple again. The last time I was there in 2009, my camera (Canon G9) broke while inside the Borobudur Temple. I did get some photos but no decent selfies because there were no iPhone yet in 2009. I had to use a Nokia phone with about 640 pixel or something. I had, at that time, attributed the incident as karma. I entered the temple with a local ticket! Haha. If you like to read what happened then, click the following link, it’s funny
About Borobudur Temple
Borobudur is the largest Buddhist temple in the world covering a total surface area of 2,500 m2. With its vast size, it curiously existed hundreds of years abandoned and forgotten. It was rediscovered sometime in the 1800s and restoration began in early 1900s. The scientific estimate is that it was erected sometime between 700-800 A.D. Much has been discovered since the restoration program with the help of international technical and financial aid, but much more remained a mystery; like who ordered the building of this huge temple of worship? when exactly? how long it took to build? A temple of this size, in those days, needed a lot of man power and several generations to erect. There should be a whole village around it. Why did everyone leave? But it is here, and we are lucky to be able to witness such grandeur. The Borobudur temple was inscribed as Unesco World Heritage Site in 1991.
Wake Up at 3:30 AM
The sunrise starts around 5:10 a.m. so if you’re determined to catch the first ray of sun at the temple, you have to set your alarm at 3:30 a.m. I set mine at 3:00 a.m. because I don’t want to scramble. We were staying in the stunning Atria Hotel in Magelang which is just 20 minutes drive from Borobudur Temple, an ideal place to stay in to catch the sunrise.
The reasons you have have to wake up early is to allow yourself to get to the Borobudur park, register and buy tickets, walk 10 minutes to and up the temple (but feels longer when running against time), and to find a sweet spot to witness the sunrise.
This is our schedule you can use as guide. Be there at 4:30 a.m. and hopefully be done with the registration by 4:45 a.m. so you can start walking and get to position or have your camera ready by 5 o’clock.
If you don’t want to wake up super early, staying at Manohara Resort Borobudur is an option. It is the only hotel located within the Borobudur Park. This is where you register to see the sunrise. They also offer discount to the Borobudur sunrise and a wake-up call at 4:30 a.m. I read a review that it’s quite pricy for the kind of accommodation it offers.
They provide us with flashlight, as it was still pitch black, we walked as fast as we can to and up the temple and were totally out of breath. But not totally surprised that there were already a lot of people there. We managed to find a nice spot at the back of the buddha though.
This is where you want to be, behind the buddha to have its silhouette together with the sky and sunrise.
I also did a time lapse video with my gopro. I don’t think it’s great, but I think it’s okay, with music and horizon leveling… here it is
This Trip of Wonder changed me as a travel blogger and “social media influencer”. Before this, I never saw the power of instagram. Instagram used to be where I put selfies and random photos of my trip with no regards to my grid. But after this trip, meeting some of the most influential Instagrammers, it made me want to up my instagram game.
What it means, on top of worrying about writing my blog posts which I am by default extremely slow, I have to think about instagram photos too. But the good thing about being with these bunch of influencers, they’re very helpful and generously give tips. And also I use their grids as inspiration.
Anyway, the reason I mentioned this is because, I’ve taken more photos of myself on this trip, than I ever did on any other trips. There were plenty of time allotted for shooting. A lot of time also allotted waiting for your ideal shot to be taken, like this one below, where Shasya shoot me with this impatient demeanor without me knowing, hahaha
It was super dark when we got Borobudur and it was totally random that I ended up with the 2 lovely Indonesian influencers @SatyaWinnie and @Pashatama who I became good friends with during the course of the trip. They’ve each been to Borobudur a million times, so was lucky of me to hang out with them. We were hoarding this buddha for a long time, as you can see.
You should also take the time too look at the bas-reliefs all around Borobudur Temple as they are truly amazing. It depicted many scenes of daily life in 8th-century ancient Java, from the courtly palace life, hermit in the forest, to those of commoners in the village. This is also how they were able to date Borobudur being built between 8-9th century.
Borobudur Ticket Prices
Indonesian IDR 30,000 (USD 2.5); Children below 6yo IDR 15,000 (USD 1.12)
Tourists Adult (USD 20); Children below 6yo (USD 10)
Indonesian IDR 270,000 (USD 20)
Tourists IDR 400,000 (USD 30)
Atria Hotel in Magelang
When in Borobudur, Atria Hotel in Magelang is a great hotel to stay in. My room was super spacious with queen size bed with all the standard amenities you expect in an upscale hotel room and more. I like that there is standard hair dryer and ironing board. Wifi was good and they got universal electric plug. I also got a 1 hour massage that was really cheap about IDR 150,000 (USD 11). The room prices are very reasonable too. Click this link to check prices
The hotel staff were super nice and helpful. There was a traditional dance during our welcome dinner that was very interesting. There’s this boy that was super cute and I was very taken by him. The food in the restaurant was excellent. They served us local food with the effect of local lady doing the noodle.