One of amazing thing that you should consider to do when visiting Yogyakarta is watching the beautiful sunrise view from Borobudur temple. No doubt, this temple is amazing, it’s huge, magnificent, and got a lot of history that you need to know. As one landmark that listed on Unesco, Borobudur receive million of visitors every year that come from around the world. When you expect to see it than the closest city to stopping by is Yogyakarta, it is 50km away and take only 45 minutes to go in early morning or about 1 hour in the afternoon. Borobudur it self come with 2,672 relief and 504 buddha statues with its central dome which is surrounded by 72 statues. Vesak day will be the most peak season for Borobudur cause thousand of monks including the tourist will come to this temple and fly the lantern in the night and for sure the Buddhism praying tradition that consist of thousand of monks from across the world.
Yogyakarta now has international airport called the Adisucipto, 25 km away from the city center and you can fly directly from Kuala Lumpur or Singapore with several buget airlines such as Air Asia and Silk Air. Through here you can choose to stay in Yogyakarta which is more tourism attraction to see or stay around the temple which is the only you can see there is only the landscape. Let me give some hotel recommendation if you want to stay in the city:
- Hyatt Regency – it’s definitely 5 star hotel that have very beautiful landscape and koi pond just in the arrival corridor. I went there couple months ago with family and get a nice evening scene in Bogey Terrace cafe, kids love it so much; (10 km from city center)
- Hotel Tentrem – it’s a brand new 5 star hotel in my town Yogyakarta, building is huge and the pool was amazing. Once you stay here try their oriental buffet restaurant for just USD15 and you could have your till drop dim sum, peking duck, and variety of chinese food; (2km from city center)
- Melia Purosani – I used to go there for enjoying night with my wife and kids, honestly I looking for their 50% discount cake after 6 pm and listen free piano performance at the cafe, definitely worth it to do once you arrive there and get tired with the city
Sunrise Time in Borobudur
Generally sunrise will begin at 5.20 am so if you stay around the city the maximum time that you should go is at 4 am, try to sleep early and wake up early too than take a short sleep while you on the way there. There are several ways to go to Borobudur in early morning:
- Sharing tour – driver will pick you up at your lobby and take you to Borobudur temple than when the trip is finished than they will take you back to your hotel, this services is operated by my best tourism partner in Yogyakarta and you can simply drop me and email to reserve it.
- Rent a private car with driver – Since I lived over than 25 years in Yogyakarta than I have such good reputation of drivers that can help you to provide joyful ride to see the sunrise in Borobudur, it organize by my friend, Ibot
- Go with local bus – generally there is no public bus in Yogyakarta before 6 am, but if you expect to try a new experience than you take a bus from Jalan Magelang and wait any kind of bus that goes to Borobudur, it will be a big bus and pay about IDR25.000 for one and you will stop at Borobudur’s bus terminal which is only 100 meter away from the temple, yes you can simply walk to go to the temple
- Rent a scooter – if you such a budget traveler than you can rent a scooter for IDR60.000/day and try to looking for it in any kind of scooter rental near your hotel
How to see the sunrise
Generally there are 2 spots to see the sunrise, from Barede or Setumbu Hill and from inside the temple. In my opinion, see the sunrise from inside the temple is the best choice, let me explain for little bit:
- Sunrise from Inside the Borobudur – The only entrance to go to Borobudur before their regular entrance open is from Manohara Hotel and they will charge you to go in. No other option cause Manohara seems to be monopolize the entrance way
- From the Hill – There are 2 hills that I recommend you to go, Barede and Setumbu. People know Setumbu better than Barede but Setumbu will be too much touristic and take more time to walk from the parking area. Me my self will recommend you to go from Barede Hill cause you will walk only 10 minutes from the parking lot to the sunrise spot, and once you go walk down to the parking lot than you will here the locals play gamelan/traditional music instrument in early foggy morning, it such wonderful experience
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