There are many places in the world that advertise an epic sunrise, but is the package on offer at Borobudur in Indonesia worth this extra cost?
The Manohara Hotel is the closest – and only – hotel located near to Borobudur. Other hotels are quite nearby, but the Manohara is the only one within the actual grounds of the temple complex. It is from here that you can book your sunrise tour and enjoy all that this great Buddhist stupa has to offer in the morning dew before the rest of the tourists turn up. Want to just experience Borobudur during the regular hours from 6am onwards like everyone else? Read all about my daytime experience at Borobudur.
As you can see from the tickets, the price of 380,000 Rupiah per person (foreigner price) was not cheap, but if you are happy with very early mornings and a slightly chilly wind in the morning before dawn then no doubt the price will be more than worth it. If you are staying at the Manohara Hotel, you can get the concierge to sell you the tickets, and there always seems to be enough to go round. Tickets are sold at a concession rate of 230,000 Rupiah per person if you are a guest of the hotel. A light snack and drinks are also included in the ticket price.
As the sun’s rays begin to shin through over Borobudur, you will immediately focus on the jungles all around you. This was one of the best things about Borobudur’s location. Situated effectively in the middle of nowhere in Magelang regency (about 1 hour drive from downtown Jogja), there is thick vegetation all around the temple complex, and whatever time of the day you visit, you will no doubt be focusing on this picturesque tropical foliage almost as much as the Buddha statues and stone stupas of the temple itself. There is something enchanting about dawn; as the sun rises it seems to give life to the trees and plants by shining its ray on them. Nowhere does this seem more spectacular than at Borobudur!
I guess the main benefit from a sunrise tour at Borobudur is the lack of tourists in the vicinity. Your sunrise tour package enables you to enter the complex at 4.30am, long before regular visitors have access. I have visited the temple in day time and also for sunrise, and there is no comparison. The beauty of the Buddhist temple and its surroundings can only be enjoyed properly when you have some peace and quiet. One of the highlights of my travelling life was to sit on the floor of Borobudur on one of the top levels and just watch the sunrise for a good 20 minutes. Saying nothing, doing nothing. Just watching. There is no chance of such tranquillity when the school kids and tourist groups turn up, so for the extra cost of entering for sunrise you really get to see Borobudur in all its glory.
I would say that if you have a love of Borobudur temple, then paying extra for the sunrise access is not just worth it – but will also be one of the most amazing things you will ever do!
For details on the Manohara Hotel’s package for the sunrise tour, click here. Alternatively, for Borobudur sunrise itineraries that do not involve staying at the pricey Manohara Hotel, check out this link.