Indonesia: Borobudur Temple

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Wrapped by the fresh chills of dawn more than a hundred feet above ground level, overlooking volcanoes and fields covered in mist, surrounded by only a handful of eager spectators but also by over 500 Buddha statues, Borobodur Temple is probably one of the perfect spots from where to watch a sunrise.

Built all the way back in the 9th Century and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Indonesia’s most famous tourist attraction is considered to be the largest Buddhist temple on the face of the planet. It’s accessibility isn’t a frowner as it is only about an hour’s drive from the closest international airport in Yogyakarta.

Before heading there, my friend, Michael and I did a bit of research and found out that to be able to experience a sunrise from the top of the temple, we had to join a special tour arranged by Manohara Hotel as the site is only opened to public entrance from 6 AM. What’s also great about it is that you get to serenely appreciate the site and the view with only about 30 others before it gets way too crowded.  The tickets are priced at 380,000 IDR for foreigners (230,000 IDR for hotel guests) and it includes saris/sarongs which visitors have to wear, the use of a flashlight, and a complimentary traditional snack. Not too shabby!

Unlike the occasional comets and seasonal Northern Lights, sunrises come much too often that they are easily taken for granted. But when you get the chance to be in the right place and at the right time, armed with only an MP3 player and perhaps a camera as that orange blob slowly, but at the same time instantly rises in the horizon, you’ll believe that everything is all right with the world, even if for a while.

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After the gates open at 6 AM, hundreds, if not thousands, of visitors climb the temple and the noise somehow signals the end of a magical experience, reminding you to come back down to earth. Among the throng are a lot of students on school trips from all over Indonesia who are apparently pretty keen to have photos taken with foreign tourists which made Michael and I unsuspecting targets. Although it can get tiring after all the group and solo shots, the warmth and politeness of Indonesians cannot go unnoticed that I myself also had photos taken with them.

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“Hi Mister, can I take photo?”

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For more on the temple: www.borobudurpark.com/temple/borobudurTemple

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50 comments

  1. x3hansoii

    Ahhh! So nice! Too bad we went there during around lunch time and there were already millions of people. You went also to mt.merapi?

    Ps: The last part was funny! It happened also to us. Hehe Indonesians asked us to take a picture with them 🙂

  2. Erwin

    I loveyou blog! I wish you can post all you photos here. It inspires me to work harder. Btw are you going to LaBoracay this may? I wanna take a picture with you bud.

  3. Gio

    Ei bro are you using toms for this trip? Can you give me your fave shoe brand that gives you ultimate comfort while you are traveling?

  4. Jeshah

    I hope I can travel with you. Yeah dreamin’! What are your plans for your birthday? We have the same birthday, i hope i can celebrate with you. 🙂

  5. Argh!! Now I’m wishing I’d gotten up in the middle of the night to have the sunrise experience. Maybe next time…

    By the way, I was there later afternoon and still encountered school groups and had my picture taken many, many times. I enjoyed it. They were such friendly, eager kids and seemed so happy to practice their English with me. It made the day even more special.

    • It definitely was worth waking up at an ungodly hour and traveling from Yogyakarta!

      Haha I couldn’t agree with you more! They’re one of the friendliest locals I’ve encountered for sure!

  6. Ruby Anne

    Wow! It’s the first that I read your blog and I can say that you write well! I hope you’ll have a chance to travel and explore Iloilo and write a blog about it. God Bless You and Mabuhay! x

  7. “as that orange blob slowly, but at the same time instantly rises in the horizon, you’ll believe that everything is all right with the world, even if for a while.” ->> i really love this one.. can i repost this please? 🙂

  8. patlovess

    First time commenting but that’s crazy! Your pictures never fail to amaze me. You keep adding things to my bucket list! aha
    Showed this to my Korean friend and she likes your blog too 🙂

  9. “Unlike the occasional comets and seasonal Northern Lights, sunrises come much too often that they are easily taken for granted. But when you get the chance to be in the right place and at the right time, armed with only an MP3 player and perhaps a camera as that orange blob slowly, but at the same time instantly rises in the horizon, you’ll believe that everything is all right with the world, even if for a while.”

    -I wish I wrote this. Beautiful.

  10. Aj

    Your such a good looking guy jake. Want to be with you on my birthday! Yeah! Kahit isang picture lang. Hahaha. 🙂 ilove your blog! And iloveyou hahaha. Godbless jake!

  11. berlin

    been following your blog for quite some time now, and you strike me as a sensible and intelligent young man. hoping to bump into you on your next travel and have a selfie with you. that’s all a fangirl could wish for heheh.

  12. Lara Tee

    Watching the sunrise while on top of the Borobodur temple was my fave part during my Yogyakarta trip, Next is the river tubbing 🙂 Nice post ❤

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