Sunrise over Borobudur

The Manohara hotel is pretty much the only game in town if you want to watch the sunrise over Borobudur. If you’re staying in Yogyakarta, you’re looking at an hour drive to get to the place, and you need to be there by 0430, and then the sunrise tickets will cost you more if you’re not a guest at the hotel. For Manohara guests, the temple is literally a five minute walk outside the hotel grounds. What is the demographic for this experience? Apparently middle aged caucasians…. they represent 90% of the relatively small group there for the sunrise on the temple. There is a premium price to be there for the sunrise, but the experience is well worth it (We’re talking $25 here, crazy money for locals, not for travelers). You’re up there with at most a couple dozen tourists on a huge temple complex. The temperature is cool and comfortable, and the views are just incredible…. magical even, as the sky shifts through pinks and purples, bringing volcanoes wrapped in clouds and misty jungle into view. All in the setting of (arguably) one of the most incredible temple complexes in the world (it’s gotta be at least in the top 5 list of anybody that’s visited).

Now, granted…. there might be a few older ladies there that really, um, get into the spiritual experience of the place. Maybe they’ve taken a few Jazzercise yoga classes and figure they’re well on their way to enlightenment after a relaxing trip to Bali and a visit to Borobudur. As far as I’m concerned though, the accompanying chanting was a little distracting. It should be a rule that only locals are allowed to chant. Oh yeah, and I can’t leave out the clan of Russians having their wives/sisters/daughters posing provocatively in super short dresses with the Buddha statues.

Luckily though, pictures don’t come with a soundtrack… and their were few enough people there during our sunrise visit that the pictures aren’t cluttered with wandering tourists. A few hours after we left and had breakfast, trolley cars emerged one after another, unleashing endless loads of tourists into the hot, humid, mid-morning sun like a swarm of locusts. Well, we enjoyed our visit though, and visited a couple smaller temple complexes nearby. And for the record, if I was getting templed out, it didn’t feel that way at Borobudur.

Without further ado, here’s a few of the pictures from today, we’re hoping to watch another sunrise at the temple tomorrow morning before heading back to Jakarta:

And yes, the sarongs are mandatory. They literally issue them when you enter the temple.


9 thoughts on “Sunrise over Borobudur”

    1. They were very interesting. I kept wanting to go back. The temple was one of the most beautiful I have seen. And probably the most amazing as far as detail and reliefs. The first sunrise with the fog and low clouds was the most beautiful sunrise.

    1. He did love the Sarong. The guy at the temple entrance had to pry it out of his hands. Also, I suggested he get a Batik shirt before we go…no word on that yet. Maybe it’ll be easier to sell him on a Sarung.=)

  1. The pictures are amazing. I wish we had some shots like those from our Thailand trip. Once again, really enjoying the blog and my husband is even looking forward to your posts now.

    1. Thanks Ingrid. I honestly think the place was so amazing and beautiful that the pictures had no choice but to be amazing…which worked to our advantage =) It is an incredible place and completely worth coming to Indonesia for…and if you ever want to go to Bali…a completely worthwhile detour. =)

      Trip is alomst over =( But, On the plus side, we’ll make it home or Christmas =) We should get together sometime to talk about trip stuff and exchange stories! I can’t wait to hear all about your Thailand trip. You went to lots more places than I did in Thailand, and I’d love to go to many of them!

    1. I knew you were totally getting into the sunrise when You starten OHHHMMMMMM-ing and swaying with your eyes closed facing the sun. ;P

  2. That sunrise looks awesome =D $25 to see that is well worth it considering you definitely won’t be able to find a view as amazing as that anywhere.

    On a side note, way to sport those sarongs well =P

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