For those who doesn’t know yet, me and my friends moved to Yogyakarta last year. We opened our house in the city center of Yogyakarta to travelers as a BnB (Bed-and-Breakfast). Because of this, We’ve met lots of travelers from around the world. And it is one of the reasons why we open the place in the first place, because we can’t afford to travel around the world yet. By opening a BnB, it brings the world to us. Yay.
Anyways, all of the people who stayed at our place, they came to Yogyakarta to see the temples, particularly Candi Borobudur (Borobudur temple) and Candi Prambanan (Prambanan temple). And i do get a lot of questions about this and that. This time, i would like to share the most frequently asked questions by the travelers before their visits to the temples, especially Borobudur temple.
Best time to go there?
Well, Borobudur is famous for their sunrise and Prambanan temple for sunset. In my opinion, Borobudur temple is best for sunrise but for sunset, there’s another temple 2 km away from Prambanan called Ratu Boko. This temple has better sunset view and it also has a nice view facing to Mount Merapi.
Borobudur is about 40km away from the city center of Yogyakarta. It takes about 75 minutes drive to go there in the morning. So if you stay in the city center, it is best to leave before 4am because the sunrise starts at 5:20am. By 6am, the temple is fully lit. So don’t spend too much time on taking sunrise pictures, do spend time to enjoy the moment!
How can i go there, can i take the public transport?
If you want to see the sunrise, the answer is no. Unfortunately most of the public transportation in Yogyakarta starts after 6am, so you won’t make it to see the sunrise. Your first option is to take a shuttle car. You can go to any travel agency in the backpacker area to arrange this kind of transportation. It usually cost around IDR100k per person for return transportation. Normally, they will pick you up at your hotel at 3:30am-4am and you will be back at your hotel around 10am. It’s not a private tour, you will be sharing the car/mini van with other travelers. But don’t worry, you don’t have to do all of the activity together with them if you don’t want to. You can do the whole temple independently if you prefer that.
Your other option is to hire a car with a driver (i recommend Viki. Whatsapp # +6281391576697), normally this will cost about IDR 450k- IDR 600k for a 8-hours use to go around Yogyakarta and surroundings. Gasoline already included. Since most of the rental company use 7-seaters cars, so it is a good option if you area traveling in group of 3-5 people.
But i would always recommend to solo travelers or couple to drive themselves to Borobudur on a motorbike. It is also a cheaper and better option. This way, you can actually explore more and see more of the places, at your own pace. It costs about IDR 50k-80k to rent a motorbike for 24 hours. Gasoline and insurance won’t be included. Spare another IDR 15k for the gasoline.
Okay, i heard the sunrise entrance is expensive, is it?
Well since you are going to enter the temple before its public hour, so you will need to pay more to get this kind of “exclusivity”. To get this “VIP treatment” you will need to pay IDR 450k (international) IDR 350k (indonesia or KITAS holder). I heard that if you stay at the resort, you can get cheaper entrance fee.
Your other option is to see the sunrise from Puthuk Setumbu Hill which is about 15 minutes drive from Borobudur temple. The entrance for this hill is IDR 30k (International) IDR 20k (Indonesia/KITAS Holder). And then after the sunrise, you can make your way to Borobudur temple.
Borobudur temple opens for public at 6am, but the best time to enter is at 7am. At this time of the day, the Borobudur Sunrise guests already back to the resort to have their morning snacks, meaning less people in the temple! Entrance fee at public hour is USD20 (international), IDR30k (indonesia or KITAS holder). If you show your student card, you can get 50% off. But this doesn’t apply for the Combined Ticket (Borobudur & Prambanan 2 days pass) USD 32 (international) IDR50k (Indonesia or KITAS holders). For full info about the entrance fee, visit Borobudur Park official website.
Should you really go to Borobudur for sunrise?
To be honest, 80% all year round, the sunrise WILL be cloudy. Doesn’t matter which month you go there, it’s all about how lucky you are. Some people are just lucky. I’ve been there 4x to Borobudur to see the sunrise and none of them has that “perfect” sunrise. Some were okay. But those visits that i have done, i loved them every single moment and i’m not even a morning person. First of all, as my friend said to me, this is the kind of trip you have to do at least one time in your life time. Being on the top of this majestic temple in the morning just before the sun rise, it does give you a special feeling. That proud moment to start the day from inside world’s biggest Buddhist monument from the 9th century.
I’ve seen enough sunrise, so how do i go to Borobudur by public transportation?
From the city center you can take transjogja bus (operation hours 6am-8pm. IDR3600/person) to Jombor Bus Terminal. From this terminal you need to take another bus to Magelang (the name of the area where Borobudur temple is). Just tell them Saya mau ke Borobudur (you’d like to go to Borobudur). If you leave in the morning, it will take about 2 hours. Because of the traffic, it will take more than 2 hours when you headed back to the city. In total you will spend IDR50k/person for transportation.
If you need more information, feel free to ask me via the comment box below. Enjoy Borobudur!
@iamMariza – who doesn’t mind going to Borobudur for the 5th time.
Disclaimer: Yogyakarta was the second stop in Trip of Wonders 2016, an invitational trip hosted by the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia. All opinions expressed are my own and do not reflect the view of the Ministry.