This ancient site is widely considered to be one of the world’s seven wonders seated majestically on a hilltop overlooking lush green fields and distant hills. If you think this is a mainstream touristy spot that only primary school students visit during their study trip, you better think again. Borobudur, which has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers a very enchanting view especially during sunrise.
Interestingly, the temple consists of nine stacked platforms like a set of massive interlocking Lego blocks held together without any glue, decorated with 504 Buddha statues and 2,672 relief panels! It’s located in an elevated area between two twin volcanoes, Sundoro-Sumbing and Merbabu-Merapi, and two rivers, the Progo and the Elo. According to local myth, this area is a Javanese sacred place called “the garden of Java” due to its high agricultural fertility.
Enough with the fun facts.
The best way to explore Borobudur is on foot. As you climb to the top of this enchanting temple you will marvel at the intricate detailed stone carvings displayed on the temples wall. Alternatively, you can chart a cart (pulled by a horse) at a reasonable price. If you’re okay to pay more to experience the astounding sunrise from Borobudur, get into Borobudur via the Manohara hotel. You don’t have to line up with the other tourists and worry too much that you might not get the best spot to capture your memorable moment at Borobudur. Or, come like an hour and a half before everyone else. You can be at the top of the temple, taking photos with the Borobudur sunrise as your backdrop when everyone else is still lining up the gates, waiting to get in.
Time of year also matters. If you visit it during Indonesia’s rainy season, a thick muggy haze might hung around graying out the sky until about 11am each morning. Another way to check on the condition of recent sunrises is to look at Instagram (#borobudursunrise) to see how other people’s recent photos have come out.