Friday, October 17, 2014

Borobudur Temple - Magelang, Indonesia

Just after sunrise
Borobudur temple is a Buddhist temple located in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. It's about 1.5 hours by car from Yogyakarta. Borobudur is one of the attraction for visitors to Yogyakarta, More details about the temple can be found on Wikipedia.. And if you choose to stay at Manohara hotel there's a channel on TV that explained each reliefs carved on the temple. A very interesting program.

There are quite a few ways to visit Borobudur.
  • Independent traveler on public transportation. We didn't try this so can't offer any tips.
  • Independent traveler with rental car. I think this is quite a popular way to explore Yogyakarta and surrounding. With rental car, you get more flexibility to stay longer at one location and also to come up with your own choice of attractions. For car rental, we used Keshia Luxury Transport. To compare prices check out a list of car rental services on Yogyes..
  • Sign up with a local tour that will arrange an itinerary for you or offers planned itinerary.Pick a package you like. 
Buddha statue

Many stupas on the Arupadathu level
The entrance fee for Borobudur at the time we visited was IDR30k for Indonesian and USD 20 for foreigners. If you plan to visit Prambanan temple as well (which I think you should) there was a combo package that would save you some money. Check out Borobudur Park for more information.

Another way to save for the entrance fee is to stay at Manohara Hotel which is within walking distance to the temple. As a guest at the hotel, you get free multiple entry pass for the temple. You beat the crowd by being able to walk in the temple as soon as it opens at 6 am. Most of the other visitors didn't show up until around 7. You have a heads up of 1 hour photo opportunity with less people around.

If you are an avid photographer and want to be able to catch the sunrise from the temple, Manohara hotel offers a sunrise tour. The price was pretty steep at IDR380k for foreigners and IDR250k for Indonesian. Hotel guests get a bit discount at IDR230k. The participants get to enter the temple at 4:30 am.