As mentioned in the previous post, we had to rise at 2.30am for the Borobudur Sunrise tour, which was quite a struggle; we are definitely not a morning person. We hired a shared transport before our trip, and our driver picked us up from our hostel at about 3.30-4am. Borobudur is located at Central Java, slightly further from Jogja, it took us almost an hour to reach our destination.
Here’s the breakdown of the cost. We booked our tours via Firsta.
We didn’t want to be blindly mesmerized by the beauty of the temple without knowing its history, so we engaged a guide when we arrived. There will be a few guides stationing at the entrance, they will gently approach you to see if you might be interested for a guided tour. One positive thing we noted and loved is, the vendors and the likes at large, are not aggressive. If you politely rejected them, they will get off your back and not push their luck further. One of the travelers whom we met at our hostel shared the exact sentiments :)
By sheer blessing, we were glad to have had gotten the right guide. Not only was he entertaining and knowledgeable about the history, he also knew very well the picturesque spots and perfect angles to capture the sunrise.
Although it took us quite awhile to finally see the extent of the landscape, it was worthwhile, definitely worth sacrificing sleep for. Just imagine silhouette of the stones against the crimson skies, faint rainbow forming an arc behind the clouds after the passing showers; I can’t help but marvel at the creations of the one above! What a breathtaking view!
This has got to be the most expensive entrance fee I’ve ever paid for in a developing country though, but I’m totally sold and immensely captivated! To begin with, we were quite worried it might be a wasted trip, owing to the fact that it was drizzling upon arrival, there were possibilities that the sunrise may not be visible. Looks like our worries were uncalled for!
If you’re planning to go Jogja, avoid Jan-Apr, which is the rainy season. Raine & I waited for the sunrise under our umbrellas. For essentials, they provided us with torchlight cos’ it was pitch dark, which you’ll have to return at the end of the tour, and a poncho for free. Local students will be seen around Borobodur as part of their curriculum where they will approach the tourists to practice their English. A group of them approached us after we had ended our tour and we played a round of traditional game. The loser team had to dance to traditional Indonesian song in public. And we WON! Phew!
But well, being a good sport that we were, we joined in the forfeit eventually. We were gifted a bracelet each as souvenir. How sweet was that? :)
After the tour and our free-time, we strolled back to the lounge area near the drop-off point to savour tea/coffee and light snacks provided before we headed off to Prambanan.
The journey from Borobudur to Prambanan was about 30-45 mins. Prambanan is another splendid attraction! Its ruins are at its best. Even though they look quite the same from afar but standing in the midst, tower over by the majestic looking stones just left me in awe of its beauty.
We were thankful that the dark clouds held off for awhile, it only started pouring after we were done exploring on our own and were making our way back to our mini van. As we were only given less than an hr, we aborted the idea of engaging a guide. I doubt we’ll have enough time for an elaborated tour anyways.
By late noon we were back at our hostel after the temples visit. Raine & I recharged ourselves a little before heading out for dinner under the rain. We ventured out a little further from our hostel to try out a recommended eatery, Bakso Ito, that sells Bakso (meatball)! Indonesia’s specialty is Bakso, we just had to give it a try and indeed, it did not disappoint. We ordered a bowl of Bakso goreng (a mix of different flavoured bakso, dumplings etc) and nasi goreng to share. I believe nasi goreng is their staple too, it is almost impossible to not find nasi goreng on their menus anywhere.
Location: Jl. Mataram No.59, Suryatmajan, Danurejan, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
After the hearty dinner, we walked around to explore the area in hopes to locate a highly-raved satay store only to be disappointed cos it was closed. Disappointed, we headed to the supermarket via the three-wheel traditional cart known as the becak, to do some necessities shopping for the next day.
That’s it for Part 2! Part 3 coming up next!
Here’s Part 1 – Introduction, if you missed that out.
[Post contributed by Genecia Ng]
I hope this post is helpful! If you have further questions or doubts on anything Yogyakarta, do leave a comment and we’ll try our best to help you! :)