Borobudur is a 9th century Buddhist temple and in 1991 was added by UNESCO as a World Heritage site.
There are several options for getting to the temple which is an hours’ drive from Yogyakarta. You can hire a taxi for a day for 500,000 IDR (£25) where the driver will drive you around and wait outside while you visit temples and other places. You can visit by public bus which is cheap but less convenient. We decided to book a mini bus tour for only £7 each (for transport only). This was the easy option which took us to Setumbu Hill for sunrise, Borobudur and Prambanan temples all in one trip.
So… our day began at 03.50 am when our mini bus arrived at our hotel. We stopped at 2 or 3 more hotels to collect the other guests and were on our way to our first stop, Setumbu Hill.
We arrived in darkness, paid 30,000 IDR each (about £1.60) and walked for 15 minutes uphill in the dark and through the forest until we reached the top of the hill. We waited with a growing sense of disappointment for the sun to rise. Unfortunately the weather was far too cloudy to see any glimpse of the sun rising so this is the best picture we got!
We then drove to Borobudur which was busy and bustling with both locals and tourists. Tourists have to pay much more to enter the temple and have a separate entrance. We were given a welcome drink of either tea, coffee or a small bottle of water.
We walked into the temple grounds and proceeded up the steps to the mighty Borobudur itself…
In 2010 the temple of Borobudur was covered in ash from the nearby Mount Merapi eruption. Indeed, the region of Yogyakarta is a centre for seismic activity and is also affected by earthquakes. In 2006 an earthquake killed over 6,000 people and flattened 30,000 properties.
We then proceeded on our way to Prambanan temple…