Sunrise at Borobudur is spectacular! How to get there and summary of the tour

Borobudur is a World Heritage Site in Indonesia with a reputation for spectacular sunrise tours. It is not a major tourist attraction for Japanese people, but since it can be reached on a day trip from Bali, there are tours that you can join during your stay in Bali.

In this article, I summarize the details of how to get to Borobudur and how I participated in the Sunrise Tour at Hotel Manohara. It is a tourist attraction that is not well documented in guidebooks, so I tried to be as detailed as possible in this article.

Borobudur, a World Heritage Site that can be reached by a day trip from Bali


・The city of Yogyakarta in Indonesia.
・Bali to Yogyakarta is a one hour flight.
・It takes 1 hour and a half by bus from the bus terminal in Yogyakarta.
※Detailed directions are given in the second half of this article.

Stay time.

・Borobudur by itself takes about 3 hours if you take a quick look around. Borobudur by itself takes about 3 hours if you take a quick look around, and 5-6 hours if you take your time.
・If you want to visit other ruins in the area, you should estimate that it will take half a day to a full day.

Recommended time to visit.

・The Sunrise Tour is a popular way to see the sunrise at Borobudur.

Sunrise Viewing! Borobudur World Heritage Site

It is held by Manohara, a hotel on the grounds of Borobudur. We also participated in this sunrise tour, but I couldn’t take enough photos to convey the charm of the place, so I borrowed this one.

It is very hot during the day in Indonesia, so it is recommended to see Borobudur in the early morning when it is cooler.

We went on a sunrise tour of Borobudur!

Leaving for Sunrise Tour from Hotel Manohara.

Arrive at Hotel Manohara at 4:20 am

The only way to get into the Borobudur compound before the sun rises is to take the Sunrise Tour offered by the “Manohara”. It is offered daily and there is no limit to the number of people, so we headed to Manohara at 4:20 and bought our tickets. Non-guests are also welcome to join.

Non-guests can purchase tickets for 450000 rupiah. (about $37)

4:30 a.m. Receive handheld lights and map, and depart.

We picked up our handheld lights and maps that Manohara had prepared for us, and set off. We walked to Borobudur in the pitch dark and climbed to the top at once.

Sunrise at the top of Borobudur.

5:00am Arrive at the top of Borobudur.

When we arrived at the top, it was still dark. Surprisingly, there were many of us and we all waited facing the same direction.

5:20 a.m. Night dawns and it starts to get light.

From here on, it gets brighter and brighter.

5:26 a.m.

5:28 a.m.

This day is full of clouds, bright and bright, and the sunrise of Kirenai is seen.

It is a fantasy to see all the images of the borobudoros in the air that is cool and transparent in the morning.

5:31 a.m.

Explore Borobudur as you wish.

Take photos and explore Borobudur.

There was no problem bringing in a tripod, so we took our time taking pictures.

The circular-shaped pagoda shaped like a bell is a “stupa”. Inside this stupa, there is a Buddha image inside one by one, and in the past, it was said that touching it would bring good luck. In the past, it was said that touching the Buddha image inside the stupa would bring good luck, but now, for protection reasons, we were told not to touch the Buddha image inside the stupa.

6:45 a.m. Descending step by step to admire the reliefs

Having climbed all the way to the top in the dark, we started to descend step by step.

It was hard to go on because no matter where we took pictures, they would be picturesque. The Manohara Sunrise Tour does not particularly explain the ruins, so you are free to look around.

Looking around the corridor with reliefs. To be honest, I could only understand what the guidebook said about this place.

One to two hours after sunrise, the flow of people calms down.

During the sunrise hours, it was crowded as all the tourists were waiting to head in the same direction. However, about two hours after sunrise, the air becomes calm.

You can take fantastic photos of Borobudur without people around you, so I recommend doing your best to take photos when there are fewer people around.

7:25 am Return to the ground and look up at Borobudur.

Back down on the ground, we look up at Borobudur, which we climbed up in the pitch dark. It’s even bigger than I imagined!

7:35 a.m. Aim for the top again.

As the clouds were disappearing, we climbed to the top again, hoping to see Borobudur in the clear from the top.

There was also a monk.

It had been about four hours since sunrise, and it was getting quite hot at this time.

I was happy to see Borobudur in the blue sky.

Return to Manohara to get snacks and souvenirs.

8:00 am Return to Manohara.

Borobudur is truly surrounded by jungle. There is nothing but greenery on the road to Manohara.

There is a cute sign at the entrance of Manohara.

The lamppost on the hotel grounds was covered with a Borobudur stupa. Cute…!

8:10 a.m. Banana cake at Manohara’s restaurant.

The Sunrise Tour includes a simple breakfast at a restaurant in Manohara.

We had banana cake and coffee. You can see Borobudur from the restaurant.

8:30 a.m. When I returned the flashlight at the front desk, I received a souvenir.

We were able to take a rest, and when we returned the flashlight at the front desk, we received a souvenir.

It depicts the stupa of Borobudur.

That’s it for the sunrise tour. We visited Borobudur from around 5:00 a.m. until after 8:00 a.m., but I think we were still able to take our time. If you take a quick look around, I think you can do it in a shorter time.

Borobudur Sunrise Tour is OK if you go to Manohara on the day.

Only Manohara’s tour can ensure that you can see the sunrise

If you want to join a sunrise tour in Borobudur, you will be offered several tours, but you should join the Manohala tour.

The reason is that Manohara is located in the Borobudur compound and is the only place where you can enter the Borobudur compound before the park opens. If you hire another tour company, you may have to watch the sunrise from a location other than Borobudur or enter the grounds after 7:00am when the park opens.

Some of the tours from Yogyakarta will take you to Borobudur around 5:00am to join the Manohara tour, but the sun rises after 5:00am and you may not be able to catch the sunrise.

If you want to be sure to see the sunrise from Borobudur, please join the Manohara tour. This tour is also open to non-residents.

No need to book in advance. No limit on the number of people.

There is no need to book in advance for the Manohara Sunrise Tour. There is no limit to the number of people, so just head to Manohala in the morning and buy your tickets.

We were informed in advance that we should be at the hotel at 4:20, so we went to the hotel and bought our tickets by 4:20 on the day.
I think this time may have been changed, so if you are planning to go, it would be a good idea to check the departure time beforehand.

What to bring with you to Borobudur

Borobudur has been sleeping in the jungle for almost a thousand years, and there is nothing but fields and jungle around it. There is nothing more to see than what you might imagine.

The hotel where we stayed was surrounded by rice fields.

Therefore, I think it is better to get what you need in advance in Yogyakarta before coming to Borobudur area.

Because nothing is sold inside the ruins, drinks are a must.

Nothing is for sale inside the Borobudur ruins. You should get a drink before entering the ruins.

It gets quite hot during the day. We stayed until around 8:00 pm, but it was still too hot for the rest of the day. If you are going sightseeing during the day, make sure to stay hydrated.

There is no shade, so bring something to shade yourself.

Borobudur has no shade once the sun rises. Although it is cooler in the surrounding jungle, you will inevitably be exposed to direct sunlight when you visit the ruins, so bring a hat, parasol, or something to protect you from the sun.

It often rains suddenly in Southeast Asia, so a small umbrella that can be used in rainy weather is useful and out of the way.

Guidebooks with explanations about the reliefs

If the guidebook you buy has even a small explanation of the Borobudur reliefs, take it with you.

Borobudur has a lot of detailed reliefs, but you won’t be able to understand their meaning just by looking at them. If you bring a guidebook with some explanations, you will be able to understand the meaning of the reliefs and enjoy visiting the ruins.

How to get to Borobudur.

If you want to go cheaply, take a bus. There are two types of boarding locations.

You can take the bus from either of the following locations, which takes about an hour and costs $2.

1) From Gewangan Terminal

The Gewangan Terminal can be reached by a bus called Transjogja. When you go to the bus stop, there will always be someone selling tickets to board the Transjogja bus, so tell them where you are going and they will tell you which bus to take.

From the Gewangan Terminal, there are buses to Borobudur every two hours from 6:00 to 16:00 every day.

2) From the John Boru Bus Terminal around Malioboro Street

Around Malioboro Street, you can also go to Borobudur from Jonboru Bus Terminal.

You can take Yogyakarta’s 2A or 2B to get to the Jombol Bus Terminal.
Be aware that the last bus to leave Borobudur for Yogyakarta leaves at 17:00.

Taxi if there are no buses.

The last bus from Yogyakarta to Borobudur leaves at 16:00, so if you want to get there after that time, you’ll have to take a cab.

If you want to go after that time, you can take a taxi. It’s quite expensive compared to the bus, but at $30 for an hour and a half cab ride, I think it’s worth it.

Tours and car charters.

Sunrise tours are tough, but there are also tours from Yogyakarta. If you are worried about going on your own, you can take advantage of this.

You can also charter a car if you want to visit the surrounding ruins. Prices range from 350,000 to 800,000 (around $30 to $70) for 3 to 12 hours.
Chartering a car is an easy way to see the sights without having to carry your luggage around.

One-day trip to Borobudur from Bali.

Our recommendation is to stay overnight in the vicinity of the ruins and take a sunrise tour, but there are some people who are thinking of taking a day trip from Bali.

To be honest, a day trip from Bali would be quite physically demanding, but the spectacular view of Borobudur is worth seeing, so I think it would be a good idea to work hard for a day of sightseeing.

Summary: For those who like mysterious spaces, Borobudur Sunrise Tour is recommended.

We didn’t get to see a clear sunrise, but it was still impressive to see Borobudur gradually lighten up from the darkness and see the whole image of Borobudur.

Similarly, it is not always possible to see a beautiful sunrise, but Borobudur is a mysterious site. If you have any doubts, I highly recommend that you go there.

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Have a nice trip!


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