I was up very early and snuck through the dorm and out to the awaiting bus, we picked up my friend E from a hostel down the road and various other stops to others that had booked on the excursion.
We hadn’t opted for the more expensive “Sunrise tour” of Borobudur but it was an early morning all the same and the surrounding streets were still dark and empty.
Borobudur is the world’s largest Buddhist temple and an important site for pilgrims. It was constructed in the 9th Century and is a unique architectural culmination of Buddhist ideals, Indonesian indigenous ancestral worship, Javanese design and Indian influenced art.
It is only an hour or so drive from Yogyakarta.
Once arriving and having some issues with E’s ticket discount (if you have a student ID card of proof of study such as emails from your university etc. then you can get discounts at many tourist attractions around Indonesia) which took a while to resolve before we could enter.
Once entering we walked through the grounds and were greeted by the site of the temple whilst traditional music played from some hidden speakers.
After climbing the stairs we explore the temple level by level and the lovely surrounding landscape that served as it’s backdrop.
The temple houses some 500 Buddha statues (not including the ones that are enclosed in the stupas) and is decorated with nearly 3,000 relief panels.
For some time we enjoyed the view of the stupas shrouded in early morning mist.
Though there were other people present, I felt that the earliest tour after the Sun rise tour was a good time to go. It was relatively quiet and we still had some spaces uninterrupted as others perused different parts of the temple.
I imagined that the Sun rise tour was possibly more busy than ours!
There were groups of students around the temple with their teacher who wanted to practice their English with tourists by interviewing them and telling them about their hometowns in Indonesia.
They were all so enthusiastic that it was hard to say no!
I even received this lovely little bracelet and key chain from them as a thank you which I thought was lovely.
After we returned to the meeting point for our group it became apparent we had missed out on the opportunity to include breakfast in our ticket prices, and I didn’t have enough change to buy a meal.
Luckily, E had an emergency breakfast bar and a toasted sandwich from earlier otherwise things could have got pretty hairy (I get “hangry” very quickly).
Once the others had enjoyed their coffee and breakfast, we hopped back on the coach to visit the next spot on the temple hit list.