Borobudur – Indonesia

Given that Borobudur is on every single Indonesia itinerary and it’s home to one of the worlds best UNESCO sites, it’s surprisingly very none touristy.

Most people visit from Yogyakarta on a sunrise tour then they are gone again by 7am, but we decided to stay 2 nights and it ended up being our favourite place in Java.

The Temple:

It’s the main reason people visit Borobudur and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. Its famous for its incredible sunrises, but we just aren’t morning people, we did set an alarm but turned it straight off and fell back asleep. Later we spoke to a Dutch couple who said that mornings sunrise had been really cloudy so they didn’t see much. That made us feel a bit better.

Here’s a few things to help you plan your trip to Borobudur temple:


04:30am = Rp450,000 (through the Manohara Hotel)

06:00am onwards = Rp325,000 (through the main gate and the price includes a welcome drink)

Dress Code:

Shoulders are fine but knees need to be covered, if your wearing shorts, don’t worry, they will give you a sarong to borrow when you buy your ticket.

It’s Hot:

By the time we actually rolled out of bed and made it to the temple it was about 10:30. The temple is right out in the open and there is no shade at all. By the time we left at 12:00 it was pretty unbearable and I really regretted not getting up for sunrise when it would have been much cooler.

Don’t Forgot The Museum:

Before you leave, take 10 minutes to visit the museum just by the exit gate. It’s included in the ticket price but most people just walked past. The museum has some good photos of before and after the temples restoration.

Other Things To Do In Borobudur:

Hire a bike from any guest house for around Rp35,000 per day and take in the beautiful countryside and rice paddies that surround the village.

Climb Punthuk Setumbu for amazing views over Borobudur and the surrounding mountains. The entrance fee is Rp30,000 and it took us just over an hour to walk there from the temple.

Getting There:

From Yogyakarta Jambor Station, the bus takes about 1 hour. It costs Rp25,000 and leaves whenever its full, just ask for the bus to Borobudur and somebody will point you in the right direction.

To get to Jambor station from anywhere in the city will cost Rp3,500. We took the 2B bus and it was only about 10 minutes, but there are other buses that also go to the station. Just ask any of the staff at the bus stops. (All bus stops in Yogyakarta are staffed and you buy your tickets before you get on the bus.)

Where To Stay:

We absolutely loved the Cempaka Villa 2, we booked through for £26/night. Borobudur temple was less than a 5 minute walk away.

Jakarta – Indonesia

The capital of Indonesia on the island of Java, isn’t very touristy, we only saw a handful of other westerners. The local people were very friendly and we lost count of how many people asked for a selfie with us. Sean was even interviewed for a local college newspaper.

How Long To Stay:

There are some very nice parts to Jakarta, but it is just like any other big city. My advice is to have a quick look around then leave, one day is certainly enough, and there are so many nicer parts to Indonesia that are worth more of your time.

Things To Do:

In the centre of the city is the national monument, its free to enter the surrounding park and gets really busy with locals. The line to get inside the monument was massive so we didn’t even bother, it was way to hot to stand there for ages.

The national museum is right next to the park, it costs just Rp10,000, and is full of information about the evolution of the human race, the geek squad (that’s us) found it really interesting.

Jakarta is a good place to go shopping, the malls are mainly clustered around the Selamat Datang Monument.

Where To Stay:

I’m not recommending our hotel in Jakarta, it was actually quite nice but the area was rather questionable, if we ever visit again we will stay somewhere else.

Getting There:

A taxi will cost Rp300,000 and takes about an hour. There is a bus but it doesn’t run 24 hours, it costs Rp40,000.

The bus will drop you of at Gambir Station (the main train station), trains in Indonesia are regular and great value, see our “getting around Indonesia” post HERE for more info.