I first came across Borobodur as I flipped through a History textbook in high school. In that green-ish page, I remembered vividly an aerial view of the monument with a brief description that stated, among others, a 75 years duration taken to finish building the complex.
The messy part wasn’t on planning where to stay or what to see – it was finding the best deal to witness Borobodur. There are a lot of deals in the Internet and at least 5 different ways to visit the complex. In the end, we decided on the Sunrise Tour organised daily by the Manohara Resort, the only resort situated in the Borobodur Complex. You can opt to stay there instead of traveling for an hour from central Jogja or be like us, who stayed in central Jogja. We woke up at 2.45am and climbed into the rental car, groggy and ¾ asleep – arrived sharp at 3.45am to sign up for the tour.
The price for the tour is as follows – 380,000 Rp for a foreigner and 250,000 Rp for a local. At 4.20 am, we began our journey in pitch darkness with a torchlight each. It ended 15 minutes later – the excitement for an adventure short lived. There were at least 2-dozen visitors who all plucked their bottoms for a good seat to witness the sunrise – I got bored after 15 minutes and decided to explore the other side of the complex as dawn approached. Jambu was a little peeved because I was gone for too long – hehe, sorry.
In the end, we spent about 4 hours there taking pictures and marvelling over the panel relief – trying to figure out the story line and such. But, one of the best things I will never forget was how cute the boyf looked:
Tip: We rented an Avanza with a driver for 400,000 Rp for half-a-day/12 hours (including fuel). Borobodur only took 4 hours max -after that we could still visit other attractions situated outside central Jogja.