Thanis Lim

All Rounder Chef and Food Journalist

Trip of Wonders: Day 2 Top 10 Tips for getting the best out of Borobudur Temple Sunrise

Espresso Shot

Borobudur Temple is one of the popular UNESCO heritage site to visit when you are in Yogyakarta. You might ask yourself if this is worth your time and money but I strongly recommend that you check out the Borobudur Temple especially for the beautiful symmetrical structure of the temple as well as the gorgeous sunrise! Here are some tips that would help you make the most of your trip to Borobudur Temple!


Tip 1: Go in early at 4:30 am through Manohara hotel.

The gates to the temple will only be open to the public at around 5:50am - 6am. The only way to get into Borobudur temple at 4:30 am is to get the sunrise package through Manohara Hotel.  It will be 400k Idr per foreigner for this package which may seem like a lot of money but I assure you – the sunrise would be worth it. Of course – this depends the weather as well as which month you are going in which the sunrise might be around 5:50am unlike certain months in which sunrise would be around 5:10am. A lot of people know this now and they are willing to pay to get in early for the sunrise so it will not be as exclusive as you think.




We were given a short briefing by the tour guide about the history and culture of the Borobudur temple. As you can see ~~~ it’s amazing how symmetrical things are.


The Manohara website is here


Alternatively, on other days in Yogyakarta, you can get other shots of Borobodur Temple with sunrise through lookout points from Pethuk Setumbu Hill or Dagi Hill – which could provide a different perspective but depending on weather conditions – it could be pretty hazy. Do check with local tours for these as I did not join these tours.


Tip 2: Be prepared to look at the weather report and bring umbrellas or raincoats to protect your equipment.


We were lucky as the weather was splendid despite all the weather reports saying that it will rain ~~ nevertheless it’s always good to be prepared for it. I always kept a raincoat folded neatly into my backpack in case of rain to take care of my cameras.



Like I mentioned before – what used to be quite exclusive to a few groups who are willing to pay extra is now becoming the norm for visitors to Borobudur temple so expect to see a crowd who as as eager as you to snap great sunrise photos!


Tip 3: Remember to look back as you walk up the stairs to catch a beautiful view.


Sometimes it pays to turn around and look back as you are walking up the stairs and marvel at the beautiful skies. I will never forget this beautiful shot. Ahhh ~~


Tip 4: Don’t try to take much group photos or selfies first ~~ you can take them later when there’s less of a crowd.


While waiting for the golden yolk sunrise shot ~~ some of the groups have already started to take wefies or selfies ~~ now would be a good time to walk around and visualize where would be a good spot to take sunrise photos. You can take your selfies and group pictures later when the sun is up for better lighting for your pictures. For now – it would be good to take time lapse videos of the sunrise and of course the golden moment of the sunrise.


Look around for good spots ~~ let me show you my mistake of not finding a good spot ~~ Let’s look at some of the masterpieces shot by fellow Trip of Wonders peeps on the trip.



Photo by Indonesian Travel Blogger @Satyawinnie. Follow her on IG for her adventurous beautiful feed ~~~



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Sunrise photo inception by @wanderlass, a travel blogger who has been to many countries including even Brunei itself!



You gotta love how he managed to capture this shot ~~~ follow @debucung on Instagram



Our legend in the trip ~ @rijalkamaluddin with this beautiful shot with @satyawinnie as his model ~~~ *swooons* That’s why you are the legend bro ~~



Fellow @kamabtara also shot a beautiful picture of @ruthilicious using the sunrise and the temple structures ~~ you can obviously feel the love chemistry between the photographer and the model here. GO #KAMRUTH ~~ #prayforKamRuth



Now to unveil the horrors of horrors of all sunrise shots ~~ I thought I had a very good spot of the sunrise but what resulted was the most disappointing sunrise shot of all time in the history of #borobudursunrise ~~ seriously that’s why I should had followed the experts around …. instead … the caption for my sunrise pic could be “I got a major boner for the Borobudur sunrise ~ what a turn on!” Sigh ~~~ #sunrisepicFails




Seph got a picture of my position waiting for the ultimate sunrise pic ~~ unfortunately ~~ how wrong was I ~~ *insert Noooooooooooo.wav file from DarthVader*



Another tip from Rodel was – when taking time-lapse videos – make sure the record button is pressed before leaving it there ~~ he made the costly mistake of not checking and had to leave Borobudur without his beautiful time-lapse video. Sniff sniff.


Tip 5: Take pics after the sunset ~~ and when most of the crowd has left ~~


There are good reasons to only take your group or selfies or OOTD pics after the sunrise ~~ first of all the lighting is definitely better and well ~~ there would be less of a crowd which makes it easier to not get photobombed.



You have to be pretty patient as well as there will be others like you who came all the way just for the perfect picture to post on their Instagram or Facebook ~~



Fortunately for me ~~ I managed to grab this shot after plenty of patience ~~ you can always walk around to look for less crowded places as the temple is pretty symmetrical ~~


Tip 6: Be sure to catch a view of the Mount Merapi ~~


The famous volcanic mountain that’s facing the Borobodur is a sight to behold and I love this spot for a good picture ~~



My only problem is my poor posing skills and poor fashion sense which spoils the picture ultimately ~~ LOL which brings me to my next tip ~~


Tip 7: Be sure to dress fashionably for the Borobudur Temple OOTD


and for god’s sake ~~ LEARN HOW TO POSE ~~~ behold my failed attempt to OOTD ~ really spoil the nice view man ~~



My Brunei brother here Gzul really knows how to dress for the occasion ~~~ Lovely OOTD my bro!



Now look at the MASTERS of OOTD!! Maaannn so uber cool ~~ makes me wish I planeed my OOTD properly!!




Coming as a couple has its perks too ~~ for that Couple OOTD ~~~ Sigh ~~~~ I wanna have one of these shots too ~~ #foreveraloneinfluencer ~~ #jellyMax



So jelly that ~~~ I create my own couple pic ~~~ hey darling ~~~ look at how beautiful the view is ~~~~ Awww~~~ Are you jealous of me now? Are you?


Tip 8: Bring a friend/Instagram BF/Instagram Husband who happens to be good at taking pictures


I seriously feel this is one of the most important tip of all ~~~ even if you are well dressed ~~ if you don’t have somebody skilled to take your photos ~~~ all your efforts will be neigh ~~ I’m sure we all have that one trip where you are the only one who knows how to take pictures and all your friends are hopeless in terms of photography ~~ Sigh ~~~

Picture above: Vesta helping Leya take an OOTD pic ~~



Being on a trip with a skilled photographer ensures you have gorgeous photos as mementos of the trip as well as posting on Facebook and Instagram to make your friends and relatives go awww ..and your haters go jelly mode and flood you with more ‘hate/love’.



Haley posing for Ingga who as you can see can do the classic photographers’ squat to ensure the best framing and angle is achieved.



What a lovelyshot of @haleydaso by @debucung Mr Ingga. So breath-taking ~~


A beautiful photo for Haley could had become a very ordinary photo that no one would go jelly about .. and only your grandma would go aww ~~~ Photo taken by the hopeless foodie @thanislim who should be fined and tagged #terriblephotographer and please don’t kill me Haley ~~



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Kama who not only knows how to dress but also took quite a few great photos for our dear carebear Leya ~~ *photo by Rodel*



What a great shot by Kama!



A different feel ~~ aaaa ~~



oh and let’s not forget the #followmeto #takemeto shots ~~~


Tip 9: Bask in the beautiful work of art and history of the Borobudur temples


Shani: Oiii guyss ~~ Borobodur temple is not about taking pictures only laa ~~ don’t forget to enjoy the beauty and the serene peaceful feeling you get from this UNESCO Heritage site laaa~~~



Indeed – it would be a waste if you do not walk around to marvel at how beautiful Borobudur can be ~~



Some might even feel happy just to walk around and admire these intricate ancient carvings and basking in the historical enrichment of Borobudur Temple



Peer into some of the structures and you will notice faces of Buddha within ~~ while some are actually headless – probably stolen by thieves – a common occurrence in temples.



Longdy soaking in the essence of Borobudur ~ or is he actually replying to messages to his lover?



It is really worth your time to walk around ~~ sit down ~~ and feel the aura of Borobudur ~~ Maybe fitness foodies like Rebecca Saw can even have a good morning jog round and round the temple – doing cartwheels or parkour ~~~ just be sure to avoid the photographers and their models ~ lol



As you are done with all the photo taking and sight seeing ~~ its time to leave Borobudur ~~~


Be careful as you walk down as it can be pretty steep ~~ and don’t play with your phone while walking down ~~ or you might have a really bad time ~~

oh right ~~~ there is one last thing you must do ~~~


Tip 10: Enjoy your complimentary snack and collect your souvenir



Remember to keep your tickets handy as you can use them to redeem your morning tea/coffee and snacks!




Ahhhh food is always welcome ~~~




A good time to refuel while uploading photos to your social media ~~ hahaha ~~



Be sure to exchange your torchlight for a lovely souvenir to take home ~~


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Don’t mind my squinting eyes ~ probably another tip number 11 is to wear shades when facing the sun ~~ LOL ~~


Thank you Indonesia Tourism for sponsoring my trip to Indonesia through Trip of Wonders 2016! Follow them @Indtravel on Instagram or visit their website Wonderful Indonesia

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