One of the best Yogyakarta tours is watching the Manohara Borobudur Tour. Standing between the stuppas of Buddha watching the sun rise from the top of Borobudur temple with the view of the mist rolling over the valleys is something that will always stay with me. I’d like to share with you what to expect when visiting Borobudur temple via Manohara Hotel for sunrise. It’s a really special experience.

I’ll provide my experience of the Borobudur Manohara Tour and how to arrange it below. We can help you arrange a shared tour to Borobudur via Manohara for sunrise. It’s a shared tour that includes transport and entrance to the temple. Click the link to find out more.

Getting to Borobudur

If you want to watch sunrise at Borobudur then you need to wake up early, like 3:30-4:00 in the morning. The temple is a one-hour drive away from Yogyakarta in the neighboring province of Central Java. There are two main routes to the temple. The first directly follows the main road out of town, before cutting briefly across the countryside. The second is a cross-country journey through the winding roads and rice fields of Java.

If you are visiting Borobudur for sunrise as part of an organized tour then you will take the main road to the temple and take the same route on the return journey. If you organize a private car rental then I would recommend taking the main road to Borobudur on the way (when you can’t see anything) and returning cross-country as the views are really worth it.

Sunrise at Borobudur

There are two places where you can watch sunrise and see Borobudur. The first, and probably the best option, is through Manohara Hotel. The second popular choice is watching sunrise from the viewpoint on the Punthuk Setumbu Hills. I want to talk about Manohara, which is the more expensive option. If you are interested in the Punthuk Setumbu Hills, read about it here.

Why Choose Sunrise Borobudur via Manohara Hotel

If you want to see sunrise from the top of Borobudur Temple then you have to go through Manohara Hotel. The entrance cost for foreigner for a ticket is Rp 500,000. The regular price is USD 25 per person (payment is Rupiah). For the additional fee you get to enter Borobudur temple few hours before any of the crowds arrive.

You normally arrive at Borobudur at 4:30am. Once you’re in the temple grounds you can go to the top of Borobudur temple to watch the sunrise. It normally gets pretty crowded at the top and there can be up to 60 or more people all waiting patiently for the first view of the sun rising over the horizon.

In the tropics the sun rises very quickly and quite early. Sunrise in Java happens at around 5:30 am. Between 5:30 am to 6:00 am is the best opportunity to take photos of the sunrise. After that the sun is already far over the horizon and you loose all of those brilliant colors.

If it’s been a cold night and there is heavy mist, which is a problem if you are on Setumbu Hills as you won’t get to see Borobudur. If you enter from Manohara however then the mist is great. You can get some really beautiful photos on a misty day from the top of the temple as the sun rises over the horizon. The mist evaporates quite quickly though and it’s normally all gone by 6am.

Arranging Your Borobudur Sunrise Tour

The easiest way to see sunrise at Borobudur is renting a car with a driver. This is the perfect option for families and couples as it gives you the freedom to set your own itinerary.

If you choose to rent a car with a driver I would recommend visiting Ullen Sentalu Museum and also do the Merapi Lava Tour (with jeep). Ullen Sentalu museum is a Javanese art and culture museum and is located in Kaliurang area, close to Merapi volcano.

An alternative to a private car rental is joining a group tour. While joining a group tour is cheaper for small groups than a private car rental, you do spend a lot of time waiting around for people. If you aren’t the kind of person who spends hours exploring temples then these long waits can be quite frustrating.

Important Facts

A day tour to Borobudur and Prambanan is a full day of adventure. You get picked up from your hotel at 4:00 in the morning and return to Yogyakarta at around 2pm in the afternoon. If you decide to visit the sites make sure to bring a hat as it can get very hot under the tropical sun.

Price of the Tour

The admission fee for Sunrise Borobudur via Manohara Hotel is Rp 500,000 per person. The price for a ticket to Prambanan temple is USD 25 per person (payment in Rupiah/IDR) and a one day car rental is Rp 700,000 (plus Rp15,000 if you want the parking fees to be included). Btw, you can get a combined Prambanan and Borobudur ticket. This option is cheaper than buying both tickets individually, but it is not valid for Sunrise Borobudur via Manohara. You can get the combined ticket if you do the sunrise from Setumbu Hill.

The Manohara Borobudur Sunrise Tour

I hope this article gave you an overview of the Borobudur sunrise tour from Manohara. Although it’s a bit more expensive than a regular ticket I think this option is totally worth it and I’d definitely suggest Sunrise from the top of Borobudur Temple (via Manohara) for any tourist visiting Borobudur for the first time. If you want to join a tour I can help. I’ve teamed up with a local travel agency and independent local drivers to offer to offer a complete day tour.

Included in the package:

  • Transport to and from Borobudur temple
  • Knowledgeable local driver
  • Tickets (optional)
  • Local guide (optional)

If you are interested in a Manohara Borobudur Sunrise Tour then make a booking. Press the button to find out more.


What do you think? Have you joined the Sunrise Borobudur via Manohara tour? What was the experience like for you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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