A few summers ago, my family went to visit Borobudur temple in Indonesia together with my sister’s family and my parents. It was hot and humid, and there were lots of people by the time we got there. It’s not weekend but it’s a school holiday in Indonesia.
Last time I went there was in the early 2000 so I was shocked to see lots of street vendors near the parking. I couldn’t see the Borobudur temple from the parking like it used to be. What was worst, we were still sitting in the car, but sellers were already surrounding our car trying to sell hats and offer umbrellas for renting. And they followed us all the way to the ticket booth.
Another surprised awaiting us at the ticket booth. The entrance fee for foreigners and locals were different. At that time my husband had to pay $19 while I paid $3 only. My son already ran inside with his cousins, so they charged him like the local children. We were annoyed with this regulation. And the entrance for foreigners was also different. Seriously?
They also gave us adults sarong to wear around the waist though my parents wearing long pants at the time. It wasn’t like that before.
While waiting for the cart that would transport us to Borobudur temple, my head started to hurt. I think it’s not only from the heat, but also from the lack of rest since we arrived in Jakarta from the U.S. And it got worst that I decided not to climb the temple. So, my husband and son went up with my brother-in-law and their kids while me, my sister, and my parents stayed under the tree. Bummer!
What My Husband and Son Said About Borobudur Temple
“How was it?” I asked my husband and son when they got back.
“It was really hot!” said my husband whose t-shirt was all wet.
“Lots of the statue lost their heads,” was my then 6-year-old son answered. “I see sign of ancient civilization,” he continued.
“Did you go all the way to the top?” I asked again.
“Yes, but there were too many people and it’s too hot,” said my husband. “The sun made it harder,” he continued.
“Did you get to touch the Buddha’s head, Joey?” I asked my son. Touching the Buddha’s head inside the stupa is one thing you should do when visiting Borobudur temple and make a wish while touching it.
“Yes!” he said.
“And what was your wish?” I continued.
“I wish for elevators to go to the top,” said my son. Ha-ha…
Borobudur is a Buddhist temple that was built in the 8th and 9th century AD in the southern part of Central Java. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Back when I was in elementary in the 70s, Borobudur temple was one of the World’s 7 Wonders.
How to Get to Borobudur Temple
Borobudur temple located a little over an hour from Yogyakarta in Central Java. There’s a direct flight from Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia) everyday at different times as well as from Bali. Once arrive in Yogyakarta you can stay in the city and book a tour to the temple. Or stay at Manohara Hotel, the only hotel at the grounds of the temple. This is where the sunrise tour leaves every morning. I heard good reviews about this hotel, such as you can walk to the temple and get to see the sunrise while the temple is still closed for other visitors. Too bad I heard about Manohara after we went back to Jakarta.
Tips to Visit Borobudur Temple
– Try to visit when Indonesian students are in school, which is normally from mid-July to before Christmas and the first week of January to mid-June.
– It’s better if you stay at Manohara Hotel and go on their sunrise tour, when they open the temple for the sunrise group tour only. (I hope to go there at least one more time and stay at this hotel).
– If you stay in the city and visit the temple during the day, make sure you bring water, hat, and sunglasses because it is hot and humid there. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen.
– It’s worth a visit if you like learning about different culture and history, and visiting World Heritage Site.
Have you ever visited Borobudur temple? Do you have other tips to share? I would like to hear your experience when visited the temple.