Borobudur Temple is a Buddhist temple located in Central Java, just outside of Yogyakarta. It was built in the 9th century and today is one of Indonesia’s most visited (and photographed) tourist attractions.
In 1991, Borobudur made it’s place on UNESCO’s world heritage sites and has seen steady throngs of visitors every year.
In my travels throughput planet Earth – Borobudur left me absolutely speechless. It’s architecture, structure and meaning have been humbling to me.
Borobudur Temple may not be here forever
The temple has spent the last 1100+ years in the shadows of erupting volcanoes and associated earthquakes. More recently, Borobudur has been a target of bombings and the continuing threats of terrorism.
Thankfully, through donations and support of the UNESCO community, the complex has remained open and in good condition ever since.
As stated before, this place is one of Indonesia’s most visited attractions, so you’ll have to deal with lots and lots of tourists. The temple’s narrow and very steep stairs slow things down and make moving around the site cumbersome.
Quick note on the stairs...
Seriously, the stairs at the temple are like nothing you've ever seen. They are oddly shaped and spaced and some inclines are as steep as 45 degrees. If you have ANY sort of mobility problems, I would strongly avoid climbing Borobudur Temple.
Throughout the years, the visitor traffic has taken a toll on the structure. The stone steps have worn dangerously to where they had to be retrofitted with wood to withstand the daily visitor traffic.
Sunrise at Borobudur Temple
If you’re looking to avoid some of the thousands of tourists who visit this site every day, plan on visiting at Sunrise.
Borobudur Temple is ~60 minutes away from Yogyakarta. If you’re looking to stay closer to Borobudur, the Manohara Resort Hotel is literally right next to the temple.
Where ever you stay, keep in mind your travel time. Indonesia is known for their traffic troubles and sunrise is around 5:30am local time.
Quick word on Borobudur Temple...
No matter what you think, you're not going to be the ONLY person there. I arrived around 4:45am and climbed to the top of Borobudur to find ~100 people ready to watch the sun rise.