When is the Best Time of the Day to visit the Temples of Borobudur?
The majestic Buddhist monument is stunning to say the least, be it at the crack of dawn or misty sunset. Thousands of pilgrims and travellers visit it everyday, making it one of the most visited monuments in Indonesia.
However, visiting it during the popular hours of dawn - usually tour buses set off at 3am from Yogjakarta for the 3-hour ride to Borobudur - might not be advisable as overcrowding just puts off an otherwise amazing experience. Like many others, I was there early in the morning, when birds start chirping, and clouds clear off to reveal a gorgeous view of Mount Merapi and its stunning rice terraces. Unfortunately, hordes of tourists and visitors flood the grounds of the holy temple, snapping photos, and destroying the silence of the holy land.
Visiting Borobudur in the afternoon heat might be excruciating, but at least you have some peace to enjoy the monumental sight to yourself, and even soak in some history along with it. [more]
Visiting the Temples of Borobudur as a Day Trip or Overnight Stay?
As Borobudur is a small town built around the holy temples, and are only a short distance of 3 hours' drive from the bustling city of Yogjakarta, many travellers have the option to just see Borobudur in 1 day, or travel by public bus for an overnight stay.
I would highly recommend staying overnight at the quaint town surrounding Borobudur as the peaceful area provides a relaxing getaway from Yogjakarta. Also, the temples occupy a big area, and might take a full day to see it all, especially if you are a temple buff. Taking in the religious grounds will take a few days and staying overnight is definitely recommendable.
A few hostels in the area are perfect to stay overnight, such as Pondok Tingal and Lotus Guesthouse.