Amazing! Borobudur Sunrise tour the best way – I spent a quick weekend in Yogyakarta before going to Jakarta for work and made a list minute decision to do the sunrise visit to Borobudur. If you have the time I would suggest staying closer to the temple so you don’t have to get up SUPER early.
I was picked up from my hotel at 3:30 AM, arrived at the Manohara hotel (where you buy tickets) around 4:30 AM. And then made my way over to the temple. It was raining (they provide ponchos). While the weather was a bit upsetting at first it added to the ambiance of walking up the temple in the early hours of the day. The sunrise was at 5:40, but I strongly suggest heading over to the temple site earlier as the east facing side of the temple gets crowded.
My only regret is not better planning where I wanted to be for the sunrise. Loads of people were everywhere and it made it hard to get a picture/enjoy the moment.
Borobudur Sunrise Pros :
– get in before public (made my experience much better than my visit the day before at Prambanan)
– get to explore in early sunlight. Gets very hot during mid day.
– head back to the Manohara after (& avoid the market) for snacks. Refreshment area has a nice view of the temple from far away.
Borobudur Sunrise Cons :
– costs more (400,000)
– have to get up very early
Borobudur Sunrise Cost :
– 400,000 for sunrise ticket
– 400,000 for driver for 5 hrs from Yogyakarta
Overall: you will be happy you went. Feels a bit touristy at times, but sunrise experience is very unique. A local guide isn’t necessary. The pamphlets provided give a nice run down (diagram, map, explanations of mudras)