Published: January 4th 2010December 19th 2009
Despite waking at 4am jumping in a mini-van before 4.30am and being at the temples before 6am - I missed dawn at the temple. The golden glowing images with silhouettes of Buddhas and stuppas stretching as far the eye could see - weren't waiting for me.
Instead - thousands of bus loads of local tourists and school kids clambering around, loud speakers intermittently directing people not to climb on the fragile 1200 year old carvings. Thousands of hawkers selling every type of possible souvenir that crashed in price to below one third of the original asking price as you walked by. But I got to feel a little like a movie star by being asked to be in peoples photos, and a little less like a movie star when I realised that every western tourist was being treated to the same request.
But - as temples go - Borobudur is very very impressive.
I learned and forgot a ton of facts about the temple - I guess wikipedia has made me lazy - I can always look them up again now if needed.
A few if's.
If you want to see the temple at dawn -
stay just outside it - and pay the back door entrance fee before dawn (it's unofficial and about 20 euros I'm told) - don't stay in Yogjakarta.
If you plan to go from Yogjarkarta to Bali in 10 days - be prepared to be really really tired.
There are more photos below