Search for content, post, videos

Yogyakarta – From Magical Sunrise to Marvelous Sunset


A few weeks before our flight to Indonesia, I received an email from the organizer that there will be some changes in the itinerary. Some places were removed due to volcanic activity, so instead we went to Yogyakarta. My heart beat fast because of excitement – Borobudur, the 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple has been a long-time dream of mine.


borobudur temple


Coming from Bandung we arrived dinner time to Yogyakarta (usually pronounced and written as Jogjakarta). It is another busy city in Indonesia, home to half a million people, and the most popular destination in Java. Due to the tight itinerary, we only had a limited time in the city and hoping to see the best in less than 2 days stay.

“Our wake-up call is 3:00 a.m,” says the organizer. Most of us got crazy counting the hours left for sleep, but my excitement overshadowed my tiredness. Thinking that I was just a few miles away from one of my dream destinations, to watch the sunrise gave me trouble sleeping. I was so excited that I was very energetic in the middle of the night.

With a lack of sleep, I woke earlier than my alarm clock and prepared for one of my favorite destinations on our 12-day travel in Indonesia. Less than an hour away from Royal Ambarrukmo Hotel, we reached Borobudur temple.

As we walked towards the temple, the darkness was absolute. The weather was cold and I could hear birds chirping. I thought that we were too early since there were only a few people walking towards the temple. To my surprise, hundreds of people were already  sitting inside to catch what is considered to be one of the world’s most spectacular experiences – Sunrise at Borobudur Temple.




Here’s some quick fact about Borobudur or Barabudur temple that you should know so you will understand why visiting this temple is my dream come true.

  • The temple is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues
  • The central dome is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues, each seated inside a perforated stupa
  • It is the world’s largest Buddhist temple
  • It is one of the greatest Buddhist monuments in the world
  • It has the largest and most complete ensemble of Buddhist reliefs in the world
  • It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site


buddhist temple


Borobudur Temple is also Indonesia’s most visited attraction having said that the next time you plan to visit this place. You need to be really early to get a good spot. Together with hundreds of tourist I patiently sat in one place while waiting for the sunrise.


sunrise in borobudur



After an hour of waiting, Borobudur bell-shaped stupas rose out of the darkness, out of the charcoaled clouds, the golden light from sunrise was slowly shining. I let this magical moment sink in until the rays touched my skin. This was truly one of the best sunrises I witnessed in my entire life. It symbolizes that a new beginning is always possible and all I can visualize here was hope.




For us to understand the life in the village we were given a chance to cycle around. I can’t remember the last time I rode a bicycle to the view of native houses and rice terraces. It felt like cycling in a province in the Philippines. The view, vibes, and the people are pretty much like the same here. I felt at home biking around the streets and small alleys of Borobudur village.


borobudur village




To end our bike tour we had the chance to have batik making. Batik is a technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to whole cloth, or cloth made with this technique. Batik is made either by drawing dots and lines of the resist with a spouted tool called a canting or by printing the resist with a copper stamp called a cap. Batik has a great part in Indonesian culture and arts. In fact, UNESCO designated Indonesian batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. This is something you shouldn’t miss the next time you visit the island of Java. The art of Batik is most developed on this island.





Probably, the best way to end our  visit in Yogyakarta was to watch the sunset at Ratu Boko. It was once a luxurious palace built in the 8th century. Its architecture is a mixed of Buddhism and Hindu. The palace was initially named as “Abhayagiri Vihara,” which means “monastery on a peaceful hill.” While the majority of sites found in Java are temples and shrines, Ratu Boko is more like a ruin than anything else.


ratu boko


Due to ruinous condition, you can hardly see the glory of this luxurious palace aside from its beautiful main gate, which was a popular spot in this 16 hectares property divided into 2 hamlets. Until today the main purpose or functions why Ratu Boko was built was still unknown.


ratu boko palace


Thank you, Ministry of Tourism – Indonesia for bringing me here and make me believe that dreams do come true. I would be forever thankful to everyone behind this #wonderfulIndonesia trip for showing me the magical sunrise and sunset from the temple and palace of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. I will treasure this breathtaking experience forever.

Looking for a place to stay in Yogyakarta? Get a discounted rate by booking with Traveloka


  • A great view of both sunset and sunrise. This place is one of my must visits . Looks like a peaceful location to meditate as well.

  • Yogyakarta looks enchanting. Especially with the soft light of the sun during sunrise and sunset, the place does seem magical. Borobudur is grand and majestic and has such a mystical aura. I would love to get there someday.

  • Lucky you; I’d also love to get to Borobudur for sunrise! There’s so much to see in Indonesia but that has to be one of the highlights. I’m glad you found a quiet corner for some photos. It was also interesting to read more about the surrounding area – you don’t find that very often.

  • Wowwww! I’ve been wanting to go here for so long now. Some of my friends were here last year and they had a great time. Love all your shots here. Really makes me want to book a flight there nowwww ;P

  • Yogya is one of my favourite places in Indonesia, so much to do! Good that you had to change plans and could enjoy Borobudur, it is amazing!

  • We have heard about this temple with thousands and hundreds of statues and we can only imagine wonderful it would be to experience it in person. I hope Yogyakarta happens soon 🙂

  • Awesome experience it was! We knew almost nothing about Indonesia except the Borobodur Temple and the beaches in Bali. I think the Ministry of Tourism made a great step there for their tourism!

  • It’s interesting how Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Indonesia have all these beautiful Hindu and Buddhist temples, and it’s amazing that these temples are preserved well. You’re lucky to have seen both the sunrise and the sunset in the Borobudur Temple. I can see why it’s famous, the sunrise looks majestic indeed.

  • There’s just a lot of nice places in Indonesia that were not popular in the Philippines probably because of media. It has always been Bali when most people are asked about the country. Good thing, you are able to share with us other beautiful places in Indonesia with a rich history and great landscape. We are surely looking forward to more of this.

    • There’s really a lot to see in Indonesia. It’s even bigger than our country. So expect more gem to see!

  • OMG! Borobudur! I’ve always wanted to see the sunrise here. Before I came to France, I actually planned to visit Indonesia instead and Borobudur was one of my destination. Can’t wait to read more about your Indonesian trip!

  • OMG! Borobudur! I’ve always wanted to see the sunrise here. Before I came to France, I actually planned to visit Indonesia and Borobudur was one of my destination. Can’t wait to read more about your Indonesian trip!

  • Super worth it to go all the way to Yogyakarta and see the old temple. You could spend the whole day there and not go anywhere else and you would not have enough of it, huh? Too bad it was a short visit, cause being assimilated with the locals in that area for a while would have given you more stories that you could write in a month or two. History and culture has always been fascinating and enhances a travel experience. There’s always the next time though.

  • Were you with Camie Juan and Aileen Adalid on this trip? I wonder because they posted vlogs about this place also. Hehe. It’s such a beauty to visit places where you can really experience the culture and connect with the locals.

  • It is amazing how many SE Asian countries have so many sites of temples, stupas and ruins. I have been to many throughout SE Asia but not in Indonesia. This will have to be added to my bucket list. I love sunrises and sunsets at these locations.

  • Great photos!! 🙂

  • These pictures are quite breathtaking, especially the second to the last one! I could really feel being enlightened. I’m so jealous that you got to the Wonderful Indonesia trip! Must have been so incredible to see new places with fellow bloggers 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.