Hello travelers, in this article I would like to give you some informations about what kind of activities or things to do around Borobudur Temple. Borobudur is the biggest Buddhist Temple in the world, it is a part of Unesco World Heritage Site and considered as the most visited single attraction in entire Indonesia. We all have known that Borobudur Temple has a great history behind its construction, but the villages around Borobudur also has a lot of unique story to know. So in my opinion, visit the temple only will not be enough, you have to explore the surrounding area and try to do some local activities.
Borobudur surrounding area is just villages, with the majority of people working as a farmer. Here, you will stay in tranquil atmosphere with the fresh air and with the sound of rooster every early morning. Also by staying in Borobudur area, you will see the real traditional way of life of Javanese people. For sure, it is more refreshing to stay in Borobudur area compared if you stay in the city centre.
So let’s see what activities or things to do while you are staying near by Borobudur Temple.
1. Enjoy the Magical Borobudur Sunrise, the most popular activity or things to do in Borobudur
Borobudur Sunrise is the most popular experience in Yogyakarta. Visiting Borobudur Temple in sunrise time is really different compared with a normal day time. It is more tranquil, less people, the air is still fresh and you will see a wonderful view that possibly you will not find in any other places. By enjoying the sunrise in Borobudur, you will have a fully recharge spirit.
The ticket is IDR 500.000/person, you can buy it on the spot via Manohara Resort, it’s a resort inside Borobudur complex and the only gate for Borobudur Sunrise. The gate will be open at 4.30AM, it will be better for you if you can reach Manohara Resort 15 minutes earlier, so once the gate opens, you will have a big chance to have the best spot in the temple to see the sunrise. If you stay in Yogyakarta City, normally the tour agencies will pick you up in your accommodation at 3.30 AM
You will also have a complimentary breakfast in Manohara Restaurant, the location is above the ticketing counter. It is also a good idea if you can hire a local guide to give you the detail informations about the temple, the rate is IDR 250.000 for 1 to 10 people. Normally the local guide will stand by just outside the ticketing counter.
- Read also : How to go from Yogyakarta Airport to city centre
- Read also : How to go from Yogyakarta to Semarang City
2. Sunrise via Punthuk Setumbu Hill.
There is another option if you willing to enjoy the sunrise near Borobudur. When in its perfect weather, you will also see a wonderful sunrise. Via Punthuk Setumbu Hill, Borobudur will looks like flying above the cloud, it gives a mirage of Nirvana similar in Buddhist believe, that is why we call the sunrise in this hill as Borobudur Nirvana Sunrise. You can proceed to Punthuk Setumbu Hill by following this maps.
Some accommodations near Borobudur will provide a transport service, but if not, you can go there by renting a bike. It also much better if you can reach Punthuk Setumbu Hill before 4.30 AM. Because you still need to hike the hill around 20 minutes from the ticket counter to the view point. If you are late, you will miss the best moment of the sunrise. The ticket price is IDR 50.000 per person for foreigners.
3. Batik Making Experience. A must do activity in Borobudur Area
Batik is Indonesian National Costume, originally made by Javanese people that has been recognized by Unesco as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Batik has so many patterns, each pattern has different philosophies. And every region in Java Island has their own pattern with their own history. In the old kingdom era, only King, Royal Families and other important people are allowed to wear Batik. But right now, it is normal for common people to wear Batik, we use it in a formal or special occasion, it is our way to conserve this Javanese Heritage.
What will you do in Batik Making Experience is to draw the pattern in a fabric using hot wax. This kind of activity will train you to be more patience. Because you need to do it carefully, little by little. The professional batik maker will not make any single mistake. And to make a single Batik Fabric with 2 meters length can take around 1 to 6 months, it depends on the difficulty of the pattern. That’s way, the original Batik Fabric can be very expensive, especially if they do the coloring using natural color.
You can do this activity or experience in Rumah Batik Lumbini (Lumbini House of Batik). This house of Batik also plant trees, flowers and leaves to make the natural colors. You just need to pay IDR 50.000 per person to make a small batik fabric. The location is just around 2 KM from Borobudur Temple, you can see it in this maps.
4. Cycling Around Villages in Borobudur, Best Activity to explore around Borobudur
Just for your information, there is no any public transport in Borobudur. The only way to take you from one place to the others is by online taxi or motorcycle taxi, which you can order via apps (Gojek or Grab). But if you want to be more flexible, rent a bike will be much better and eco friendly. Cycling around Borobudur Temple is one of popular activity in Borobudur. By cycling around Borobudur Area, you will see a green scenery and beautiful landscape with many rice field everywhere. Also you will see the traditional way of life of Javanese people living around the temple.
There are many bike rental around Borobudur, and some accommodations also provide bike to rent, so it’s quite easy for you to get the bike. But if you would like a guided cycling tour, that will show you the best route, tell you the unique story about the villages, the people and the local products, you may please to contact this number +62 811 2650 111, the rate is IDR 300.000 per person with all equipments are included or you may please to book it via airbnb in this link : Borobudur Cycling Tour. Please check the brochure below.
5. Try to Make Your Own Pottery Made of Clay.
There are many home industries near Borobudur Temple. If you would like to try making one of local products, making a pottery will be your nice activity during your stay in Borobudur. The location is in Nglipoh Village, around 4 KM from Borobudur Temple. You can visit the pottery industry in this maps.
6. Visit Chicken Church.
Chicken Church is a building looks like a giant chicken. This building was built as a symbol of harmony of life in Indonesia. As you know guys, Indonesia is a multicultural country. We have more that 300 ethnicity, 700 languages, 17.000 island and 6 religions that acknowledged by the law. In this chicken church , you can see prayer rooms that dedicated for each religions in Indonesia. This chicken church symbolized that everyone living in Indonesia can live in a united as one.
The location is just around 4 KM from Borobudur Temple above the Rhema Hill. There are 7 levels in this church, in the top one, you can see a beautiful scenery in surrounding Borobudur. The ticket is IDR 50.000/person included a complimentary snack.
7. See How to Make Tempe (fermented soya been) and Tahu (tofu).
“Tempe and Tahu” is one of original food from Indonesia made of Soya Bean. Right now, the demand of Tempe and Tahu is rising globally, because these kind of food are getting well known as the best choice for vegetarians as protein substitution. There are many Tempe and Tahu home industries, the nearest one from Borobudur Temple is located in Tanjungsari Village. You just need to go to this village, it is easy to find the home industries while you reach there. Or if you take the Borobudur Cycling Tour, you will pass the village and you can ask the guide to make a stop, so you can see how the process of making Tahu and Tempe.
8. Having Lunch or Dinner in Amanjiwo Resort, exclusive activities in Borobudur
Amanjiwo Resort, is considered as one of The Most Expensive Hotel in South East Asia. Many Indonesian actors/actress or even world famous people had stayed in this hotel like David and Victoria Beckham. This luxury resort proves that living in Borobudur area is the best choice if you really want to refresh your mind, body and soul. I do understand, not everyone willing to stay in this luxury resort due to its expensive price. But anyone are welcome to have meal in the restaurant in Amanjiwo Resort.
You can feel the calm atmosphere of this resort that can recharge you energy and refresh your mind. You can purchase the meal for around IDR 500.000 (USD 35). It is expensive if we compare with any restaurants in Indonesia, but I think it is the normal daily meal price for you if you are US or EU Citizen. The other nice restaurant near Borobudur is Mata Langit Restaurant by Plataran. In Mata Langit, you can have a meal in the hill while seeing beautiful scenery of 6 moutains in surrounding area.
9. Rafting in Progo and Elo River. Adventure activities in Borobudur
Borobudur area is surrounded by 2 rivers, those are Progo River and Elo River. If you like an adventure, rafting in those rivers will be your unforgettable activity while in Borobudur. You can have the tour by going directly to the starting point, you can see it in this maps.
10. Luwak Coffee Testing. A unique things to do or activities in Borobudur
Luwak coffee is a special coffee originally from Indonesia and considered as the most expensive coffee in the world. It is a coffee that has been eaten by animal called Luwak then fermented in his stomach. Indonesia is the one and only country in the world where you can taste Luwak Coffee in its origin place.
This is how the simple story of Luwak Coffee begins. If you read about the history of coffee and how it spread to the world, you will notice that The Ottoman Empire was the only nation who monopolize the coffee export and introduced it to the world. Until the time when Indonesia was in colonialism era, The Dutch succeeded to take the coffee seeds from Mocha Port, Yemen to Java Island. After that time, the history of coffee changed, Java Island became the second big player of coffee export after The Ottoman. In Java, The Dutch made a rules, “Only The Dutch and Javanese important people can drink coffee, and no one else”. So because the farmer was so curious with the taste of coffee, they were afraid to take the coffee bean from the trees so they took the one on the ground, which is poo of an animal called Luwak in Java language. So, that is the Luwak Coffee Story begins.
If you want to try Luwak Coffee, you can go directly to the coffee shop by following this maps, it is just around 1 KM from Borobudur Temple. It is only IDR 25.000 (2$) per cup, which is in the coffee shop in London can be 10£ per cup.
So those are 10 Activities or Things To Do while you are staying around Borobudur Temple. Actually, there are more experiences or things to do that you can do in Borobudur like Cooking Javanese Food class, Traditional Dance Class or Puppet Show. But normally it will be held by the hotels or the villages where do you stay. So, once you arrive in your accommodation in Borobudur, you may please to ask the information centre if any other local activities that you can try which I do not mention in this article. I hope staying in Borobudur will be your best moment to learn about Javanese Wisdom and the best place to recharge your spirit.
If you will go to Borobudur Temple directly from The New Yogyakarta International Airport ( YIA ) you may please to read this article, How to Go from YIA Airport to Borobudur. Or if you already in Yogyakarta City Centre, you can go by Taxi or call me via whatsapp at +62 811 2650 111, the rate is IDR 400.000 for a single drop off. I do not recommend you to go by public transport as the buses available connecting both places are in bad condition. And you may please to check any tour available in Yogyakarta City via my affiliation website : borobudurprambanan.com.
Enjoy your journey in Indonesia!