Breakfast or No Breakfast?!
Most tour operators offer to include breakfast in the package for an additional fee. This may appear to be a good idea at the time of the booking, but based on our experience, it’s not necessary. Outside Borobudur there are a slew of little eating stalls that sell the same dishes at almost the same price. But it is also interesting to note that some stalls are cleaner and more pleasant-looking than the others. The operators each have their own “go to” stalls where they bring their passengers to for breakfast. But if you don’t book lunch with a certain operator; you have the freedom to choose which stall you want to dine in, and which dish you want to eat.
Proper Guide is Not Included
Even though operators like to label what they offer as tour packages, you are essentially just paying for the van ride and nothing else. Unfortunately, there is no English-speaking guide to walk around with you during “the tour.” The minivan comes with a driver that speaks little English. His job includes taking you to the site, settling the entrance fee, and waiting until you’re done exploring. If you want an English speaking guide, book a proper tour with a reputable hotel. But this, of course, means you will have to dig down deep into your pocket for this option.
Choosing Public Transport
Getting a minivan ride to Borobudur is a financially reasonable and convenient way to visit the ancient temple. However, if you want to use public transport to Borobudur, this option is also available. It is important to remember that only a few tourists take this route because it involves a couple of transfers.
You can catch the Trans-Jogja buses, particularly 2B and 2A from central Yogyakarta. These buses end up at Jombor bus terminal, situated in northern Yogyakarta. This ride costs a minimal fee of Rp 3,000. Once you arrive at Jombor terminal, you need to take another bus to reach Borobudur Bus Terminal. This one-way bus ride costs Rp 20,000. The bus will not drop you at the entrance of the temple. Instead, you will need to walk for about 5 minutes to reach the temple’s parking lot. Taking public transit is a good option if you are planning to stay overnight in the Borobudur area. Most hotels are situated within walking distance from the terminal. If you don’t want to walk, you can hire a becak (local bicycle transport) to take you anywhere around the village.
The Best Time
The best time to visit Borobudur is during the early morning or mid-afternoon. Weekends and holidays tend to be very busy. The tourist crowds may take away from the experience of visiting a temple known for its serenity. The site officially opens at 6:00 am, and closes at 5:00 pm. But guests of Amanjiwo and Manohara hotels can enter as early as 4:30 am, in time for the sunrise. You can also purchase a ticket for the sunrise tour if you are not staying at these hotels, but you need to pay a significantly higher amount.
Where did we stay during this trip?
We stayed along Jalan Marlioboro in Jogja. I would recommend this area because it has the most restaurants and tourist services.
Want to find the cheapest room near Borobudur or nearby Yogyakarta?
Yogyakarta is loaded with accommodation options and there are some good options near Borobudur if you’re looking to get out of the city for a few days. We stayed in Yogyakarta and made trips out to the surrounding temples. We used three different sites before we finalized all of our rooms: www.agoda.com, www.hotelscombined.com and www.booking.com. You will find that Agoda has the largest selection and solid prices, whereas booking.com is known for its cancellation policies and great customer service. If you’re on a budget then you might find the cheapest rooms around Borobudur with www.hotelscombined.com because they have handy price comparison searches before you finalize your room. If you book early you should have no problem finding the cheapest rooms in this fascinating region of Java Indonesia. I have included links to their respective property lists to save you some time:
ALL ROOMS IN YOGYAKARTA – www.agoda.com
ALL ROOMS IN YOGYAKARTA – www.booking.com
COMPARE ALL ROOM PRICES IN YOGYAKARTA – www.hotelscombined.com