Upon arrival at Jogya Airport, a driver holds a sign with my name on it. We exchange eye contact. I ask, “Walid hotel?”
“Madam. It’s Wahid,” he says.
Hmmmm, I don’t even know the name of the hotel!
After a 1.5 hour taxi ride, I get to Borobudur. The hotel staff is exceptionally nice. Walking around the rural village, there are very few people but strangers on the road are talking to me. After I go out to buy a few souvenirs of the Borobudur dunes, I walk back to the hotel.
Wahid is a very small local hotel with a lovely pool where you can float and see the sky surrounded by the brick roof.
12.11 4AM Borobudur Sunrise
A torch. A tripod. A camera. It’s 4am, the whole world is still dark, and I’m hike up Borobudur. It’s so dark that my camera is out of focus. I need a better camera.
Even after paying S$45 for the admission ticket, I still find many tourists. Only Hotel Manohara has access to the Borobudur gate before 6am, the official time.
The steps are rather big, so I have to carefully balance my grasp of the gear, torch and the steps. Before 5am, it’s too dark to see anything. It’s very cloudy today during monsoon season, so I will just have to try my best. I try to find the perfect spot to capture the sunrise and set up my tripod. The tourists say I look very professional. Surprisingly I am not sleepy at all. I’m excitedly anticipating the sunrise.
I spend 3 hours up there and get a lot of great photos for the stupas, which make me super happy.
It’s raining. I am in a mess organizing my gear on the floor. A local grandpa extends an umbrella over my head, pats my shoulder and smiles at me.
I sit down at the Manohara Hotel garden for a cup of tea and local breakfast, with a view of Borobudur. I feel extremely accomplished and satisfied. The trip is worth all the money and effort.
Breakfast at Wahid Hotel
Tripod Not Allowed at Jogya Airport
I’m not allowed to enter the airport because I’m carrying a tripod. I tell them I did the same from JKT to here, so why have things changed on the return journey? I am very angry at them. After several long fights, they escort me back to check in my tripod. The AirAsia lady is nice to me, makes it a priority baggage, and asks me to tell ground staff to pass me the tripod upon landing.
For more details of my journal, please refer to “My Book” section.