In typical fashion online, when one person has a great opinion of something, it tends to spread viral, especially if those people have a smaller frame of context. In the true tradition of overpriced and overrated, watching the sunrise from Borobudur would fall into this category.
On a sunny, clear morning, you’ll get the “mystic” sunrise from Borobudur – but this is just a sunrise from a high place with a jungle background. You get fantastic descriptions like this …
A white mist shrouds the plain and the first birdcalls across the valleys announce the imminent arrival of another dawn. Slowly the mist dissipates in the rising sun to reveal the spires and Buddhas that meditate in bliss and gradually the forms coalesce to unveil a temple that many who have seen it, consider to be the finest example of Buddhist architecture ever raised to the sky by man – the magnificent temple of Borobudur.
It’s alright but you would pay double for the privilege to either a tour group or do the Borobudur Sunrise Tour available with a stay at the Manohara Hotel. Both the hotel and the organized tours cost north of 60 USD for two people, just to get in with a sarong and a complimentary flashlight. Part of the expense seems to be that the entry fee for non-Indonesians is 15 USD. It also costs more to be doing it alone, as the hotel price includes entry fees for 2 people (according to Wikitravel).
For that fee, to enter the temple on a cloudy day, you’re going to get something like this
There of course, is an alternate way behind Borobudur only known to the locals and now me too … along with other intrepid tourists who find a morning guide at Borobudur
Save your money trying to see the sunrise at Borobudur and instead wait for a couple hours or go on the Nirvana trail …