Day 2: Borobudur Sunrise Tour
We left our hotel at 3.50am and arrived at Manahora hotel at around 4.25am. The Manahora hotel has a direct access to Borobudur, the only hotel with this privilege. Thus entry to Borobudur prior to official opening times, ie during sunrise tours, have to be via the Manahora hotel.
After waiting for our private guide to get the tickets, we were off to the temple complex around 4.45am. We were suppose to be given sarongs to tie around our waist, but they did not seem to have enough that morning so we did not have to do that. But they did give us scarves as souvenirs when we came out.We thought we were early, but when we went into the temple complex there were already people there. Fortunately, we were still early enough to get our spot in front of the “open stupa”. As we waited for sunrise, more people came along. We were glad we had secured a good spot. We were unlucky as some clouds came in just before the sun pop out. Nonetheless, we got some nice photos. Borobudur was very peaceful in the morning and weather was cool and comfortable. I find the whole place very peaceful and calming even though there were many people around me. Compared to Prambanan which we visited a day earlier, I like the peacefulness of Borobudur better. Prambanan seems more intense. Borobudur is definitely a must visit place. I enjoyed my sunrise visit very much.
By the time we had gone around the temple complex to admire the carvings, we can see the crowd starting to come in. We were then ready to leave.After we exit Borobodur, we went to Manahora hotel for our included snack of fried bananas and coffee or tea. This is included in the sunrise ticket to Borobodur which is included in our tour price. After Borobudur, we went to a minor temple, Candi Pawon. Candi Pawon is a small temple between Borobudur and Candi Mendut. Candi Mendut is a ninth-century Buddhist temple located about three kilometres east from Borobudur. Mendut, Borobudur and Pawon, all of which are Buddhist temples, are located in one straight line. It is believed that religious ceremonies may have involved rituals originating in Mendut, before going to Pawon, and ending in Borododur, although the exact ritual process is unknown. After our temple visits we went back to the hotel for breakfast. The club serves simple breakfast until 10.30am. Breakfast at the lounge was limited in variety but adequate. We had 2 breakfasts at the lounge. I like the quiet and peacefulness of the lounge. Then it was back to our room to catch up on our sleep.
That afternoon, we went to the spa. We did the Royal Spa which consisted of massage, scrub and bath. We enjoyed it and price was reasonable at IDR969k per 120/150 min treatment. The Spa is not luxurious like at the Shangri La or Banyan Tree, but was still very good for the price they charged. Just be aware that if you book a couple room, one bed is indoor in an aircon room and the other is outdoor next to it with the bath. But the outdoor massage was still ok even when we did our treatment in the afternoon. Not too warm. Still comfortable. But if you prefer your treatment in aircon room, make sure you book 2 individual rooms.That night, we went to Sasanti, a restaurant next to the hotel for dinner. It is quite well rated on tripadvisor and also recommended by the concierge at the Hyatt. Sasanti Is a restaurant serving local Indonesian food in a beautiful garden setting. We sat outdoors in the cool evening. Each of us ordered a different Nasi campur (mixed dishes and rice) set. It comes with 3 types of rice, and tasting portion of different dishes. We also ordered all carte oxtail soup. For dessert, we had the Dutch pancakes. Food was good, especially the oxtail soup, but the fish in my rice set was cold. I think ordering a la carte may have been better, but it will also mean being able to have less variety. The wagyu rendang (spicy beef stew) in my husband’s set was excellent. There was live jazz music too. When we visited that night, the restaurant was quite empty but we understand that it can be busy in some days especiallly during national holidays.
We enjoyed our dinner here. Restaurant setting and service was excellent.