This is the itinerary for a trip to Borobudur and other sites me and my father did in March 2016. We cover most of the popular sites in the area and eat in decent places.
We took a flight from Jakarta to Jogjakarta early in the morning, departing from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta to Adi Sutdjipto International Airport in Jogja. We caught sunrise on the flight, watching the sky turns from darkness to beautiful orange-yellow light. If you are flying the same route, you should ask for window seat in the right side of aircraft. From the window you could see mountains, ocean, and the moon on your right side.
The flight took only one hour and in Garuda, the crew only served a box of bread and water. Once we landed, we went straight outside the airport because we don’t bring luggage, just two backpacks for three days trip.
We have booked a car from Jakarta for today, costing around Rp 450.000 ($35) with driver for full day trip (gas excluded). The closest site to airport that we want to visit is the Prambanan temple, so we went initially to Prambanan, which proves to be a wise decision. There were still few tourists in Prambanan area in the morning, giving me more flexibility in taking pictures of the site. Inside the complex, there are four temples with Prambanan temple the most popular among them. First, it is recommended to visit Prambanan before visiting the others, because the distant between those temples are quite far.
We took around two hours to explore the Prambanan and surrounding temples inside the complex, then we continue our trip to the Northwest from airport. Landscape of rice fields are common view along the drive, after 90 minutes drive we stopped and visited Ketep Pass. Ketep Pass is a restaurant on the hill where we can see landscape of rice fields and the village below it, however it was foggy when I was there.
After taking pictures for 30 minutes or so, we descent the mountain and headed to Amajiwo Resorts for lunch. Amanjiwo is the most luxury hotel near Borobudur, a true 5-star resort with excellent service. The trip from Ketep Pass to Amanjiwo is about 80 minutes drive. Once we arrived in the lobby, an assistant approached us and asked whether we are staying or just having lunch. We were the latter, I ordered prawn pizza for Rp 200.000 ($16) and my father ordered kupat tahu (tofu) for about the same price. Overall we spent Rp 800.000 ($60) for two person lunch in a very comfortable place.
If you are visiting Amanjiwo, you really should explore the resort! You could see Borobudur from the resort (better to take telephoto lens) and there is a rice fields on the lower part of the resort, next to the swimming pool.
We finished lunch and touring around at 2 p.m., leaving us quite some time for break before sunset. Our hotel is located just 15 minutes from Amanjiwo and directly in front of Borobudur complex. We checked-in to our room, rest for a while, and took a shower. At four we got back on the road to Kalibiru, a lake surrounded by mountains, which my driver told earlier was great for photos. It was raining hard when we drove there, however we bet that the rain would stop once we got on the site. The 90 minutes drive was quite intense, as when we approached Kalibiru the road is only suitable for one way but is used as two way. We arrived just in time for sunset, but the sky was cloudy and it was still raining, so we had to wait until the rain stopped. I got quite few good shots though.
At our way back to hotel, we searched for a great dining place and found Plataran Hotel, whose restaurant are facing Borobudur. We decided to have dinner there, and we were lucky because that night the spotlight is being turned on due to request. Borobudur could be seen from the restaurant, but it is far away, best to bring telephoto lens. We ordered lamb rack and nasi kuning for slightly cheaper price than lunch at Amanjiwo. Since we arrived late at 8 p.m. for dinner, we finished late also at 10 p.m and got back to hotel because we got to catch the sunrise tomorrow.