Java can be a bit overwhelming. A lot of people. A lot of traffic. And many people asking you if you want to buy something or if you need a taxi. But Java is also very authentic and offers impressive sights. I stayed a couple of nights in Yogyakarta and spent quite some time at the Sultan- and the water palace and at the beautiful Prambanan Temple complex.
The Borobudur temple is just 40 kilometers away from Yogyakarta. But I decided not to take a bus from Yogyakarta to come back the same day, but to spend a night close by the Borobudur instead. So, before I arrived in Yogyakarta, I went straight to Magelang, where the Borobudur Temple is located.
There are a couple of hotels surrounding the Borobudur. One is even at the temple grounds, but it’s one of the bigger hotels and it was too expensive for me. So, I booked at Rumah Dharma; an affordable, intimate hotel with a couple of cabins on the countryside, just 5 minutes by bicycle from the Borobudur temple.
A cabin with a view: overlooking the rice fields
And it was even better than I expected. My cabin had a great bed and bathroom and a small terrace from where I could overlook the rice fields. Wow! But seriously: wow!
Medi, the owner of Rumah Dharma was very friendly. Since I traveled by myself he introduced me to Iris and Frank, two other (Dutch) travelers. Medi suggested me to join them on a small tour in the afternoon. Something I gladly did. But first lunch was served. Just writing about it makes my mouth watering again. It was delicious. And a lot.
After lunch, Iris, Frank and I cycled around the area with a guide. First, he showed us a market. And afterwards he showed us villages in which different products were produced. In one village tofu was produced. In another village, they made ceramics. And so on.
Sunrise at the Borobudur temple
The next morning, I visited the Borobudur temple. I wanted to see the sunrise from the temple (which requires an extra fee) so I had to leave pretty early, at 5 AM. I cycled to the temple accompanied by an employee of Rumah Dharma. Great service!
It was clouded so the sunrise wasn’t as spectacular as I expected it to be. And it was full with other tourists. But I enjoyed my morning at this special place. What a beautiful temple! Maybe even magical.
After my visit to the Borobudur temple I cycled back to Rumah Dharma. Unfortunately, I already had to check out, because I was traveling on a schedule. Frank and Iris offered me a ride, which I happily accepted (and we even became friends).
If only I stayed two nights at Rumah Dharma…
I felt a bit sad leaving Rumah Dharma. Such a lovely place, where I found myself in an oasis of calmness. 100% ‘zen’, great food, lovely staff and a very friendly owner. And all that surrounded by rice fields. Nothing like busy Yogyakarta or (from what I heard) Jakarta.
I’d go back in a heartbeat. And it even gets better: I saw online that they have a swimming pool now at Rumah Dharma, so after cycling around or visiting amazing Borobudur, you can cool off at the pool.
So, my advice to anyone visiting Borobudur is to book a cabin at Rumah Dharma. And don’t make the mistake I made by booking just one night. You won’t regret spending some time there!
Book Rumah Dharma!