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“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.” – Jo Walton

Nothing beats the sight of early morning rays emerging from the darkness down under and into the sky, engulfing the world in its magnificent amber light.

Although sacrificing precious minutes of slumber sounds dreadful, especially whilst on holiday, be rest assured that it will all be worth it. Here are the top 5 sunrise spots in Indonesia worth waking early for.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

MOUNT KELIMUTU, FLORES

Embrace the hidden morning person within you to catch the sunrise from Kelimutu, a volcano on the island of Flores, which is quite the glorious sight on its own with its tricolored lakes. Legend has it that since the volcano is believed to be a sacred place where spirits come together after death, the waters within each lake are of different shades. The best vantage point to witness the sunrise would be from Tiwu Ata Bupu, or ‘the lake of old people’. Don’t forget to set the alarm to 3.30am to be able to make the hike and watch the sunrise. 

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BOROBUDUR TEMPLE, YOGYAKARTA

Constructed in the 9th century, Borobudur Temple holds the title of being the world’s largest Buddhist temple, and the most visited tourist attraction in Indonesia. Although travelers flock to the temple at any given time of the day, mornings are especially popular. Go in the early hours to catch a glimpse of the sun rising, washing over the fog surrounding the structure and the trees around it and giving the many ancient stupas within the temple breathtaking silhouettes. Should you want to beat the 6:00AM crowd, some hotels around the area can arrange for earlier tours.

SANUR BEACH, BALI

If tranquility is what you’re after, Sanur Beach is just the spot, especially if you’re staying around the area. Less touristy than places such as Kuta, it offers the perfect respite from the bustling early morning island routines. Just take a step out of your door at five in the morning, which is not too bad in comparison with some other places on this list, and head to the coast while it is still dark. Pick a spot on the sand, and listen to the sound of waves crashing and soon enough, you’ll see the sun peeking across the water’s edge on the horizon, eager to cast its light on another day.

Credit: Flickr, Indra Kurniawan

Credit: Flickr, Indra Kurniawan

SETUMBU HILL

Can’t be bothered with crowds? Located some four kilometres west of Borobudur Temple, Setumbu Hill awaits you in all its glory. One could say this hill is a bit of a hidden gem as thousands flock to Borobudur Temple for the chance to immortalize the perfect sunrise in a picture. Here, you can take your time picking the best spot to frame your Instagram-worthy shot. Witness what locals call the Nirvana Sunrise, with the Merapi Volcano and the Merbabu Volcano sandwiching the rising sun, as well as be treated to the sight of the Borobudur Temple gradually unveiling itself out from the misty forested Magelang.

Credit: Balibudgethousing.com

Credit: Balibudgethousing.com

CAMPUHAN RIDGE WALK

Just before the break of dawn, go on a stroll along Campuhan Ridge Walk, known for its hiking trails and lush scenic views of the jungle and rice paddy fields. Having your morning walk accompanied by the soft warm rays of the rising sun is truly something special, offering you the privilege of witnessing entire rice paddy fields painted in an amber glow.

Photo Credits: Campuhan Ridge Walk, Setumbu Hill