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“Very worthwhile sunrise view”
Review of Punthuk Setumbu

Punthuk Setumbu
Ranked #3 of 48 things to do in Magelang
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 11, 2013

My wife & I got to do this in what's probably the best way possible. We were escorted by a guide from our bungalow hotel to ride bicycles through the night to get into position at Punthuk Setumbu just before sunrise. It was a bit risky, as the lights on our bicycles were not the best, & the village roads were extremely dark. We had to agree that if someone was going to stop they needed to announce clearly "Stopping!" We narrowly averted a few pile-ups. But once we figured out how to navigate safely in the dark, it was fine.

Once you get near the hill, you stow your bicycles with a villager & walk up to the top a gentle incline about 100 or 200 meters. No problem.

We had a very scenic morning sunrise with the sun rising over the right shoulder of Mt. Merapi. The guide (& an app on my iPhone) informed us that if you're there during June to July the sun rises perfectly between Mt. Merapi & Mt. Merbabu.

We set up our tripod & go some very worthwhile images on top. We also met some other tourists there & exchanged experiences a bit while taking our images. Our guide once saw Richard Gere & his daughter up here, though he was surrounded by bodyguards who kept everyone else at bay.

On the way back we briefly visited a family who had just had a death the night before in their household--for real (& made a small donation to the funeral). Before returning to our bungalow we stopped for a while at a village ladies' very simple cottage industry making little clay lamps & dishes, then a very picturesque & rustic tofu (tabu) factory, we shot images of duck herders, & then got several worthy images of sellers in the traditional market near the entrance to Borobudur, & picked up a local coffee & breakfast there as well.

Strangely, since then our guide Bapak. Jamal moved to Prambanan, & there's some question about whether anyone else is offering bicycle tours to Punthuk Setumbu. It was an awesome good tour experience--especially for photographers since you could stop your bicycle whenever you wanted & take images without having to convince a driver to pull over. This should be a regularly offered experience at Borobudur.

It was such a great experience that I'm working with a local man to arrange to take photographers on this tour in the near future. DaveRayPhoto.com

4  Thank DaudRay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"early morning"
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"visit this place"
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"parking area"
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Reviewed September 19, 2013

At first, I doubt to visit Punthuk Setumbu due to the minimum information regarding to this place. Some said that Punthuk Setumbu is one of the best spot to see sunrise beside Bromo. Finally, I brave myself to travelling here. From Semarang my previous visited place before Magelang, I stayed in a hostel (I forgot what hotel) near Punthuk Setumbu.

Tit for tat, the hostel owner provides a facility to visit Punthuk Setumbu by his car and he will accompany us to hike until Punthuk Setumbu, they charged us around additional IDR250.000 for round trip.

The next day, we woke up at 03.40 am in the morning, the weather is not so cold but I suggest you to bring a jacket for they who can’t resist the morning weather. After driving around 30 minutes, you’ll reach a local resident spot to park your car and start hiking for around 30 minutes to the top. The infrastructure is not so good, not a path that has been cemented, just clay dirty road and it will be very slippery when the rain drops. Bring some flashlight..!!

After you reach at the top, wait until the sun showing his light, prepare you camera and you’ll see the Sun rise, Borobudur Temple and Mt. Merbabu & Mt. Merapi in one sight..!! So Mystical, for me this place is so much better from Pananjakan, Bromo. Borobudur temple is just a small puzzle in that landscape nothing compares than Merbabu and Merapi. I suggest you to stay near the location, Magelang, this will make your travelling easier.

2  Thank Frans S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2013

This hill is on Karangrejo Village near Borobudur Temple, hill to see sunrise. But you have to have lucky charm to did this one. It's been my 5th times here and don't have any luck to see the perfect of sunrise. My friend was told me that he should went there 10 times and he have the perfect sunrise. Sunrise is on top of the highest stupa of borobudur and between mount merapi and merbabu. Eventhough i'm not have any luck with perfect sunrise, still beautiful hill, with all the trees,fog around the borobudur temple. It's mystical and stunning scenery.

5  Thank Retno P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2013

There are only 2 objectives to be there on this hill called Punthuk Setumbu :

SUNRISE
To see sunrise and expect to see an egg-yolk sun is not 100% possible, not a 100% hit in any day. As such, do not expect to see a full sunrise. What you would see is clouds with orange skyline. But it is still beautiful. The saying goes, it is the journey that matters.

MISTY BOROBUDUR
The real catch is not really the sunrise, but the misty Borobudur that slowly reveals itself out of the misty forested Magelang. Many who were there to see sunrise were not aware, the real objective is to see Borobodur reveals its bell shape out of the forest shrouded in mist. In my opinion, this is the catch of the day.

GETTING THERE
To get here from Jogja about 40mins drive, you must hire a private driver who knows this place as he has to drive past a few hotels/resorts near to Borobudur before drive up slope to reach the parking lot. From there, you gotta walk about 400m to reach the summit. Entrance fee is 15000rp pp. The walk is very muddy but surely it is safe as the walking path is wide and surrounded by trees. The view at 4.30am was nonetheless dark and you could see nothing till the sun rises. Temperature was about 26'C. At the entrance, I had politely turn down an offer from a guide to bring us to the summit.

WHAT TO BRING
Raincoat, torches, water and telephoto lens (min 200m zoom).

ALTERNATIVE
Punthuk Setumbu is an alternative hilltop view to the more famous Puncak Suroloyo which is further away and requires a longer 1km walk to the summit.

10  Thank Skerning
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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