Borobudur: The largest Buddhist temple in the world to go more expensive

It's about to get more expensive to visit the largest Buddhist temple in the world.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
06 June 2022 Monday 11:51
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Borobudur: The largest Buddhist temple in the world to go more expensive

It's about to get more expensive to visit the largest Buddhist temple in the world.

Borobudur is one of Indonesia's most famous attractions. The government will soon increase its price to preserve the country's cultural and historic wealth.

In a post to his official Instagram account on Saturday, June 4, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan stated that the limit on tourist quotas was set at 1,200 per day for foreign tourists and $750,000 rupiah ($71 for domestic tourists). The current flat fee for tourists who visit the site is $25 per person.

The new rules require that foreigners accompany a local guide whenever they visit Borobudur. Electric shuttle buses were also planned to transport tourists around the temple and nearby vicinities.

Luhut stated, "We do it to create new jobs and grow a sense o belonging in this area so that a feeling of responsibility for the historic sites can continue to thrive in future generations."

"We are taking these steps solely to preserve the rich history, culture, and archipelago."

Borobudur, located in Indonesia's Central Java Province near Yogyakarta, is believed to be built in the 9th Century. It has undergone several restorations. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site by the United Nations in 1982. Before the pandemic, it attracted thousands of people daily.

The temple features nine stacked platforms, a central dome with a large central dome and is surrounded by Buddha statues. It is an outstanding example of Javanese Buddhist architecture.

Borobudur is often compared with Angkor Wat, another large religious site. The Cambodian temple complex is a unique site with a different history and style. All foreigners must be accompanied only by licensed guides. Tickets for non-Cambodians are periodically increased.

Online protests quickly erupted against the proposed price increase for Borobudur by the Indonesian government.

Stuart McDonald, cofounder of Travelfish (a website that focuses on Southeast Asia), said that only a small percentage of Borobudur's visitors were foreigners. McDonald's stated that the price rise was unexpected and not well thought out.

Borobudur is an important attraction in Indonesia, and it is often cited as the highlight of Java. However, one should not overstate the importance of foreign tourists for the financial viability Borobudur.

He said, "The most important question is [whether] foreign tourists will reduce their time at Yogyakarta or eliminate the city from their travel plans." "I would cautiously affirm yes. It could have a significant ripple effect."

Despite price increases that were implemented in 2017, ticket sales to Angkor Wat saw a huge jump of over $100 million. This was despite observers' concerns that higher prices might discourage foreigners visiting the site.

But, will Borobudur experience the same effect?

Ade Wijasto, a local guide, is skeptical. Ade Wijasto, a local tour guide, stated that the increased ticket prices would only discourage people from visiting Borobudur. He also said that many Borobudur guides have already suffered huge losses due to the famine.

He said, "Many of our patients are still in recovery." "We believed that Borobudur's reopening would be good news. But [the government] has made it worse."