9 Reasons to Visit Dieng Plateau, Central Java – One of Indonesia’s best natural places to visit is Dieng Plateau, Central Java.
Talking about reasons to visit, there are plenty to talk about. From Dieng’s beautiful scenery to mineral lakes, steaming craters or even the highest village in Java, Sembungan. Dieng Plateau is a complete package for your short escapade.
This time, I’d like to elaborate nine main reasons based on my own version, why you should visit Dieng Plateau during your holiday in Indonesia.
Reasons to Visit Dieng Plateau, Central Java, Indonesia
1One of the Best Spots to See Golden Sunrise Asia
This is the ultimate truth. Indonesia, as a tropical country, is one of the best places on earth to witness wonderful sunrises and sunsets. It’s applicable to every region of Indonesia, Dieng Plateau is no different.
Do you know that one of the best spots to enjoy Golden Sunrise Asia is in Dieng Plateau? You can enjoy the spectacular view from the peak of Sikunir Hill.
The picture I took back in 2014 was with my iPhone 4S, without editing. The color combination is so perfect and heart-warming. All your efforts to wake up early and struggles to conquer the difficult tracks to reach out the summit will be paid off.
2Triplet Mountains Scenery
Besides enjoying the spectacular Golden Sunrise Asia, you can also see triplet mountains right in front of you from Sikunir Hill – they are Mt Prau, Mt Sindoro, and Mt Sumbing.
The biggest one, as you can see, is named Mt Prau where mountain climbers usually have conquered them all.
Your eyes will be spoiled with the beautiful mountain view as well as the clouds below you. So, naming Dieng Plateau as a land above the clouds is so true!
3Cold and Clean Air
Considering Dieng Plateau is located on 2,093 mdpl (above sea level) and isolated far from hustle and bustle of city life, the temperature is so cold and clean. There’s almost no pollution here!
For those living in urban areas and hoping to connect with the mother nature in different ways, Dieng Plateau would be the best choice you make.
4Interesting Folklore of Telaga Warna and Telaga Pengilon
Indonesia is pretty well-known by its folklore starting from Aceh to Papua, the folklore makes each destination even more compelling.
There’s no exception for these two lakes – Telaga Warna and Telaga Pengilon. To help you distinguish the lakes, Telaga Warna has turquoise and cobalt hues from the bubbling sulfur deposits around its shores and the adjoining lake is Telaga Pengilon.
Telaga Warna was once used as a swimming bath for Nawang Wulang goddess. The color of Telaga Warna symbolizes five human elements or Sedulur Papat Kalima Pancer in Javanese meaning – a man is born from mother’s womb, respecting the Almighty God as a Creator, and socializing in community based on religious teachings.
While Telaga Pengilon means mirror, functioning to remind every human being to look at the good and the bad of life’s journey.
Not too far from Telaga Pengilon, there’s a meditation cave namely Semar meaning Ngguguo Maring Sing Samar (The One Almighty God) in Javanese, that gives you a message saying every man must seek true perfection by drawing closer to God, the Creator.
5Mysterious Story of Children with Dreadlocks
Mostly Indonesians have known the story about children with dreadlocks in Dieng Plateau. When I was there, I really met some children with dreadlocks playing around my homestay.
There’s nothing special about the dreadlocks actually, though. I saw the children just like imagining a mini late Bob Marley, that’s it. What makes it special is the story behind the dreadlocks as it’s an uncommon and unique story to learn.
Based on the Dieng folklore, children with dreadlocks are offspring of a drop-dead gorgeous goddess namely Sinta Dewi.
Sinta Dewi accepted a married proposal from Prince Kidang Garungan without meeting and knowing him well. When they finally met, the prince’s physical appearance was not like what Sinta Dewi expected and imagined. He was not like a prince charming in general.
According to the royal tradition, every bride-to-be could ask anything from the groom-to-be. Back then, Sinta Dewi asked the prince to make her a well for the sake of her kingdom’s desperate need for water. The well would have been finished in one night.
The prince obviously accepted the request and started digging the ground. While digging, Sinta Dewi ordered all her royal guards and servants to hoard the prince with sand. Right before he died, he cursed and sweared that Sinta Dewi’s offspring would have dreadlocks.
Dieng’s children usually have dreadlocks until the age of 6. The dreadlocks can be cut off when the children ask for it, there also should be a special ceremony for it. If there’s no ceremony, the children would get sick.
When the time comes for cutting the dreadlocks, every child is allowed to ask whatever they want that makes them happy. The request is usually unique like sharing oranges to every guest of the ceremony, asking their parents to finish plowing the rice fields, etc.
Like type of village kids, they really find happiness in simple ways. After getting the dreadlocks cut off, their hair will grow normally.
6The Popular Arjuna Temple
To be one of the biggest as well as the oldest Hindu temples in Dieng Plateau, Arjuna temple becomes one of the most visited attractions there.
Located at Arjuna Complex, Arjuna temple and the ceremony of cutting the dreadlocks take place at the same area. This ceremony is open for public, and usually held in August each year at the complex.
To reach Sikidang crater is not that difficult, you just need to walk few steps from the parking lot and the crater is right in front of you.
Not like common craters, Sikidang crater is easily accessible and fairly small in terms of size. This crater is one of the a-must attractions to visit when you are in Dieng Plateau.
Carica fruit is a typical fruit from Dieng Plateau and looks like papaya fruit but in a smaller size. This fruit is usually processed to be kickshaws and tastes sweet and fresh!
My homestay was next to a Carica factory home when I was there. My friends and I even had a privilege to witness the process of making Carica kickshaws.
If you have a plan to visit Dieng, don’t forget to try the kickshaw!
9Huge Dieng Potatoes
Dieng potatoes are very popular with its unusual size and super quality, the potatoes have become the number one potatoes in my home country.
The huge potatoes mostly come from Sembungan village, the arguably highest village in Java, Indonesia.
If bringing the fresh potatoes is too heavy, you can try the potato chips. It’s really good.
Dieng Culture Festival
Besides all the nine reasons that you read previously, there’s another reason to make you eager to visit the abode of the gods – that’s Dieng Culture Festival.
Dieng Culture Festival is an event held annually that celebrates Dieng’s culture and history. It’s usually celebrated with Jazz musics, releasing lanterns, and the ceremony of cutting Dieng’s children dreadlocks – making this ceremony become one of the attractions that draws visitors’ attention.
The event falls in August and has been celebrated for 9 years. For this year’s event, the date falls on 2nd – 5th August 2018. So, don’t miss it!