7 Fun Things to Do in Dieng Plateau – For Indonesian wanderlusts, it’s impossible not to put Dieng Plateau as one of next travel destinations on the list.
Dieng Plateau is placed among Wonosobo Regency and Banjarnegara Regency, Central Java. Located on 2,093 mdpl (above sea level), Dieng Plateau weather is really cold! No wonder, Dieng Plateau is also named as a land above the clouds by visitors.
During my stay there, I always wore a thick jacket as well as thick socks even at noon because of its cold weather. So, it’s safe to say that Dieng Plateau is as high as mountains in general.
I had a chance to visit Dieng Plateau back in 2014, though many new destinations to be overcome now but at least some of these activities should not be missed when you are in Dieng Plateau. So, what are those activities?
Here are fun things to do when in Dieng Plateau, Central Java
1Enjoy Sunrise at the Peak of Sikunir Hill
One thing that you cannot miss when in Dieng Plateau is that witnessing the magnificent sunrise from the peak of Sikunir Hill. It’s a mandatory! Be prepared to wake up around 04:00 am as you need to trek up to reach the top of Sikunir Hill, make sure you would have arrived by 06:00 am there in order to catch the sunrise on the summit.
Sikunir Hill is so popular among mountain climbers. It’d be better if you could arrive earlier because not only many other wanderlusts have the same mission as you, but also the tracks to reach the top are quite difficult and narrow.
2Watch Dieng Documentary at Dieng Plateau Theater
Though Dieng Plateau is a village, there’s a mini theater namely Dieng Plateau Theater that offers visitors Dieng Documentary for education. You can learn about Dieng’s history, culture, and folklore from this 1.5-hour documentary.
For your knowledge, Dieng Plateau is lofty volcanic plateau. That’s the reason why you can clearly smell the strong sulfur when you are outside of rooms.
To be able to enter the theater, you need to spend approximately IDR 20,000 – IDR 30,000 since it was IDR 15,000 back in 2014. Don’t miss it!
3Visit Telaga Warna and Telaga Pengilon
One of a-must activities on your itinerary is to visit Telaga Warna and Telaga Pengilon. To really witness the beauty of these lakes, you should see the view from the height or from Batu Ratapan Angin (one spot that is made of a huge rock). The beauty of these lakes is more prominent as it’s ringed by exquisitely highland forest.
To distinguish the difference, Telaga Warna has turquoise and cobalt hues from the bubbling sulfur deposits around its shores and the adjoining lake is Telaga Pengilon.
You can also visit Semar cave that takes place not too far from Telaga Pengilon. This cave is functioned as a meditation cave by the locals.
4Do Flying Fox at Telaga Warna Area
No jokes, you can do flying fox here! Some of my friends tried it when we were at the area of Telaga Warna.
For those who don’t have fears of height and can definitely swim (in case you fall off), you should try this attraction. With the length of 75 – 100 m and height of 3 – 5 m, it doesn’t take lots of time to finish the flying fox.
It probably costs you at IDR 50,000 now as my friends spent IDR 35,000 back in 2014 per each play.
5Visit Arjuna Temple
Dieng Plateau is a home to some oldest Hindu temples in Java, one of them is Arjuna temple.
Arjuna temple takes place at Arjuna Complex, a home for other four temples namely Puntadewa, Srikandi, Sembadra and Semar.
Dieng temples have usually been named after the heroes of wayang (Javanese puppet theater performance) of the Mahabharata epic. Some locals still do Hindu rituals like – leave offerings, burn incense, and meditate here.
When extreme weather attacks during summer, visitors can see frosts covering up grass at the complex.
6Visit Museum Kailasa Dieng
Southwest of the Arjuna Complex, approximately 5 – 7 minutes by walking, there’s Museum Kailasa Dieng that displays an array of Hindu statues and sculptures.
The sculptures include Shiva’s carrier, Nandi the bull (with the body of a man and the head of a bull), a headless image of Shiva himself depicted in the lotus position, and there’s an animist gargoyle sporting an erection.
There are also exhibits on local geology, farming, culture and the temple excavation process.
7Visit Sikidang Crater
As a lofty volcanic plateau, it’s easy to find craters, one of the most popular ones is Sikidang crater. Go get your mask!
Sikidang crater is a volcanic crater with steaming vents and frantically bubbling mud ponds.
Please bear in mind that there are no guard rails to keep you from slipping off the sometimes-muddy trails into the scalding-hot waters.
Be extreme cautious especially during rainy season!
Quick Facts about Dieng Plateau
The name Dieng comes from Di Hyang which means Abode of the Gods.
More than 400 temples, most dating from the 8th and 9th centuries, were abandoned, forgotten, and only rediscovered in 1856 by the archaeologist Van Kinsbergen.
Dieng Plateau is far from major population centers and one of the most isolated regions in Central Java.
In the dry season (July to August), the temperature can drop to -2 to 2 °C in the nights and 0 °C in the mornings. This cold temperature causes frost that destroys the agricultural plants, especially potato. Local people call this frost as bun upas. Bun means dew and upas means poison.
There’s a village namely Sembungan that has been said to be the highest village in Java, located at 2,300 mdpl (above sea level). This village is well-known by its best quality potatoes.
Dieng Plateau is also a base camp for the popular climb to Mt Prau peak. Most start hiking in the wee hours to catch the sunrise on the summit.
Other Destinations in Dieng Plateau
Since my last visit in 2014, there have been significant developments in terms of tourism in Dieng Plateau. Some new destinations/unvisitted destinations that you need to overcome are such as:
- Batu Ratapan Angin
- Gatutkaca Temple
- Sembungan Village
- Candradimuka Crater
- Sidengkeng Hill
- Gardu Pandang Tieng
- Sileri Crater
- Seroja Valley
- Dieng Savanna
- Tambi Tea Plantation
- Telaga Cebong
- Telaga Dringo
- Telaga Menjer
Location of Dieng Plateau, Central Java, Indonesia