The Beautiful Dieng Plateau

The Hindu Dieng Temples. Photo by Wikitravel. 

Indonesia Herald-Wonosobo. Have you got an idea where you want spend your summer holiday this year? Perhaps you want to consider Dieng Plateau in your options. 

The Dieng Plateau or widely known as Dieng is located near Wonosobo, a town on a mountainous area in Central Java. Dieng is situated at an altitude of around 2000m. It offers beautiful sceneries, unique cultures and all year long nice temperature. In September-May the temperature is around 8-20 Celsius while in June-August it drops to -3 Celsius.

What can you see there?

Dieng offers beautiful sceneries. Sightseeing in Dieng includes a hot spring, multi-coloured lake, Hindu temples, Central Javanese villages and some awesome scenery of valleys from the peaks of hills. The fresh air, beautiful views coupled with friendly people of Dieng makes Dieng a nice place to stay around.

Dieng is actually an active volcanic small town where dead crater formed plains with an exotic landscape. Although the volcano has been dormant for centuries, some volcanic craters are still active until today. These craters include Kawah Sikidang (Deer Crater), which is always on the move and jumping like a "kidang" or deer.

There are at least two places that you should visit, Telaga Warna (Colourful Lake) Mount Sikunir. The lake is best seen from a top of a hill on its left side where you can see the green, blue and purple colour on its surface. Hiking up Mount Sikunir at around 3 am, you will witness the beauty of golden sunrise from the summit of the mountain.

Besides beautiful sceneries, you can also visit Hindu temples.

From 8th century to 13th century the Javanese Hindus under Sanjaya Dynasty built hundreds of temples in Dieng. Unfortunately, today only eight temples are left. Dieng was selected as the right place to build temples because its high altitude is believed to be the closest place to Nirvana (heaven). The temples resemble those of Prambanan, but on a smaller scale. The local people named the temples Arjuna, Semar and other characters found in the ancient Javanese Hindu legend which has similarity to the famous Hindu story of Mahabharata and Ramayana.

What can you do there?

Other than seeing the temples and colourful lake, you can hike Mount Sikunir to see sunrise from its mountain.

You can also explore the hills, local plantation and villages around Dieng by foot. Mount Sikunir and Mount Perahu are two popular locations for your light trekking. You can arrange such a light trekking from the nearest local accommodation.

How to get there?

The nearest town to Dieng, Wonosobo, does not have an airport. If you travel from Jakarta or Bali, the best way is to fly to Yogyakarta. Then you can take a bus or chartered vans from Yogyakarta to Dieng.

Buses leave from Yogyakarta northern bus station in Jombor, about 5 km from Yogyakarta down town. Take a bus bound for Magelang for around Rupiah 15,000. It takes around one hour to get to Magelang. Get off in Magelang bus station and take another bus bound for Wonosobo for Rupiah 24,000.  It takes around 2 hours to get to Wonosobo. Get off in Wonosobo bus station and then take another minibus bound for Dieng. It costs around Rupiah 15,000 and takes 1.5 hours.

Alternatively, you can take a train bound for Purwokerto from Gambir or Pasar Senen stations in Jakarta. Get off in Purwokerto and then take a bus to Wonosobo. Get off in Wonosobo bus station and take another minibus bound for Dieng.

You can also take a 7 seaters van from Yogyakarta, which you can book from travel agencies located on Sosrowijayan Street, near the famous Yogyakarta downtown, Malioboro.

Where to stay?

You should not expect to stay in a luxurious hotel in Dieng. Hotels there are simple, yet clean and comfortable. Here are some of your options:

Hotel Nusa Indah, a new hotel located by Dieng main road and close to the temples. It's very clean and has hot water in the room. The owner is very friendly. It cost Rupiah 250,000 excluding breakfast.

Penginapan Dieng (Homestay Dieng), Jl. Raya Dieng Km. 0, +62 85726172619.

Hotel Dieng (Hotel Dieng), Jl. Raya Dieng Km. 2,  +62 818245579.


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