We know that the climate of Indonesia is almost entirely tropical and Indonesia has only two seasons. We also know that Indonesia owns the second longest shoreline in the world, and naturally has numerous exotic beaches over the country. But, how if we talk about a special destination in Indonesia, which is in fact, offering minus temperature and frost in the middle of the year?
Let us ride 400 km east from Jakarta to arrive in Dieng Plateau. Located right in the center of Java, Dieng has many attractions to offer, from the cool temperature throughout the day to frost in mid-year, from a home for Hindu temple complex to sulfur vapor of Sikidang Crater, and from the golden sunrise seen from Sikunir to the mystery of Dieng’s Telaga Warna (the changing color lake).
First of all, be ready to witness sunrise from Sikunir hill. The name of Sikunir comes originally from ancient Javanese language meaning turmeric. This name fits beautifully the dramatic sunrise which is seen from Sikunir, as golden yellow as turmeric. Reputedly, it has become the best sunrise performance in Central Java.
However, if hiking is not something you enjoy, then choosing ‘gardu pandang’ is the perfect spot for you. Besides this spot is accessible by car, you also do not need to get up too as early as you plan to hike Sikunir. Nevertheless, be ready by 3 o’clock in the morning to go there to get the best spot as the place has always been full by visitors.
Now, are you ready to explore Dieng Plateau?
Hindu temple complex may be your first stop. Do explore Arjuna Temple and learn its history from our guide, while taking a deep breath and inhaling clean and fresh air. In July and August, the temperature sometimes drops to below zero degree and you may notice the plantations, cars, and houses are covered with frost. However, get your trip booked as soon as possible, as Dieng is now one of most visited destination in Central Java, especially during that time.
Your guide may ask you whether you want to try candied local fruit called Carica. You can visit Carica Home Industry and ask them what and how Carica is produced. Experience something new with local people is always a good idea during traveling. Carica is sort of papaya but in smaller size, and quite has different taste. It is sweeter than common papaya, chewy, and its flesh is yellow, while papaya is more orange. If you have sweet tooth, I can promise you will love them eventually.
Having your dessert stomach pampered already? Now you can watch the history at the Dieng Theater. The movie will show you all of the things that Dieng nature possesses, the things you may not see during the visit, and the things you may have been wondering before. You will learn why Dieng highland is one of frost disaster prone, you will learn what happened in 1979 that more than 100 people killed, who those Dieng dreadlock children are, what culture this highland brings and follows.
Further exploration, the next stop is Sikidang Crater. Sikidang Crater is like no others. If mostly Craters are formed on mountain peak, Sikidang has different story. it lies in the middle of agriculture area, which causes the area has potential for poisonous hazards. Since Sikidang is a very active crater, you can already smell pungent odor of Sulphur from quite far distance. The closer you get to the crater, the more visible you can see Sulphur vapor emitted to the air. Please note that being too close the crater is not allowed.
One of the main attraction that you cannot be missed is Telaga Warna, the changing color lake. Many travelers (me included) are surprised by indescribable beautiful scenery. It is hard to explain how pretty Telaga Warna by mouth, you must witness it in person. In there you will be pleased by shady tree line hugging the lake, you look at them and suddenly feel calmed by the serene atmosphere, and the shadow white mist coating the area simply increases its tranquility.
Dieng Plateau, a volcanic highland that holds a myriad of stories that cannot be finished in one paper, has pleased and will continue to please millions of tourists. Will you be the next one?
Write your upcoming plan to visit Dieng in the comment section below.