Trip to Dieng Plateau

Last August there was the 5th Dieng Culture Festival, held in the beautiful highlands of Dieng Plateau in Central Java. It is located in Wonosobo, a small city in Central Java, around 8-hours away from Jakarta. There you could watch several art and cultural performances, while enjoying the beautiful highland view.

Telaga Warna, Dieng Plateau

The easiest way to go to Dieng is taking flight or train to Semarang or Jogjakarta, and then get public bus to Wonosobo (~3 hours) and transfer to small bus to Dieng (~1 hour). However, my group chose to rent a bus from Jakarta to Wonosobo. It took almost 10 hours due to traffic problems along the way to get there (normally it takes ~ 8 hours).

Dieng is 8 hours away from Jakarta by bus.

You can find a lot of homestays in Dieng, and I guess it's the only way for tourist to stay overnight in Dieng besides camping. The homestay cost varies from $5 to $30 per night. During Dieng Culture Festival, it's so overcrowded, so it's better to join "open trip" with any backpacker group since they will arrange and book the accommodation months before D-day.

Got new friends in the homestay :-)

Once we got to Dieng, we had lunch and then visited Dieng Plateau Theatre. It's a mini theater on the hill where we would watch a short movie about the beautiful places in Dieng Plateau. Well, it was just.. okay :-p

View from Dieng Plateau Theatre

Next, we moved to Batu Ratapan Angin (Rock of Wailing Wind), 10 minutes by walk from the Theatre. The view was astonishing! You could see the Telaga Warna (Colorful Lakes) from the top of the hill. There was a photo spot there where you could have the beautiful lakes and mountains as the background. Oh, and they had The Heirloom Red-and-White up there! Splendid!! :-)

The Red-and-White, National Flag of Indonesia

After spending few minutes there, we went down and round the hill to get to Telaga Warna. It's the tourism icon of Dieng. The water was colorful because of the reflection of sunlight and the sulphur substances inside the lakes. When we got there, it was more beautiful because the sunlight was reflected perfectly so that we could see the reflection of mountain in the lake surface. Besides Telaga Warna, there is Telaga Pengilon which the water is so clear and surrounded with beautiful view. It was sooo quite.. really helpful to relieve stress from the capital. Aah..

Telaga Pengilon, Dieng Plateau

In addition, there are also some caves around the lakes, such as Goa Semar, Goa Jaran, and Goa Sumur. Each of them had its own folktales. Ehm.. pardon, I forgot the stories :|

As the day was getting dark, we went back to the homestay and prepare for the night events. The organizers of Culture Festival held sky lantern party in the plaza. I guess it imitates the infamous Borobudur Vesak Festival. Well, still enjoyable. They also mixed it with fireworks party after hundreds of lanterns flown to the sky. Sky lanterns + fireworks = ... quite nice, eh! :))

Jazz Atas Awan, Dieng

Around 9pm, as we heard the bass sound from the other side of the 'plaza', we moved to watch Jazz Atas Awan (Jazz Above the Clouds). The enthusiasm of the visitors were so high. We expected something great from the jazz event. However.. it was freaking overcrowded, maybe over two thousand visitors! :( Well, we still could enjoy the jazz performance ~ 100 metres away from stage. Overall it was so-so, maybe because our expectations were so high, but the performers were just.. meh. I didn't have any idea why one of the performers confidently sang JKT48's Heavy Rotation with discordant vocal. It just turned us off, dude! Soon we left and returned to homestay to take a quick sleep preparing for sunrise view in the next morning.
The weather was quite cold, reminded me about my dormitory in Seoul without the air heater working in the winter :)). I woke up at 2am, and maybe the temperature was around 5 ÂșC at that time. We left the homestay around 3am to catch sunrise moment in Mt. Sikunir. Heck, the traffic was so bad because so many people had the same destination with us. So, we just took off the bus – 1km before parking area – and walked to the top of the mountain. Again, it was so overcrowded, and the top was quite far. But the journey was at its best! :)

Dawn in Mt. Sikunir, Dieng

Praise the Lord, we could walk fast enough to get into the top just before the sun rose. The sunrise view was amazing! It was worth all the queueing struggle to get there. How great Thou art!

Sunrise View from Mt. Sikunir, Dieng

People were really enjoying the sunrise view, so that we were stuck in the top of the mountain. It took almost two hours to get down. All the schedules were messed up. We missed Telaga Cebong, Candi Arjuna and Kawah Sikidang. Well, I saved it for the next Dieng trip, and it shouldn't be in the same day with Dieng Culture Festival! If you enjoy the cultural things, you should come and see the infamous hair-cutting ritual. Dieng also has some infamous local foods, such as carica papaya, potato, and purwaceng, kinda traditional viagra ;-p

Overall, my trip to Dieng was amazing. The view was so beautiful, met new good people, and the trip only costs less than $60. Well, I think we all need to travel more often in Indonesia. See you in the next trip!!