Dieng Plateau is an active vulcanic region located in Central Java, 54 km northeast of Banjarnegara distric, and at the altitude of 2158 m above sea level.
The region is part of Wonosobo and Banjarnegara Distric. To get there, you can take the Wonosobo or Banjarnegara route.
Dieng Plateau has the charm of natural attractions such as beautiful panorama of mountains, sunrise, craters, and lakes.
The name Dieng is originated from Sansekerta language, Di and Hyang which means the abode of Gods. Many people also call this place, “Land on the cloud.”
The temperature at Dieng may vary between 12-20 degree celcius at day and 6-10 degree celcius at night. Bring some warm clothes.
How to make your visit more interesting
Come when Dieng Cultur Festival (DCF) is held. This is a big event attended by hundred of thousands of visitors, lasted for several days. One of the most famous program is the ceremony of the dreadlocks hair cutting of children at Arjuna Candi Site.
If you want to watch the ceremony from close, you need to buy a special ticket. Because the venue space is limited. It can hold only 5000 people. The organizer may only sell 3500 tickets only.
There’ll be also another interesting events such as, a jazz festival, cultur carnivals, launching of sky lanterns, a leather puppet wayang show and many more.
The official website of the event is http://www.dieng.id/
English language is currently not available.
For accomodation, there are many homestays you can rent. A homestay is a house that belongs to a local that turned into a place to stay. Since many tourists visited Dieng, the business flourish.
Places to visit
Basically there are many places you could visit at Dieng, but here are some of the famous ones:
- Sikunir Hill – The place to catch a sunrise
- Telaga Warna & Telaga Pengilon – The place to see colored lake
- Kawah Sikidang – The place to see a crater
- Candi Complex – The area of Candis
- Theater Dieng – The place to watch a documenter about Dieng
- Batu Ratapan – The place to watch Telaga Warna
- Petak 9 – The place to watch Warna Lake
1. Google map GPS to help you find your way
If you have difficulty on finding your way around at Dieng, you can use your smartphone and google map GPS for navigation. It can show you the direction correctly. The good news, it’s free. As long as your smartphone has an internet connection.
Please be ready with powerbank, just in case.
If you have some extra money it will be easier to go to places with rented vehicle.
A rented car may cost around Rp.350.000/day including a driver to take your around. rented motorcycle is cheaper. But on holidays the price increases.
If you come at the right time you’ll be able to catch the sun rising from the edge of the earth among mountains and silky clouds of heaven.
It’s advisable that you go to the top of Sikunir Hill around 05.00 to find a perfect spot, especially if you want to take pictures.
In holiday seasons there may be a lot of people already standby since dawn.
The sun will rise around 05.45. You’ll have around 15 minutes to enjoy the beauty of mother nature.
The entry ticket for domestic and foreign tourists is the same, Rp. 10.000. (The price of 2016)
To reach to the top of Sikunir Hill, you need to go on foot and climb the stairs. For people who are not physically strong, the journey could be quite challenging. Normal people may have to rest and catch their breath in the middle.
The uniqueness of Telaga Warna or Colored Lake was its color often changes. The high concentration of sulfur contained in the water causes this nature phenomenon. When the sunlight hit the lake, the color changes. But today it doesn’t do that anymore or rarely change.
The entry ticket cost for domestic and foreign tourists is different, Rp. 10.000 for domestic tourists and Rp.100.000 or Rp. 150.000 (holidays) for foreign tourists.
According to the ticket officer if you can show an Indonesia related ID, such as if you are a foreign student studying in an Indonesia university and you can show the student ID of that university, you’ll be charged as much as domestic tourists. But this unofficial information.
If you want to hear the story behind the place, for example the myth, the legend, or other information, you’ll need a tour guide. You could ask for one at the ticket counter. At the location there’s no information center.
The forbidden Semar and Sumur Caves
There are certain places in Telaga Warna area that public are not allowed to enter. They are Semar and Sumur Cave. If you want to go in you need to use the service of a juru kunci/kuncen or a key master.
A juru kunci is a custodian of sacred places. The word juru kunci means the keymaster. A keymaster will take you inside both of the caves. And you can experience how it feels to be inside the forbidden caves.
It is said that many people mediated inside these caves including kings of Java and one of Indonesia President, Soeharto.
The cave is called Semar Cave is because a long time ago this was kept by Eyang Semar.
You’ll go down stairs.
Semar Cave is basically a hole of around 4m quadrat
This is how it looks like from Sumur Cave or Well Cave.
This cave is called a well cave because inside it there are stairs leading to a well.
Down there is very dark. You need to be careful when walking down the stairs, so you don’t fall down into the well.
In Sumur Cave there’s also a shrine like the one in the Semar Cave.
On of the best spot to see the beauty of Telaga Warna is from Petak 9. The gate is just a few steps from the entry door of Telaga Warna.
The entry ticket will cost you Rp. 10.000
From Petak 9, you can see Telaga Warna from above. But you need to climb.
At the middle of this path, you’ll see a photodeck. You may climb it to take pictures of Telaga Warna. Or you can go to the top to get a more perfect angle. The distance is shorter than from below to the photodeck.
Kawah Sikidang is a crater on a mountain. The location is very easy to reach. It’s not very far from the parking lot.
Indonesia has many folk stories around famous tourist destinations. Kawah Sikidang also has one.
The folk story of Kawah Sikidang
Hundreds of years ago at Dieng Plateau lived a very beautiful princess in a big palace surrounded by splendid garden of flowers. Her name was Shinta Dewi. Many princes fell in love by her beauty and asked her hand for marriage, but without vail. For the princess demanded a very high dowry, no one can fulfil.
One day there was a prince with wealth beyond comprehension. His name was Kidang Garungan. Confidence that he will able to meet the princess condition, he sent his messenger to deliver his proposal to her.
Promised that she may asked whatever her heart desired, the princess accepted the proposal, while thinking that the Prince must be a very handsome man.
The messenger returned with the good news and the prince was very happy. The prince ordered all his officers and servants to prepare everything, gold, diamonds, gifts, horses.
The next day they all went to the princess’ palace. But when the princess saw the prince, she was in shock, because the prince has the body of a man and the head of a deer.
The princess was very disappointed. She tried to accept him for what he was, but her heart can’t do it. So she added another difficult condition for him. Hoping that the prince will fail and the marriage will be off.
The princess asked the prince to build a well for her people, but he must do it by himself within one day. The prince agreed to that impossible task.
At the same day, at the location pointed by the princess, the prince started to work. Unknowingly by the princess that the prince possessed some magical powers. Just by using his bare hands he digged the ground very easily and fast, while sometimes he used his horns to dig up hard soils. Not long after, the well was almost finished.
The princess became panic.
“I don’t want to marry him, I won’t let him finish the well,” said the princess in her mind. Thus she ordered her soldiers to bury the prince alive. They put back in the soils digged by the prince.
Soon the prince realized the intention of the princess.
“No princess! Stop it! Stop it!”
The more the prince screamed, the faster the soldiers threw the earth back into the well. Soon his body was buried. The prince was very disappointed and angry. Using his power he made the ground in the bottom of the well exploded splattering to the surface, but the soldiers threw the soil back again and again.
The prince died eventually. But before his last breath, he put a curse that all the princess’ descendants will have dreadlocks hair.
Candi is an ancient structure made of stones. It functions as a place of worship or tomb of kings living in the Hindu-Budha era.
Candi Dieng is a group of Hindu Syiwa Candis located on Dieng foothills and they are suspected as the oldest Candi in Java.
These Candis are divided into several groups and their location is spreaded into several location. Each group of Candi has a name and is adopted from the name of Wayang characters of Mahabarata books.
The names of the candis:
- Candi Arjuna Complex
- Candi Bima
- Candi Setyaki
- Candi Dwarawati
- Candi Gatotkaca
If you are lucky, sometimes there are some shows you can watch.
In Dieng there’s a unique drink called Purwaceng. It’s made of a herbal plant called Puwaceng. These plants grow at 2000 m above the sea level. The condition of Dieng land which is rich of sulfur, makes it flourish.
Purwaceng holds some health benefits, such as reducing fever and cure colds. Kings of Java used to drink it for stamina and vitality. Sometimes it’s also called the viagra of Dieng.
In Dieng there’s a fruit which only grows in only a few countries, such as in Indonesia, Brazil and South America (Chille). It’s called Carica or Dieng Papaya. It tastes a bit sour. It can be made juice, syrup, sweatmeat and jam.