As someone who grew up in Central Java area, I’m quite familiar with Dieng, a highland area in Wonosobo, Central Java, which is surrounded by a few different mountains, such as Mount Sindoro, Mount Sumbing, and Mount Merapi. There is also one famous mountain in Dieng, which is Mount Prau. Dieng is located 2,300 meters above the sea and offers you a calm and quiet village life which will be the perfect place to escape from the city buzz. This place is famous with its golden sunrise from Sikunir peak and an active crater, called Sikidang crater (which turned out it was erupted just a few weeks after we visited there!).
It was just a random idea to go somewhere quiet when I was hanging out with my best friends. The thought of visiting Dieng was also very sudden. As I mentioned, I’m familiar with this place, but it was a whole new experience for my squad which originally coming from other region. We did a quick research on the itinerary, cost, and other travel details, and settled everything just in the next few days.
How to get there?
There are several travel options to reach Dieng from Jakarta, such as by airplane or train depending on how much time you want to spend on the traveling time, and of course, the budget. If you go by train, you can choose a stop-point either at Purwokerto or Wonosobo, then continue the trip to Dieng by car. It took 7-8 hours to go to these cities by train.
While for us, since this is a random plan and we didn’t have much time, we decided to go by airplane. We’ve researched and found that the cost for both of the options was also not much different. We took a less than 2 hours flight from Jakarta to Yogyakarta in the morning and arrived around 10 AM. We went straight to Dieng from Adi Sucipto International Airport by a rented car and it took around 3 hours trip from Yogyakarta to Dieng.
Where to stay?
There was no hotel in Dieng area. So, you’ve got to find a homestay. Many of the residence offers homestay service in their house. Like us, we stayed at a dentist’s house which use the 2nd floor of her house for a homestay. There are around 5 or 6 rooms in that floor and we used 2 rooms for the four of us. The place that we stayed is very simple, but it’s very comfortable. You don’t need air-conditioner at all since the temperature of the location itself was already chilly. The rooms are very neat, clean, and tidy, and each rooms has its own bathroom. There is a living room with a television and water-dispenser in the front. The only concern was the water-heater in the bathroom didn’t work. With such a cool weather, it was a torture to just go to the bathroom and touch the chilly water to brush your teeth.
What to do in Dieng?
Actually, one day is enough to explore the Dieng area if you don’t plan to go hiking to Mount Prau. However, since we have to go for sunrise sightseeing as its area’s main activity early in the morning, then we decided to stay for 1 night there. We’ve arranged a simple itinerary for the half-day we have on the Day 1, but unexpectedly it was raining hard all day. So, we stayed for a few hours at the homestay to rest before going out after the rain stopped.
Exploring the Town Center at Wonosobo
We decided to go out to the town center at Wonosobo when the rain had finally stopped. It took around 30 – 45 mins from our homestay in Dieng to Wonosobo. We planned to try the town’s infamous culinary, called as Mie Ongklok. Unfortunately, the must-visit Mie Ongklok restaurant there closed at that time. Therefore, we decided to try Mie Ongklok at the food-cart near the town center.
Mie Ongklok is a Wonosobo’s style of noodles which is cooked with slices of cabbage and other veggies with special thick soup. It was served with chicken or beef satay or some Indonesian’s style of side dishes, called as ‘tempe’ and ‘tahu.’ It was my first time as well trying this food and it was not bad at all. We were just wondering how would the Mie Ongklok in that famous restaurant taste like, when the one served in the food-cart was also okay.
Finished filling our tummy, we walked to the town center or in Bahasa usually called as ‘Alun-Alun’ and enjoyed the ambiance of Wonosobo. Many people spent their time walking around the park at Alun-Alun Wonosobo, took pictures, or just had snacks with their friends.
Enjoying Sunrise at Sikunir Peak
The main attraction at Dieng is the golden sunrise at Sikunir Peak or ‘Puncak Sikunir.’ It is located not too far from Sembungan Village or ‘Desa Sembungan’, which is the highest located village in the whole Java Island! We went there early at 4 AM in the morning for about 15 mins ride. It was still very dark, the moment we reached the village. There were some food stalls and souvenirs shops. We go trekking for 20 mins in the dark. The path was a bit steep, but the it was already paved and built nicely so that people do not need to go through rough path to go to the top. However, we still need to be careful because it was very slippery, especially after raining. The moment we reached the top, there were not many people so that we still can enjoy the sunrise and took good pictures!
Walking Around Telaga Warna
Telaga Warna, which means Colored Lake, is another famous location in Dieng. It is a huge lake which can change colors from yellow, blue, green, or even rainbow color on its water surface. This is caused by the high amount of sulfur contained in the water and it will show different colors every time it got shined by the sunlight. The lake itself is located in a huge park with some of the ancient and historical sculpture. We walked around the lake and saw nice gardens, rice fields, and ancients sculpture. The local guided us along the way and told us interesting story of each of the things we saw there.
Watching the Active Sikidang Crater Up Close!
Our next destination is Sikidang Crater or ‘Kawah Sikidang’ which is an active crater which is located on a flat area, unlike the other crater which usually lied on the mountain. Therefore, people can come close to Sikidang Crater and look the eruption and the gas coming from the crater’s surface. The smells of sulfur is very strong around the area. It’s better to put in a mask when visiting this area. Just a few weeks after we visited this place, we watched from the news that this crater erupted. We got really lucky it didn’t happen when we were there!
Pose at Arjuna Temple
The last place we visited is the Arjuna Temple or ‘Candi Arjuna’ which is not so big, but it’s okay to relieve your stress and tiredness away after walking around so much since the morning.
It was all finished in just half-day. We grabbed a quick lunch, then went back to Yogyakarta in the afternoon. Dieng trip is a simple, yet quite interesting trip – where we learned to live in simplicity and enjoy the little things.
See you in the next post!