Adventurous trips and incredible vistas are just a few of the great things you can find when traveling to the famous Dieng Plateau.
Located more than 2,000 meters above sea level, the plateau extends over Banjarnegara and Wonosobo districts in Central Java.
Dieng is popular for hosting an annual festival called the Dieng Cultural Festival, which features a ritual event of trimming the naturally occurring dreadlocks of the children who grow up near the Dieng temple complex, among other things.
Here are five interesting activities you can do during your memorable trip there.
Enjoying the fresh air
As the highest plateau in Java, Dieng offers cool and refreshing weather with temperatures as low as 15 degrees Celsius during the day and 10 degrees Celsius at night.
If the cold never bothers you, or you are looking for some place to escape the stress of living in a hectic city, then you are in for a treat as the plateau also offers the exotic scenery of cloudy, mythical villages below.
Taking time for yourself
You can always join in a tour group when visiting Dieng, but sometimes it is also best to go there alone.
From Yogyakarta in Central Java, it takes around five to six hours drive by bus to reach the plateau. But the breathtaking scenery along the way will immediately make you forget about the time as well as your loneliness.
When passing Temanggung region, for example, you will be able to smell the authentic aroma of tobacco leaves being dried under direct sunlight. Even if you're not a smoker, that smell is utterly pleasant.
Not far past Temanggung, the famous twin mountain, Mount Sumbing and Mount Sindoro, are ready to greet you from outside your bus window.
Even if you're not a seasoned hiker, the top of the plateau can be reached by hiking for around two hours; you can safely do it alone if you want. Tickets to access the site can be purchased for Rp 6,000 (less than US$1).
Once you arrive at Pathak Banteng, which is the base camp of Mount Prau, you will be greeted by many fellow solo hikers or those in a group.
While hiking to the top, you will meet many friendly locals from nearby villages as well; you can ask them for directions if you think you are lost.
Just before reaching the peak of the mountain, which is actually a very large camping ground, you will stumble upon an area filled with beautiful blooming flowers locally known as Kembang Lonte Sore.
After passing this area, a large camping ground will be visible to mark when you are reaching your destination
You can easily rent outdoor equipment from several stores at the site to camp and wait for sunrise.
If you need company, they also provide local guide and porter to help carry your baggage.
Simply marveling at the view
Once you reach the top, you can freely marvel at Dieng's magnificent views, its villages and the area surrounding it.
The place also offers attractive must-see spots, such as the rather calm and mysterious Telaga Warna (colorful lake) surrounded by thick forest, the nearby Kawah Jalatunda (Jalatunda crater) that always emits white sulphuric smoke, the Pendawa Lima temples built around the eighth century on the slopes of the mountain and a potato plantation where you can buy local potato chips for snacks.
There are many hills with green savannas around as well. No wonder many people call Dieng Plateau the Bukit Teletubbies (Teletubbies hills), since it looks exactly like those gorgeous hills in the Teletubbies TV series.