Indonesia, Trip Report

Discovering Authentic Indonesia in Dieng Plateau

Written by Travis · 1 min read >

As I trekked through the marshy land of Dieng Plateau, a pungent smell of sulphur filled my nostrils. But that’s what made it all the more raw and authentic. This place, just a few hours’ drive from the majestic temple of Borobudur, took me by surprise with its untouched beauty and unexplored terrains. I knew I was in for a unique Indonesian experience that would stay with me forever.

I arrived at my homestay in Wonosobo amidst heavy rain, with no one around to help. But after relishing a bowl of Bakso noodles from a nearby stall, I was greeted with laughter from a bunch of school girls across the street. This laughter and levity became the hallmark of my time in Dieng. Indonesians’ knack for finding humour in any situation was evident here, and it quickly made me feel at home.

The best part of Dieng Plateau is that you don’t need to take a tour to explore its wonders. It is simple enough to rent a bike or hire a driver for a day. One of the top things to do here is exploring the volcanic craters. The bubbling craters emit a constant hissing sound, and the smell of sulphur never leaves your nose. But trust me, it’s worth a visit.

For the bargain price of 50,000 IDR, you can witness a breathtaking sunrise above the clouds from the mountain peak at the village of Siknur. The small crowd of locals that accompanied me to watch the sunrise only added to the authenticity of the experience. Dieng Plateau’s untouched nature is also unmissable. I went days without seeing another tourist or hearing English, and that’s what made it all the more special.

The entry fee to the national park that holds the colour-changing lake and various temples is 100,000 IDR. But with some initiative and the help of my guide, I was “sneaked in” for 50,000 IDR. The whole park was mine to explore, and it was undisturbed bliss.

Dieng has various temples and vast lakes where you can hire boats for a relaxed day on the water. There’s something for everyone here, and that’s what makes it such a viable tourist destination.

To get to Dieng, you can either opt for a tour from Yogyakarta for around $35, or hire a driver for a couple of days for about $100. The route is Yogyakarta – Wonosobo – Dieng, and it can take around 6 hours by bus and 3 with a driver. Bemos, the small local buses, are another option if you enjoy travelling like a local and meeting new people.

Hotels and guesthouses are starting to crop up in Dieng and Wonosobo, with options available online for booking. However, some of the accommodation is not on the internet, so it can be a hit or miss. Personally, I paid around 150,000 IDR for a driver/guide/bike for the day, but you can also hire your bike for around 50,000 IDR. It all depends on what you’re most comfortable with.

In the end, my visit to Dieng Plateau was an unparalleled experience. Getting to see the real Indonesia, untouched by commercialisation and tourism, was a privilege. If you’re looking for an offbeat, local adventure, Dieng Plateau should be on your itinerary.

Written by Travis
I'm here to help you have the least stressful trip. I've got everything printed out in a folder, photocopies of all our passports, and it's time to take a family photo because we're going on a trip! Profile

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