The Dieng Plateau is an upland volcanic plain in Central Java, famous for its scenery and ancient Hindu temples.
The Dieng Plateau is a caldera complex formed by the ancient eruption of Mount Prau. The caldera was once filled with water and dried up over time. Volcanic activity continues to this day, with sulphuric fumes and poisonous lakes. At an altitude of 2,000 m (6,600 ft), it's much cooler than the surrounding lowlands. It is located in the regencies of Wonosobo and Banjarnegara.
The ancient Javanese Hindus built temples on the plateau, considering it a sacred place. The word Dieng is from the Sanskrit di (abode) and hyang (gods), and so means Abode of the Gods. Hundreds of temples were built between the 8th and 13th centuries by the Sanjaya dynasty, but only eight are left. They resemble those of Prambanan, but on a smaller scale. Local people refer to the temples according to the characters in ancient Javanese Hindu legends based on the Mahabharata and Ramayana stories.
Dieng is growing rich on agriculture. Its cool climate allows carrots, cabbages and potatoes to be grown. But the demand is so strong that farming is moving up onto steeper and steeper slopes, large sheets of plastic swathe the fields to keep down weeds and water pipes snake across the landscape draining the lakes for irrigation.
Dieng is located at an altitude of ±2,100 meters (6,900 feet) above sea level and is surrounded by mountainous areas. Decorated with plants, bushes and cold air, Dieng is an area with natural scenery that gives a feeling of serenity.
Get in edit
The only way to get in is overland. The main gateway to the plateau, Wonosobo, can be reached by public bus from Yogyakarta, changing in Magelang. Yogayakarta to Magelang costs Rp15,000. In Magelang, take another bus to Wonosobo. Magelang to Wonosobo takes two hours, and costs Rp14,000. Wonosobo can also be reached from Purwokerto by bus. There are frequent trains from Jakarta to Purwokerto, as well as night buses. There is only one bus direct from Jakarta to Wonosobo, costing Rp75,000.
Get around edit
A minibus from Wonosobo to the temples costs Rp20,000 and takes an hour.
Sightseeing here includes a hot spring, a so-called multi-colored lake, and some impressive scenery from the peaks. The different sights all charge a small entrance fee upon entry. The fresh air, beautiful greenery and quiet make the plateau an enjoyable place to stay.
The Dieng Temples are a group of 7th-century Hindu temples that are among the oldest surviving religious structures built in Java.
- 1 Arjuna Temple (Candi Arjuna). A well-preserved Hindu temple within a well-kept scented garden. Can be very crowded on weekends and public holidays, so visit it at sunrise when the view is eye-catching. Some hotels organise sunrise tours. The entrance fee allows you to visit a volcanic fumarole. ticket Rp10,000.
- 2 Bima Temple (Candi Bima).
- 3 Gatotkaca Temple (Candi Gatotkaca). A square temple situated near the Arjuna group. Free.
- 4 Puntadewa Temple (Candi Puntadewa).
- 5 Semar Temple (Candi Semar).
- 6 Sembadra Temple (Candi Sembadra).
- 7 Srikandi Temple (Candi Srikandi).
- Motorbike trips — to geothermal sites and temples can be arranged for about Rp60,000 per person. Sunrise is beautiful from up the mountain.
- Light trekking — with its hills, fields, and villages offers a chance to explore it on foot. Trekking can be arranged from the nearest local accommodation or losmens. Sikunir and 1 Mount Prau are two popular spots for trekking.
Carica is a dwarf variety of papaya. Normally sold bottled in sweet syrup.
- 1 Bu Djono Losmen & Restaurant (at the corner of Jl Dieng and the circular road when entering Dieng Kulon). A cheap restaurant with friendly staff. Doubles as a guest house and provides excellent advice about the sightseeing in the area. It’s also possible to book tours and rent vehicles. Traditional dishes: Rp10,000–25,000.
- 2 Temu Jumpa Coffe & Resto, 3rd floor of Tani Jiwo Hostel. Clean and spacious space with various menu. Some of staff can speak English and will be happy to give you any suggestion on how to enjoy dieng at any season.
Bring your own beer because it is so difficult to find alcoholic drinks in Dieng.
- 1 Green Savannah, Dieng Plateau. Km. 01, ☏ , email@example.com. This simple, friendly place has been hosting backpackers for years and has a certain ramshackle charm with basic, clean, economy rooms and better options with hot-water private bathrooms and TV. Good tours are offered. It's very close to the turn-off for Wonosobo.
- 2 Nusa Indah Homestay, Jl Telaga Warna, Dieng Wetan, ☏ , , , , , firstname.lastname@example.org. Close to the temples, very clean with hot water in the rooms. TV. For a family there is a small apartment with two rooms and a beautiful view over the mountains. The family that runs this place is very friendly. No breakfast. Rp250,000.
- 3 Tani Jiwo Hostel, Jl. Dieng No.31, Pauan, Dieng Kulon, Batur, Banjarnegara, ☏ . One of accommodation with multi-lingual staff and 24hr front office.
- 4 Gunung Mas Hotel, Jl. Dieng No.42, Krajan, Dieng Kulon, ☏ (WA).
- 5 Afinda Homestay, Jl. Raya Dieng Km 17 Wonosobo, ☏ . Check-in: 13.00, check-out: 12.00. Rp850,000.
Stay safe edit
This is an active volcanic region and all visitors are urged to regularly check geological reports.