The Abode of the Gods
“abode of the gods” is what the locals call this mountain area. High above Java and the tropical temperatures below you are literally sitting above the clouds
To get to this place is a mission. I didn’t rely on public transport as I rented a bike from Yogya. However I do not recommend riding your motorcycle up here unless you are a skilled rider as the roads are very steep. I struggled to get up some of the hills alone, so when I picked up a Javanese hitchhiker I only made it 10 meters up the hill! This was with a 125cc scooter. (link to scooter rental yogya)
It is a very nice drive from Yogya if you go north up past Mount Merapi It takes you through lots of small villages and towns and you really get a flavor of real Java life. I highly recommend it! Stop off at some of the food places on the way. Be adventurous! If it smells good, try it!
This route takes you around several stunning volcanoes that loom over your whole journey. If you are anything like me you will be pulling to the side of the road every 5 minutes to take pictures. If you feel like you’ve took a wrong turn then ask one of the friendly locals. As long as you know very basic Indonesian or can point! You will be fine.
I got up at around 3am to try and get to dieng by sunrise but this was not possible. It’s about a 3-hour ride from Yogyakarta. I suggest you stay the night in dieng to see the sunrise, which I’m told, is awesome!
When entering the Plateau you will be mesmerized by all the terraced rice fields that are slotted onto the mountains that surround you. Then when you reach the edges you can see the land and clouds hanging below you. It’s such an amazing place.
There are temples and other little tourist attractions up here, so head for the main town and grab a map. Make sure you visit every one of them! They are all different and beautiful. The Lakes, the bubbling volcano calderas and religious monuments are all worth seeing.
The people up here are very friendly, welcoming and don’t see many white folk so you get lots of attention. It’s why I suggest you go alone; make your own way there on a bike or something. Keep away from the tourist buses (if there are any)
When I was trying to reach one of the craters I was caught in a sudden downfall. The heavens well and truly opened. A group of potato farmers called me over to hide under a tarpaulin on the mountainside. They were interested in finding out about this strange traveller and shared their food and drink with me. They gave me some pointers on where to go next and we spoke about football. They were all Manchester united supporters!
To summarize, this place is a must if you have a few days spare and are visiting central Java.
Adventure rating 7/10