Dieng Plateau

Just north of Yogyakarta is the Dieng Plateau, a volcanic plain in the center of Java. In English, Dieng means abode of the gods, which makes perfect sense when you consider the spiritual atmosphere and the abundance of temples found in the region. The Dieng Plateau manages to perfectly combine the lush greenery of the landscape and the incredible history of the local architecture, creating a surreal landscape that many people find out of this world. Add in the fact that the entire plateau is technically a caldera created by the result of a still-active volcano, and it is easy to see the appeal of such a destination.

The Dieng Plateau is home to more than 400 temples, most of which are Hindu rather than Buddhist. The majority of these Hindu temples date back to the eighth and ninth centuries, making this region home to some of the oldest architecture in Indonesia. Since these temples are off the beaten track, you won’t encounter the same crowds that you might in Borobudur or Prambanan.

Dieng temple

Although it is possible to explore most of these temples on foot on your own, there are many guided tours that can be a better option. Local experts will take you to the most impressive of the Dieng Plateau temples and provide some history in English, which helps put the structures into perspective.

While the temples are worth exploring, the real reason that so many people venture to the Dieng Plateau is for the chance to explore the great outdoors and the verdant landscape. You can soak in hot springs, admire the views over a multi-colored lake called Telaga Warna, hike to the peak of Gunung Sikunir for breathtaking views or stroll through terraced fields where potato and tobacco are grown in the traditional methods by local Javanese farmers.