After leaving Papandayan we drove about nine hours to the Dieng Plateau where we spent one night in a very basic hotel in Dieng Village. The Dieng Plateau is 2093 meters above the sea, has an active volcano and many plantation terraces.
We got up early in the morning and went to see an old hindu temple complex, the Arjuna complex, just outside the village. The temples are some of the oldest Hindu temples in Java and are mostly in ruins, but they were partly restored when they were rediscovered by the Dutch in the 1800’s. It was set in the midst of (mainly) potato plantations and when we got there people were just starting to work in the fields.
After the temple we drove to the volcanic caldera, I had to use google to define what this means: “A caldera is a cauldron-like volcanic feature usually formed by the collapse of land following a volcanic eruption. They are sometimes confused with volcanic craters”. It was a big hole with boiling goo and lots of smoke rising from it.
Then we were off to Telaga Warna to see Cebong Lake. Telaga Warna is a small nature park with a couple of lakes. Cebong Lake is famous for it’s colour which it gets from sulphurous deposits.
When we got there me and Olivia went on a walk around the lakes. We climbed up to a view point and got amazing views of a valley and the park’s second lake: Talaga Pengilon.
After rounding the lakes there was this small island you could walk out to that was meant to have some attractions on it. There was the “writing stone” and some tiny caves with gates around them and small statues outside that I think had some religious value at some point in time. But to be honest it wasn’t that much to see and it felt like they only advertised it to try and justify the entrance price for the park (which of course was already included in our tour anyway).
When we were finished in the park we got back in the car and drove for another three hours to Borobudur, the biggest Buddhist temple in Java. We got a guided tour around the complex.
We spent an hour or two around the temple before we left for Yogyakarta. We decided to stay in the Prawirotaman area, there were a couple of streets there with lots of hotels and nice bars and restaurants mostly aimed at tourists. At first we thought we’d walk down the street and check out the hotels and their prices, so Bambang drove to the hotel he was gonna stay at on the same street. The hotel seemed ok so we had a look at a room there and got a good deal for it, 200 000 rupiah/night (£10), and decided to stay there. After checking in we went out for dinner and a cocktail at Easy Going, just next to our hotel. It was nice to eat in a restaurant again and not just a warung or food stall. The prices were of course a bit higher, this being a touristy area, but the food was very nice and so worth it. We spent a couple of hours there using their wifi and then went back to the hotel to sleep.