Saturday, July 2, 2011

Central-East Java: The Bubbling Sikidang Crater

I've told you I had enough of temple visiting but when in Indonesia, they are just everywhere, part of its history, they are either small or big, Buddha or Hindu, ruptured or restored.

So, when Pak Mur (my driver to Dieng) asked where is the next destination after Candi Arjuna Complex, I quickly told him I had enough of temple visiting and need to go to other places besides temple. Other temple like Candi Bima around Dieng I just looked from inside the moving car.

When you have too much of some thing, it doesn't thrills you anymore and you get bored easily. Or is it just me? I need some other thing to make this trip worth the Rp 250,000 car rental!

And this next destination was exactly the place worth the Rp 250,000 I paid for car rental (with driver), the waking up at 4am and driving all the way from Jogja for 5hours. It's Kawah Sikidang!

Trip to Dieng was a spontaneous decision I made, it didn't even in my list, so I had so little info about places I'd be going and clueless how they would look like. 

Named 'kawah' (crater), I imagined Kawah Sikidang to look like crater of Tangkuban Perahu or Mt Bromo at least, but instead, nothing resembles those craters. It's totally different and I was blown away by its sight!

Does this looks like crater to you?

You don't think so?
Yeah, me too.

Ok, let's go a little closer.

More closer.

No, I guess it's best to zoom out the photo.

Can you see?

Maybe more zoom out.

Yes, that it is.

Guys, it's bubbling!
Should I run?

My jaw dropped and I was astounded by the view. Subhanallah was the only word I could uttered.

People are free to roam around this crater. Yeah, I know, it doesn't look like crater you and I imagined it is. Since it has no rim, it looks just like a barren land. But trust me, the land that those people and I was stepping on was a crater and there's still volcano activity underneath it. At its peak pressure, it will erupt and form another crater. That's why you could see the smoke around (or I would rather call it fume).

Kawah Sikidang is the largest crater in Dieng and most popular than others for its easy access and facilities. It is known for always on the move releasing its gas at various points and hence it is named after 'kidang' - a deer in Javanese language. 

Across the fence is the former crater before it 'jump' to other place

This place might be the next crater hole, it was smoking at my feet!

The similarities of volcanoes is the gas smell. I must tell you the sulphur smell here was very distinct. The moment I opened the car door, the pungent gas rushed into my nose (and straight to my lungs).

The Safety & Health person in me wondered how much is the PEL (Permissible Exposure Limit) Indonesian government set before alarming visitors to avoid this area.

People here didn't seem to border about the smell. Me?! I didn't hesitate to take when a man handed me a dust mask that he sells for Rp 2,500 although it didn't help much. Because afterall, it was a dust mask, not a gas mask! 

For many of us, we concern about the sulphur to our health, but for some people here that is their source of income to stay living. Risking their health just to make ends meet. 

The lady was selling sulphur chunk and brimstone from the mine, that is believed can beautify skin. A perfect souvenir from Kawah Sikidang.

Apart from volcano products, you could also buy local product especially crop from farmers here outside of Kawah Sikidang main entrance.

I was tempted to buy these potatoes. It's the main product from Dieng. 

So whenever things don't go your way, don't regret because you might be surprise to what it would lead you to. I might miss all these if I follow my itinerary. Sometimes it worth doing thing spontaneously. The least is you expect, the most it gives to you. So, don't forget to stretch your journey to Dieng Plateau when you in Jogja and witness this spectacular creation of the universe, Kawah Sikidang.

P/S: According to Taufik, my CS friend in Jogja whom I met in KL recently, it's not advisable to go to Dieng now as CO2 gas emission from Kawah Timbang is at alert level.


fatt said...

nice entry. it's worth Rp250,000 that u spent.

did u buy the sulfur chunk? im wondering how to use these stones to beautify skin. by pounding it?

some of the photos here look just like at mt. merapi :)

Biqque said...

omg...gambar2 berasap tu sungguh menakutkan :D tapi cun gile ok!

eh u nak gi india waktu summer? kena baca nanti experience u :D

Traveller's Anatomy said...

thanks :) i glad i made my way here. Sooooo worth it!

No, i didn't buy anything here. I don't know how they do to help beautify skin with that but that's what they claim it can do to your skin.

Oh Mt Merapi, I only have a few photos of it but they are more devastating knowing there used to be a village in the area.

Traveller's Anatomy said...


Thanks! Sebenarnya time nak amik gambar tu agak cuak la jugak sbb berasap n mendidih lagi tapi sangat kagum la dgn tempat ni.

Yup, June in fact the hottest month of the year. We'll see how I survive nnt hehe...

mrs.lazura said...

b, best nya..
so after tis g mana plak?
hehe nk itot

by.ya @ Traveller's Anatomy said...

Pasni nak g Krabi celebrate bday Rara. Nak ikut? Jom!