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Versi Bahasa Indonesia:

Written by Cisca Lim
Story by Imron Ramadhan

Co-written by Jiayi Ng

Looking to chill but the hot tropical weather suggests otherwise?

Cool your jets and hold your horses, there’s no need to purchase that expensive flight to far flung destinations for a breeze of cold air.

Did you know that you can actually find chilly temperatures in Indonesia? And we’re not talking about common names like Puncak or Bandung!

Here are the hidden gems in our beloved Indonesia where you can be sure to enjoy the lovely cold weather and be close to home at the same time!

1. Marvel at the magnificent Ngarai Sianok Canyon in Bukittinggi, West Sumatra

Any trip to West Sumatra is not official without a visit to Bukittinggi.

Due to the fresh air and chilly location you can enjoy there, it’s now a favourite destination among tourists and locals alike.

Photo Via Minangphotograph

The landmark of Bukittinggi is called Jam Gadang (also known as Gadang Clock), the signature symbol of West Sumatra which has been standing proud since 1926. From the clock tower, you can see the sweeping panorama of Bukittinggi dotted with valleys, hills, and city buildings in arranged in fascinating patterns.

Just 20 minutes away from Jam Gadang, you’ll find a quaint and unique cafe named Taruko Cafe Resto.

Photo Via ARTalentalle,-Wiwierahmayeni,-Oliviapermatasondaa

This place is particularly special due to its location – right at the foot of the verdant and lush Tabiang Takuruang. In addition, there are several small Minang-style huts that are perfect for unwinding in, where you can sip coffee and simply take in the blissful view.

There is no lack of pretty dining options. You can also check out Rumah Pohon Abdul (also known as Abdul Tree House), which is situated at the hiking site of Lambah, just a 10-minute drive from Jam Gadang.

Photo Via Rumahpohonabdul

You can soak in the unrivalled beauty of Ngarai Sianok, further enhanced with its fresh and clean atmosphere, clear birdsong in the distance and the faint sound of the rushing river.

Photo Via Husna-Fadhilla,-Ardiesensei

If you can’t can’t enough of Ngarai Sianok, simply head over to Taman Panorama where you can admire it from the distance.

And don’t forget to check out the Great Wall of Bukittinggi from afar, which goes by the name Janjang Koto Gadang.

Isn’t this simply one of the best places to clear your mind and relieve stress?

Photo Via Auliatanjung10

Photo Via Opan_jazzy,-Arichaniago

2. Watch the spectacular golden sunrise at Dataran Tinggi Dieng, Central Java

At 2,093 metres above the sea, the Dieng highland promises the freshest and coldest misty air – just perfect for you to chill and take a breather!

Photo Via Tsabita-Dieng-Tour

You can find many attractions here with beautiful surroundings, such as the Sikidang Crater at the east of Dieng. The view at this crater area is stunning, with a contrasting blend of yellowish limestone, billowing phosphoric smokes, and the greenest panorama as far as your eyes can see.

Photo Via Ciawardhana

If you can, plan to watch the sunrise at Sikunir Hill – it’s spectacular!

Photo Via Emane_sniejder,-Kopral.bonjol

Sikunir hill is located in Sembungan Village, the tallest village in Central Java. At dawn, the first soft rays of sunlight bursts from afar like the golden saffron (known as kunyit in local tongue), thus acquiring the name Bukit Sikunir.

Photo Via Upieranti

While you’re in the area, don’t miss the gorgeous Telaga Warna (Lake of Colors) and Telaga Pengilon (Lake Pengilon). If you head over to Batu Ratapan Angin (also known as Batu Pandang Dieng), the hilltop, you can see both at the same time!

Photo Via Arko_eldawam

Still not satisfied? Looking for more adventure? Get onto the Rope Bridge of Red & White (Jembatan Merah Putih)!

3. Seek adventurous fun at the tea plantation in Malino Highlands, South Sulawasi.

Situated 2.5 kilometres from Makassar, Malino Highlands was once just a plain tea plantation. But thanks its unabashed natural and panoramic beauty, it soon became a lively family destination.

Photo Via JelajahSuwanto

You can take part in many activities such as parasailing, horse riding, petting zoo, bungee jumping, trampolines, cycling and more. The kids and teenagers would love them!

Photo Via lisnha15,-Dhewi_sss

When you’re tired of all the fun, it’s time to relax at the Green Pekoe Café. This café boasts of large glass windows where you can bask in the dramatic view of the green tea plantations stretching out gloriously in front of you.

Photo Via JelajahSuwanto,-Dedelizaliz

Try the favourite Malino Green Tea brewed from leaves from the surrounding gardens. A cup of hot tea amidst the fragrant cool breeze? Yes, please!

Photo Via Daenglira,-Taniacut

Afterwards, walk on to Takapala Waterfall, which is just 600 metres from Malino Highlands, Towering at 100 metres high, this majestic waterfall churns out an avalanche of fresh water under the thick mist that surrounds it. If you’re lucky, you might even catch sight of a special rainbow!

Photo Via Upi_ismail,

4. Burst of colours in the Town of Thousand Flowers at Kota Seribu Bunga Tomohon, North Sulawesi

With an average temperature of 18 to 20 degrees Celsius, this town is sandwiched between the Mount Lokon and Mount Mahawu, so it’s an extra favourite spot in North Sulawesi.

Photo Via Monicarestisari, Claraangelia

The most beloved spot here is definitely the unique Lake Linow with its ever changing tricolors – tosca green, deep rich blue and yellowish brown – depending on the sunshine and its effect on the phosphoric waters.

Reserve your morning schedule to appreciate this one-of-a-kind beauty where tranquility peaks. With a cup of hot tea or black coffee, you’ll enjoy a soul-relishing date with gorgeous mother nature.

Photo Via Nusatamara.tour

Another place that is just as charming is Bukit Doa (also known as the Prayer Cave). You’ll be spoiled by the view of verdant green trees and grass that stretch on magnificently, with the backdrop of the majestic mountain and Tomohon City in the distance.

Travellers love this place for its outbound activities, such as the longest Flying Fox route in North Sulawesi, for gatherings with friends and as an outdoor wedding venue.

Photo Via Honiaannisa,-Armyarmz30

Photo Via Mahawuadventure,-F_saptaputra

Tomohon is often referred to as the Town of a Thousand Flowers (Kota Seribu Bunga) with extensive floral species flourishing in the cool weather.

Hence it’s not surprising that Tomohon hosts the Tomohon International Flower Festival, a flora festival of international standard showcasing flower-decorated parade cars, flower exhibitions, flower queen contest, and all kinds of traditional art shows!

Make sure you check your calendar so you can join the amazing fiesta that sounds, looks, and smells as great as you think it is.

Photo Via Seputar-Sulut,-Meidydotz,-F_saptaputra

5. Enjoy the waterfalls and family fun on the slope of Mount Lawu: Tawangmangu, Karanganyar

Located an hour’s drive away from Solo, Tawangmangu is a mountainous area along the slope of Mount Lawu that has been famed since the Dutch colonial era.

Photo Via Reikaokuta,-Oklekngawi

At the top of the vast and cool Kemuning Tea Plantation lies Cetho Temple with an archway that resembles the grand Pura Lempuyang Luhur in Bali.

If you plan to visit, make sure you use a vehicle that is up for the hiking challenge!

Photo Via Tonny_hendrawan,-Yunisaasrianie

After that, head straight to Bale Branti for a warm drink. This outdoor resting spot is the perfect place to relax and have a nice chat while enjoying the fresh mountain breeze.

Photo Via Er_ga25

Photo Via Roellah,-Panduevoria

The area has several dramatic waterfalls, but the cream of the crop has to be the the Grojogan Sewu Waterfall that is 81 metres tall. It’s in fact the tallest waterfall in Central Java!

You can also swim in a pool of fresh mountain water, laze in the gazebos or take on the thrill of the flying fox! If you’re bringing the little ones, they will have a lot of fun at the outbound area, playground, and kids’ swimming pool.

Last but not least, Tawangmangu also is the perfect destination for horror lovers. On Sekipan Hill, there is a horror-themed recreation park where you can take selfies with “ghosts”. But fret not – they’re only statues dressed in scary costumes and body paint. Though of course, they will give you a good pump of adrenaline and a proper fright!

Photo Via Wuelan21, Wedoet

Are you up for the challenge?

6. Sip coffee on the clouds at Bandungan & Ungaran, Semarang

When we mention Semarang, what first comes to mind may be a seaside town with extra hot weather. But do you know that Semarang has a different side?

Far from downtown Semarang, which is hot and bustling with the hectic rhythm of the city,  Bandungan and Ungaran are areas in the Semarang district that are surprisingly different with its cool highland air and numerous interesting tourist spots.

The Temple of Gedong Songo is a large complex dotted with 9 separate shrines at the top of the mountain. As the mist floats dreamily in the chilly weather, there is an aura of mystery that envelops the shrine complex, which dates back to the 8th century.

Photo Via Jefrisonlorukoba,-Ssrilutfias

Other than temples, you can enjoy a nice cup of coffee amidst the floating clouds. This coffeeshop experience at Pondok Kopi Umbul Sidomukti is truly an unforgettable one.

Photo Via Teh-Pucuk-Harum,-Arifah_ahsani

Located on the slope of the mountain, this spot is difficult to miss because the aromatic coffee smell just gets that much better at the top of the mountain, as is the taste. If you want to spend the night, you can enjoy recreational facilities for the entire family too.

Photo Via Worwir-ichadlim-Indonesia-Wow

For an outdoor camping experience, head up from Umbul Sidomukti to find Mawar Camping Ground, which is also a famous base camp for hiking and mountaineer communities at Mount Ungaran.

Photo Via M_atiq08,-Defry_anggara

When the sun dips beyond the horizon, so does the temperature. Along with the night view of the twinkling Semarang city from the distance, the cool air is the best remedy for your body and mind.

Photo Via Miss-Ollie,-Leonyleony

To get some rest after all the hiking and walking around, check out Susan Spa & Resort for some self-pampering. This resort comes with warm-water swimming pool and a Spa on the Sky package, which is an open-air spa experience. One of its best features is definitely the Instagrammable chapel!

Photo Via Dianaypr

7. Discover the Prague of Flores at Ruteng, East Nusa Tenggara

The cool breeze and stunning backdrop of Mount Mandosawu make a winning combination for Ruteng – an important tourist town in Flores.

Photo Via Misswawa_fa

As the base city for spreading Catholicism, there is no shortage of cathedrals with rich historical background. As a result, you can’t escape the palpable European vibe, thus earning the place the title of Prague of Flores.

Photo Via Rama-emerald

Other than the cool temperature and European-style churches, other must-visit spots in Ruteng are the traditional village of Compang Ruteng, and the archaeological site Liang Bua which trails the path of ancient human species Homo Floresenesis, otherwise known as ‘hobbits’.

Photo Via Eazytraveler

What you must not miss is the panoramic view of the Lingko paddy fields from the hilltop. They make a circular formation that resembles spider webs!

Photo Via Verasumargo

If you are after more challenging and exotic adventures, put trekking at Wae Rebo in your agenda.

Photo Via Asokaremadja,-Ahmad_hasanela

Located 1,200 metres above the sea, Wae Rebo is an ancient village with 7 traditional cone-shaped residences that have been inhabited for 19 generations. To reach here, you’ll need to walk for 3 to 6 hours, so make sure you have the energy for it.

Photo Via Ferrytanasiaphotography-wanderlustbook

Located far from the city pollution, you can expect the freshest air and the night sky full of stars. Due to its remote location, the villagers are still quite far from modern civilization, so you’ll be amazed at how intact and pure their daily cultures and traditions are.

Photo Via Sambonaventura

Don’t be shy to interact with the locals or to initiate a traditional game with the children, you may sometimes get the local culinary treat you’ve never tasted anywhere else!

8. The most romantic and natural village ambience at Village Sampireun, Garut

Looking for a chilly place not far from Jakarta, but don’t want to join the crowd in Puncak or Lembang, Bandung?

Why not head south to Garut?

Photo Via Martha-suherman

Nestled 70 kilometres away from Bandung, Sampireun village offers eco-friendly accommodation with the coolest and pollution-free village scenery.

This is a great place for couples looking for a romantic holiday – the tall shady trees and tranquil lake create just the right ambience.

Take a stroll around the lake or feed the fish!

Explore the nature of Garut with its infinite wonders, one of which is Mount Papandayan.

Photo Via PratomoAribowo_jemu.wordpress,-Edmund

The most interesting and unique feature of Mount Papandayan is the mysterious yet magical Dead Forest (also known as Hutan Mati).

Imagine enjoying a sunset here among the endless Edelweiss field – you will be amazed beyond words.

Make sure you bring your camera with you!

Garut also hosts several gorgeous waterfalls and rivers of unparalleled beauty.

Behold Curug Jagapati, Curug Cibadak, and the new darling – Leuwi Jurig. Dubbed as the mini Grand Canyon, Leuwi Jurig is a crystal green waterfall that flows between the tall cliffs. Simply exotic!

Photo Via Prakosoumam

Photo Via Hartasderis

If you want something less challenging, without any hiking, drop by Lake Situ Bagendit. Placed beside the quiet paddy fields and mountain silhouette, this lake is perfect to refresh your mind.

Photo Via [email protected]

9. Explore Indonesia’s very own Cameron Highlands at Batu, Malang

From colourful theme parks, museums of various kinds, to unique restaurants, you can find extraordinary attractions fit for the entire family at this cold town of Malang, just 2.5 hours from Surabaya.

Photo Via Miraanggra-oky_erik

Claiming to be the largest theme park in Indonesia, Jawa Timur Park or Jatim Park comes with endless attractions of international standards, such as the Museum of Transportation, and Batu Secret Zoo which we had the chance to explore!

It’s so huge that the area has to be divided into three parts – Jatim Park 1, Jatim Park 2 and Jatim Park 3! We had so much fun with the attractions and animals at each of the parks.

Photo Via Fakhri

Photo Via Stel-ady_muchran

The fun continues from day to night as we checked out  Alun Alun Batu, a hipster night market right in the heart of the city. It was bustling and super lively, with tons of hip food stalls! For exceptional city views, drinks and dessert, we dropped by 15 Celcius Skylounge at Amarta Hills Hotel and Resort.

Photo Via Rahayuhermayanty,-Donnernigel,-Alishaalmeera

We spent the night at Kusuma Agrowisata, where we also enjoyed picking fruits. They have some delicious apples and guavas! And if you need some time to relax, why not opt for an ultimate Japanese experience at The Onsen Hotspring Resort? We thoroughly enjoyed walking around in traditional Japanese yukata and dip in the soothing onsen before indulging in hot ramen soup and colourful sushi plates!

Photo Via Ayyip_adimas-astridbunga-ichacindy-moch_arif12

So if you want to spoil everyone with some good fun, you need to add Batu Malang to your travel plans! We’re ready to visit once more.

Photo Via Yunlest keisyakimora

Photo Via Frontrowlingeries, Fitriyarevinasari, Iki_efriandi

Read more: 12 Fun family attractions in Malang that will excite you and your kids!

10. Admire the alps of Indonesia on Ollon Bonggakaradeng Hill, Tana Toraja

You can rarely find places that can offer the best of both worlds – a natural wonder at its best and the mythical traditions imbued with spiritual beliefs. Yet, Tana Toraja does not do it as seamlessly as silk does.

Photo Via Iind_mels

From Ollon Hill in Ollon Bonggakaradeng, you’ll be able see a panorama that rivals that of the Alps in Switzerland. This stretch of dramatic mountains is covered with the greenest plantations and stands proud with the clear and cool river running through.

Photo Via Julio_mongan

You can also check out the horse farms or set up a camp to enjoy the night – so you can take in the beauty at its fullest.

You can also catch sight of a signature landmark of Brazil! At the top of Buntu Burake in Makale, there is a giant statue of Jesus standing tall at the height of 1,100 metres above the sea. It’s even rumoured to be the tallest one in the world.

Why travel all the way to South America when you can see it right in Toraja?

Photo Via Kulicitra

Photo Via Dimassanggoro

Your trip to Toraja won’t be complete if you haven’t visited the Tomb of Londa that is just 7 kilometres south of Rantepao City. The cold weather on the mountain gives you the chills, which eerily complements the creepy aura here.

Photo Via Hapysaputraa

Here, the bodies of the dead are placed in holes that are carved out from the walls, and in each of these holes, a wooden block called Tau Tau (which resembles a dead body) is placed inside.

Photo Via Terryvarian,-Sweetmarias

In addition, be sure to bring home some of the famous and aromatic Toraja coffee – a great souvenir for your loved ones!

11. Admire a majestic temple by the lake at Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, Bedugul (Bali)

Any Indonesian will instantly recognize this temple – famous Balinese temple that has made its appearance in Indonesia after being printed on the Rp. 50,000 bill.

Photo Via Sanur

The beauty of this temple with the tranquil lake that surrounds it and the mountain backdrop is indeed postcard and banknote-worthy! This is especially so when the sun sets, and you get to see the fantastic orange crimson sky at its finest in the backdrop.

You can even explore and take in all this beauty up close by taking a boat ride across the lake, through the mist and cool air.

You can also stop by the Strawberry Farm & Restaurant in Bedugul, where you can pick and taste the freshest produce of the day!

Trust us when we say that the strawberry milkshake from your own harvest will taste much better.

Photo Via Yulia_pryimachuk-rakawitraguna

Still can’t get enough of chilly Bedugul? Not far off is the Munduk Moding Plantation, an upclass and romantic resort which is also dubbed as the Resort on the Clouds.

Soak yourself in the 18-metre long infinity pool and experience swimming in the clouds!

Photo Via TripCanvas

Another interesting place in Bedugul is the Sekumpul Waterfall. Sekumpul means “a group of”, and true to its name, there is not just one nor two but a total of seven waterfalls grouped together here.

Photo Via Lena_korneychuk

So whenever you’re ready to taste the cold temperature in Bali with amazing natural panorama, head to North Bali and it’ll be a fresh and welcoming change from Kuta or Seminyak.

Read more: The ultimate guide to North Bali

12. Volcanic lake in the middle of a giant crater: Lake Toba

Skyscrapers, crowded malls and packed beaches can wait.

It’s time for a scenery so amazing, it’s considered one of the world’s best natural wonders, with the cool temperature as a bonus!

Lake Toba is certainly one attraction that does not require further introduction. As the largest lake in Southeast Asia, its panoramic beauty is only rivalled by the view of the adjacent hilltop – Pusuk Buhit.

It gets quite chilly here, but don’t worry, just head to the Sipoholon hot springs for a warm and relaxing soak.

Photo Via Johnny-siahaan

Another popular destination you must not miss is the unique Binangalom Waterfall. The water falls from the clifftop directly into Lake Toba – a vision of glorious natural beauty.

Photo Via Rista_rohana

You’re welcome to swim in the fresh cool water while enjoying this extraordinary view. Just make sure to bring your waterproof camera along!

Photo Via Martkristin

The recommended hotels here are Taman Simalem Resort, Tiara Bunga, and Samosir Villa Resort with North Sumatran signature architecture and swimming pools with gorgeous lake views.

Photo Via Aisyahrezkiazhari-priscaangelina

Photo Via Putripanjaitan

Read more: Guide to travelling to Lake Toba

13. Catch snow in the tropics at Lorentz National Park, Papua

For a truly one-of-a-kind place in Indonesia, this is definitely it.

Photo Via Lorentznationalpark

The trip here is challenging, but where else can you get a combination of rainforest, mangrove forest, a large variety of exotic species, and the only snowy mountain in Indonesia?

Puncak Jaya is the summit of Jayawijaya, the tallest mountain in Indonesia. It is the only place in the country where you can find glaciers and snow.

Photo Via Panji-A.-Nuariman,-Dasilva_lew,-Susilo_yo

Due to its extreme terrain, you need to secure a special local government documentation before heading there.

It’s definitely reserved for only the bravest and most adventurous of travellers who are up for the challenge.

Photo Via Paul-Q.-Warren

So if you’re ready to conquer one of the 7 tallest mountains in the world, you know where to go.

Photo Via Inaynww,Lp070151

Are there any other cold places in Indonesia that you’d like to recommend? Share with us!

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Travel Writer

I relish on traveling and writing, as they are the perfect wanderland. One takes your flesh; the other your mind yet both are intertwined in almost all possible ways. This rich combination is what fuels my passion, spirit and energy.