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Versi Bahasa Indonesia: https://indonesia.tripcanvas.co/id/negeri-di-atas-awan/

Written by Junanto Xu

Have you always wanted to taste the clouds in your hair and run the mist through your fingers?

This is what paradise on earth looks like, it’s as close to heaven as you can get.

If you have travelled to Japan, you would have heard about the stunning view from Unkai Terrace at Hoshino Resort Tomamu, where you can watch a sea of clouds floating in front of you, at 1,088 metres above the sea.

Also read: 9 water villas in Indonesia for a hidden paradise getaway

Doesn’t the spectacular dreamy landscape of the skies inspire your wanderlust?

But guess what, you don’t need to travel all the way to Japan (and bust your budget) to bask in this majestic view. In a few lesser known places in Indonesia, you can find this dazzling spectacle.

So what are you waiting for? Come experience these 11 kingdoms above the clouds and fall in love with the wonders of nature.

1. Marvel at the garden above the sky: Kebun Buah Mangunan, Yogyakarta

Have you ever seen clouds dotting a vast lush green landscape?

If you want to indulge in one of the most mesmerizing views of Yogyakarta, you may want to get acquainted with Kebun Buah Mangunan.

Photo Via Linctraveller

The renowned Kebun Buah Mangunan is set atop the highlands of Imogiri, where you can bask in a vast panorama of hills, river, valley, and forest that will leave you in awe.

Photo Via Ophiesutarli

Come here at the crack of dawn – you will see an artwork from heaven where the sea of clouds playfully mingle with the mist and gorgeously unify with surrounding panorama.

Photo Via Sheilatabita,Christellaptr,Rasyidndolor
Photo Via Fandi Ryan Saputra Via YouTube

After witnessing the glorious sunrise, it’s time for a snack before breakfast! Simply reward yourself with a bite of local fruit that’s freshly harvested from the nearby plantations.

Kebun Buah Mangunan

Entrance fee: Rp 5,000 (approximately USD 0.40)
Location: Mangunan, Kecamatan Dlingo, Kabupaten Bantul, Yogyakarta. Coordinates here.
Phone: (0274) 646 0182
Opening hours: 04.00 – 19.00

2. Embrace the sun in the kingdom of Toraja: Kampung Lolai, South Sulawesi

You may recognise Toraja as the home to some of the world’s most bizarre rituals, but do you also know that the regency is actually also blessed with a myriad of gorgeous natural wonders?

Venture to Kampung Lolai, a kingdom above the clouds that stands at 1,300 metres above the sea. Here, the sight of the borderless sea of clouds that stretches on for infinity is simply too stunning – you have to see to believe!

Photo Via Mr.firmann

To enjoy its beauty at the fullest, reach the peak before 5 am, spend a night at a local homestay or set up camp here – you won’t want to miss the majestic view when sun dramatically emerges from the horizon, casting its golden rays that pierce through the endless sea of clouds.

Photo Via Aresjonekson
Photo Via Girihanzent

On Lolai peak, you can also spot traditional Torajan houses known as “Tongkonan Lempe”. We recommend sitting on the terrace while sipping on a hot cup of Toraja coffee to shake off the chilly mountain breeze. Life has never been so good!

Photo Via M_rifqi_achmad
Photo Via Alexsarungallo Via Instagram

Kampung Lolai

Location: Kecamatan Kapalapitu, Kabupaten Toraja Utara, Sulawesi Selatan
How to get there:  Located 20 kilometers from Rantepao, you can either take the local public transportation pete-pete or motorcycle taxi to reach Kampung Lolai, They cost around Rp 20,000 (approximately USD 1.48) and Rp 30,000 – Rp 40,000 (approximately USD 2.22 – USD 3) respectively. Coordinates here


3. Be captivated by the sight of heaven: Batutumonga, South Sulawesi

If you’ve entered the land of Toraja, we dare you not to miss this sensational scenery.

Nestled on the foot of Mount Sesean, Batutumonga promises chilly weather that greatly harmonizes with an idyllic atmosphere, perfect for a peaceful retreat.

Photo Via Cece_chaann
Photo Via Hsbn_marco

Want to spend a night or two here? Opt for the local Mentirotiku hotel which is situated highest, compared to other accommodations. From your room, you’ll be able to get a bird’s eye view of the surrounding panorama and Rantepao city from a distance.

Photo Via Hsbn_marco

At the break of dawn, enjoy the show of the awakening sun spilling golden light on a sea of clouds, which resembles a troop of marching fluffy cotton balls eagerly welcoming the day.

Photo Via Atrik3
Photo Via Deedeedoo22
Photo Via Alantonapa Via Instagram

As you witness nature’s breathtaking vista, all your stress and worries would pale in comparison!

Batutumonga

Location: Kecamatan Sesean, Kabupaten Toraja Utara, Sulawesi Selatan
How to get there: From Rantepao, get to Batutumonga by public transportation from Pasar Bolu or rental car (30 minutes to 1 hour’s drive). Be very careful on the road as most roads leading there are quite narrow and windy. Some parts of the road are so narrow that only one car can pass at any one time. Coordinates here.

4. Swim in the sea of clouds: Munduk Moding Plantation, Bali

Imagine this – waking up to the early rays of the sun and taking a refreshing morning dip in a spectacular infinity pool floating in a sea of clouds. It’s as though you are swimming in the clouds itself!

Photo Via Ellchintya

The famed 18-metre-long infinity pool at Munduk Moding Plantation will give you exactly this surreal experience.

Photo Via Aris_19
Photo Via Dotzsoh

Close your eyes and stretch out your arms – you might even touch the clouds in front of you.

Photo Via Curlychua
Photo Via Last Minute Detours Via Facebook

This tucked-away resort consists of 9 villas and 3 suites that are inspired from traditional Balinese homes and glamorised by modern amenities.

Step out from the glass door of your room, and you will be greeted by a vast stretch coffee plantations tucked among lush greenery.

We can almost guarantee you that there is no other place in Bali that can match the dreamy, romantic and idyllic setting here for a perfect retreat for you and your loved one!

Munduk Moding Plantation

Rates: From USD 210 a night (approximately Rp. 2.9 mil)
Location:  Banjar Dinas Asa, Desa Gobleg, Kec. Banjar, Buleleng, Bali 81162
Phone: (0362) 7005321 / 081 138 10123

5. View Mount Bromo among the clouds: Puncak B29, East Java

Have you always wanted to see the famed Mount Bromo up close (but don’t want to hike up the volcano)?

Photo Via Yayukmadjid

With the first rays of the morning sun, you can soak in the majestic view of the volcano and infinite beauty of the vast ocean of clouds at B29, which was formerly known as Puncak Songolikur (which means 29 in Javanese).

Photo Via Nafimoh93

Breathe in the crisp refreshing mountain air and exhale the accumulated anxiety of daily life – as we appreciate the majestic beauty of nature, how insignificant everything else become!

Photo Via Andi.april_

Not only is the view here spectacular, but this hill has also remained religiously significant for the locals.

Photo Via Travelling_plus

On every Jumat Legi (a certain Friday based on the Javanese calendar), the peak of B29 will be crowded with locals offering their prayers. Legend has it that prayers that are made here will always be granted.

Don’t believe it? Come and try it yourself – make a wish!

Tip: Do bring along thicker jackets as the temperature here can be as low as 5 ℃ in the early morning.

Puncak B29

Entrance fee: Rp.5,000 (approximately USD 0.40)
Location: Desa Argosari, Kecamatan Senduro, Kabupaten Lumajang, Jawa Timur 67254
How to get there: From Malang, take the Bali-Banyuwangi route bus from Arjosari Terminal and hop off at Minak Koncar Lumanjang Terminal, which costs around Rp. 50,000 (approximately USD 3.70). From the terminal, you can either take the local L-300 car or request for a pick up from Desa Argosari villagers by calling 0853 3600 6578  Coordinates here.

6. Witness a kingdom above the clouds and ocean of stars: Bukit Banyon, East Java

Towering at 1,175 metres above the sea, Bukit Banyon is where you can stay after the sunrise and still enjoy a spectacular view.

In the early morning from 5am to 8am, witness a kingdom appear above cotton-candy clouds drifting through the sky as the sun slowly emerges to mark the start of a new day.

Photo Via Im_tohari,Achmad_syafii_m

If you missed this spectacular view, the sunset and beyond is equally mesmerising.

Photo Via Rendy_agastyaga,Bella.lisna_

Watch the sun mark the end of the day by painting the sky with its golden gleam. And when the sun dips into the horizon and darkness falls, you can bask in the enchanting ocean of stars above.

Look afar – do you spot the sparkling city lights from the distance? Now that’s the magic of Bukit Banyon!

Bukit Banyon

Location: Between the border of Desa Widoro and Karanganyar, Kecamatan Gandusari, Kab. Trenggalek, Jawa Timur
How to get there: From Trenggalek, head to Gandusari-Kampak Regency. After reaching Pasar Gandusari, take the left route and drive for around 1 kilometre, before continuing southwards until you reach Bukit Banyon. Coordinates here.

7. Stand taller than the skies: Buntu Liarra, West Sulawesi

We often say “the sky’s the limit”, but in Buntu Liara that’s definitely not the case.

Situated in a mountainous area of Mamasa in West Sulawesi, Buntu Liara has outshone its neighbouring mountains and has become a sensation on social media with its alluring scenery.

Photo Via Rojali_blues

As you stand at the top of Liarra, you’ll feel your excitement surpassing the boundaries of the skies as you watch a marvelous sea of clouds float beneath the peak while reflecting the warm sunshine – a beauty that can only be fully appreciated when you witness this scene yourself.

Photo Via Mardianto_demmattayan

You can see the sea of clouds only between 4am to 9am and at 4pm.

Since no facilities have been set up here yet (not even a trash can), don’t forget to pack all your trash and bring it back with you afterwards. Leave this gorgeous place as clean and beautiful as when you first set foot here.

Buntu Liarra

Location: Desa Talimbung, Kecamatan Tanduk Kalua, Kabupaten Mamasa, Sulawesi Barat 91366
How to get there: To visit Buntu Liarra, a 25-minute drive via motorcycle* from the capital of Mamasa to Balla Peu village is required. Continue your journey to Tamblingan village, where you will need to trek for 20 minutes to the top of Buntu Liarra. Coordinates here.

*The roads from Mamasa to Buntu Liarra are very underdeveloped and hilly, and are unsuitable for cars. There are also no car rentals in the area.

8. Ride in a Pegasus-drawn carriage above the clouds: Bukit Panguk Kediwung, Yogyakarta

We all love a ride in a horse-drawn carriage, but what if you get to ride in a Pegasus-drawn carriage in the skies?

Indulge Bukit Panguk Kediwung’s charm in the skies as you sit on this lovely carriage on a platform above the clouds. Words and pictures don’t do it justice – you’ve got to experience this for yourself!

Photo Via Sawung_bagas,Tunggalsatuajak

Expect total tranquility here with a breathtaking vista. The towering hills, flowing river and lush green forest will fight for the privilege to indulge your eyes.

Photo Via Fdevena

But the most spectacular view from here is a parading sea of clouds in the mornings – a heavenly sight that is often raved about by those who have seen it. What can be dreamier than watching the ocean of white cotton floating by right in front of you in the sunny blue skies?

Photo Via Mita_oci

On a lucky day, you might even catch sight of the clouds on the surrounding hills forming a long line, with the resulting image resembling a fluffy dragon that roams the sky.

Photo Via Ihsanudn

Although the journey here can be challenging due to the hilly and underdeveloped road conditions, the unforgettable sight of Kediwung will definitely be worth all the effort!

Bukit Panguk Kediwung, Dlingo

Parking fee: Motorcycle: Rp 2,000 (approximately USD 0.15), Car: Rp 5,000 (Approximately USD 0.40)
Location: Kediwung, Mangunan, Dlingo, Bantul, D.I. Yogyakarta 55783.
Opening hours: 05.00 – 18.00
How to get there: From Yogyakarta, head to Imogiri until you reach Dlingo (Kebun Buah Mangunan). After arriving, ask the locals for directions and follow the signboards until you arrive. Due to the hilly roads and bad road conditions, do take extra care when travelling!

9. Gate to Paradise: Pura Lempuyang Luhur, Bali

If you wish to fully comprehend the meaning of ‘the island of the gods’, as Bali is often referred as, you need to get to Pura Lempuyang Luhur.

As you walk up the thousand steps and reach the temple’s gate, you will be rewarded with a view of a kingdom in the skies, where an ocean of clouds stretches out before you, beautifully framing a portrait of heaven.

Photo Via Jordhammond

On a clear sunny day, you will be able to behold the mountains, the Amlapura city and Mount Agung.

Stay till sunset and watch the golden rays spread over the sky with drifting clouds, with Mount Agung as a glorious backdrop.

Photo Via _ekasatya,Princejhonz
Photo Via Diegotvh

Pura Lempuyang Luhur

Location: Desa Tista, Kecamatan Abang, Karangasem, Bali
How to get there: Drive from Denpasar for 2 hours, before driving to Candidasa through Amlapura city. An alternative route would be to drive from Selat Karangasem Regency, through Semarapura city. Coordinates here.

10. Watch the sun rise above the sea of clouds: Gunung Prau, Central Java

You can enjoy a beautiful view of the sunrise from many scenic spots in Indonesia, but if you have seen it on Mount Prau, you might never find another spot that offers an equally stunning view.

Come before sunrise and watch the sky exhibit its own kaleidoscope of Milky Way. And as the first rays of dawn peep out from the darkness, it’s time for that magical moment – watch a vast sea of clouds flow beyond the horizon and unfold itself as the sun slowly shoves its way through the claustrophobic sky and cast its light across the clouds and the mountains.

Photo Via Amronfikri

The landscape has simply unfolded itself before your eyes.

Photo Via Graciellasni

Good news for amateur hikers – the terrain of this hiking trail is considered to be suitable for beginners, and the ever-changing scenery throughout your hike will definitely make it more enjoyable if you are not a fan.

Photo Via Liyanzhao_hd
Photo Via Damar Trijati Via YouTube

And guess what’s even cooler? Walk circles around the towers of Mount Prau and you’ll find yourself stepping on 5 different regencies in a matter of minutes!

Note: Mount Prau will be closed annually at the beginning of the year for ecosystem restoration, between 5 January to 5 April.

Gunung Prau

Entrance fee: Rp15,000 (Approximately USD 1.10)
Location: Dataran Tinggi Dieng, Kabupaten Wonosobo, Jawa Tengah 56354. Coordinates here.

11. Mountains in the clouds: Bukit Cumbri, Central Java

Though only located 638 metres above the sea, Bukit Cumbri offers a stunning view that is often only seen from higher grounds.

Watch as the neighbouring lofty mountains are enveloped by the drifting sea of clouds. Isn’t this sight simply hypnotising?

Photo Via Buang.waktu_

If you wish to visit, do note that conquering Bukit Cumbri is not an easy feat. To reach the summit, you must first trek through tough uphill paths. But we assure you that this short one-hour effort would be completely worth it when you behold the glorious panoramic view.

Photo Via Sitoy__
Photo Via Totok-yogaswara

Don’t forget to take those mandatory pictures, though of course, no snaps can actually do justice to the majesty of this place. You need to see and experience it yourself!

Bukit Cumbri

Location: Desa Kepyar, Kecamatan Purwantoro, Kabupaten Wonogiri, Jawa Tengah 57695
Phone: 0813 2650 5957
How to get there: You can either choose the route from Solo (Solo – Wonogiri – Purwantoro – Desa Binting) or Madiun (Madiun – Ponogoro – Sampung – Pager Ukir). Coordinates here.

Have we inspired you to journey to some of the most majestic peaks of Indonesia? Getting to these stunning kingdoms above the sea of clouds is never easy, but they would be some of the most rewarding hikes in your lifetime!

Where would you like to visit?

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Travel Writer

A tourism undergraduate student from Universitas Gadjah Mada who has great passion in books and movies. Leaving footprints all over the world has always been his biggest dream.