People think that mountain climbing is my hobby (though I have plenty of other indoor passions like playing the best free solitare I can find). Well, it does look like it since many of my photos seem to be about them. In fact, it’s not the mountain climbing that I’m hooked on, but it’s the feeling of seeing the first sunrise from above the clouds that makes me feel much more alive. Climbing mountains requires tons of hard work, and by carrying my photography equipment up to that altitude takes even more stamina. Not something I was built for to be honest. Fortunately, what comes after the climbing is absolutely rewarding. The peace and quiet you get on top of these magnificent mountains is just extraordinary. The feeling of getting away from the city is something that needs to be recharged from time to time. The only thing that keeps me going and motivated is my passion for photography, to capture that sunrise. This year, Fann and I went on an adventure to the lands of the Dieng Plateau of Central Java. There, we discovered this gorgeous mountain called Mount Prau.

Mount Prau stands proudly at 2565m above sea level and is the highest peak of the Dieng Plateau. It is surrounded by trees and farm plantations. Situated in the quiet town of Wonosobo, Mount Prau is indeed a heaven within heaven. The climb up to the peak was not as easy as you think. We started our hike as early as around 2:30am. The sky was still extremely dark and it was filled with glittering stars. With plenty of stops along the way, we managed to conquer it’s peak after about 2.5 hours of ascend. Along the way, we were panting and thirsty for water. Good thing we brought enough just to reach the top. Once we were at the peak, I quickly set up my camera and tripod and my first shot of the sunlight’s peek came at exactly 5:01am.

The first glance of the sunlight eased everything in my mind. It may be as cold as 2°C but all my worries were gone in an instant. It was so quiet and the only thing I could hear was the wind and Fann’s camera clicking away. We were the only ones on the top and it felt like we owned the world. The city of Wonosobo looked so tiny from above. It was partially covered with clouds and it makes you think that how humans are so small and how even tinier our troubles were. I spent almost an hour and a half taking photos of the beautiful scenery. Once there was the first sunlight, we could see the peaks of Mount Sindoro and Mount Sumbing peeping out among the clouds. It was truly an amazing sight. All that hard work had just paid off.

On the mountain, we also saw a few hikers who were camping along the peaks slightly further away from where we stood. They were having a great time as from what I could see. Our guide too had fun on his own. He brought a couple of toy cars and took photoshoots of it with the mountains. It looked as though someone drove their car up to Mount Prau. After the sun has become too strong for photography, we decided to descend. That’s when we could see the trial and what we’ve missed out during our early morning ascend. There were also great view points along the way down and lastly, there was this village that was surrounded by farm terraces. It was gorgeous.

Mount Prau Sunrise

Fann enjoying mother nature and snapping away with her camera

Mount Prau Sunrise

Mount Sindoro and Sumbing peeping out among the clouds at first sunlight

Mount Prau Sunrise

The town of Wonosobo is still asleep at this hour

Mount Prau Sunrise

Mother Nature is a genius in colour combination

Mount Prau Sunrise

More warm colours from the sunlight spreads across Mount Sindoro’s backside

Mount Prau Sunrise

The colour of the skies are starting to change

Mount Prau Sunrise

The sun finally appears

Mount Prau Sunrise

The real surise is finally here

Mount Prau Sunrise

Some locals having fun with the Indonesian flag. Look at the size of Mount Sindoro

Mount Prau Sunrise

Wonosobo covered in clouds

Mount Prau Sunrise

Gorgeous view of Wonosobo from above

Mount Prau

Fann and the peak’s mark

Mount Prau Climb

Wefie with our guide

Mount Prau Sunrise

Mount Sinboro

Mount Prau Sunrise

First morning in Mount Prau

Mount Prau

Surrounded by beautiful farms

Mount Prau

Mount Sinboro as seen halfway down Mount Prau

Tips for climbing Mount Prau

Dieng is famous for it’s cooling weather. If you are planning to climb Mount Prau, do get prepare warmer clothes and jackets. It can be as chilling as 0 degrees especially during the night. It’s also advisable to check the weather before ascending. Climbing when it’s raining or when the mud is wet is absolutely dangerous. Then, it’s best for you to bring along a headlamp as you need to watch for what you’re stepping on because some of the slopes are extremely steep and rocky. Make sure you bring good hiking shoes or else you will come back without one. For first timers, it’s always great to get yourself a local guide as we did. You could always check with your hostel on how to hire a guide. They won’t cost you too much, so do not worry. The locals in Dieng are all hospitable, friendly and nice. So, there’s basically nothing much to worry about except for the unpredictable weather.

For more photos of my Dieng series click here.


  • October 11, 2017 Reply


    great photos Sir 🙂
    may I know what lens u use for the above photos ?
    and do you bring with you together along the hike the tripod?

    kindly reply me,
    Atiefah, Malaysia

    • October 14, 2017 Reply


      Hi Atiefah, thank you for the lovely comments. I used a couple of lens for the shoot. Most of them are shot with my 16-35mm and 70-200mm. Yes, I also brought along my tripod for the shoot. It may be a little bit of a burden, but I assure you that it’s worth every single sweat to bring with. You will not regret it. Enjoy your trip, Cheers.

  • January 19, 2018 Reply


    Hi Ruben, when did you exactly hike the mountain? Was it cloudy or rainy, and was it so crowded? Thanks

    • January 20, 2018 Reply


      Hi Agas, I went to Mt Prau in September. The weather was pretty good. There was no rain at all. I visited 2 years ago and it wasn’t crowded during that time.

  • May 13, 2018 Reply


    Hello Reuben,
    Your photos are amazing. Keep it up!
    I am so inspired by the beauty of your work that I decided I gotta visit Gunung Prau for myself.
    I am from Singapore too, so just wanna ask how you travelled to Dieng. Did you take a flight to Jogja and hire a car to Dieng or take public transport?

    • May 14, 2018 Reply


      Hi Shaz, Thanks. I’m so glad that you like my photos. I’m actually from Malaysia.
      And Yes, I flew to Jogja and hired a car to Dieng. Public transport is definitely way cheaper but when you’re there, a car would be more convenient to move around. Dieng.

      • May 21, 2018 Reply


        Oh sorry Reuben, my bad!
        Thanks a lot for your reply, I’ll do the same thing then.
        Your photos make me want to travel everywhere:)
        Take care!

  • May 25, 2018 Reply


    Hey! Nice pictures!

    May I know what kind of camera/camera body are you using!

    • June 2, 2018 Reply


      Hey Gan, Thank you so much. I used a Nikon D800.

  • June 12, 2018 Reply


    Hello Reuben!

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos of Mt Prau! Me and friends have been inspired to see Mt Prau after seeing your wonderful photos.

    Can we get a guide once we reached Dieng or do we need to arrange prior to arriving there?

    • June 18, 2018 Reply


      Hi Tet, yes you can look for a guide when you’re there. The locals at Dieng are very friendly and I’m sure they will be glad to help you out. Or if you want to make sure, you can get your driver in Yogykarta to contact the guides at Dieng before heading there.

  • August 31, 2018 Reply


    Breathtaking photos

    • September 9, 2018 Reply


      Thank you

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