Where: Indonesia: Java: Puncak Pass
When: It is about the same temperature all year around… The difference is between raining and dry season… I actually enjoyed going there at the beginning of raining season. It was hot but not too sunny and the rain once a day was very welcome during hiking.
Drink: Anything but alcohol. It’s a very rural traditional area and since the main religion is the Islam you wont find alcohol in the majority of the Restaurants (Unless you’re staying at a larger hotel). However this is not a place to party anyway, it is more about enjoying the beauty of nature, hiking and exploring a new culture so you wont miss it. Drink lots of water and try the colourful soft drinks you’ve never had before. A lot of places also have fresh coconuts, the perfect drink!
Eat: If you love peanuts as much as I do you will absolutely love the food there. Have the classic “Sate” (chicken with peanut sauce) with rice and vegetables. My favourite dish was the “Gado-gado” salad (translated as “mix-mix”). It is not really a salad, but more a vegetable dish with hard-boiled eggs, tofu, peanut sauce and what I think were pink crab-crackers… Truly delicious and provides you with enough energy to go trough the day.
Price: It is incredibly cheap. The area has mostly tourists from Jakarta and less western people visiting. So the prices are very low. Don’t eat at the hotels but try the little restaurants on the street, that have a view over the valley and the mountains for the lowest price.
Do: Have a travel guide or app to understand the food names. Most people wont speak english so you want to know the basics of what you’re ordering (is it chicken or is it goldfish?). The good news is that they have latin letters so you can read everything and the people are mostly incredibly helpful so you can communicate using your hands and pointing on staff.
My tip: Visit the colour lake (telaga varna) in the area. It’s a beautiful quiet spot with a lot of monkeys. The lake reflects its surroundings and the sky and is therefore called the lake of changing colours.