About 45 kilometres south of Semarang on the road to Solo are the small cities of Ambarawa and Salatiga, whose residents often travel into the surrounding hills on weekends to enjoy the cool fresh air that comes with such altitudes. These cool mountainous areas are great bases for a number of activities such as climbing nearby volcanoes, checking out the temples of Gedong Songo and the railway museum in Ambarawa.
The temperatures experienced in these areas are a far cry from those in the lowlands and as such some will feel much more comfortable wearing long sleeves and long pants. The two main hill stations are Bandungan located about 900 metres above sea level and a short angkot ride from Ambarawa and Kopeng located at approximately 1,600 metres above sea level and a one-hour bus ride from Salatiga.
Both locations see foreign tourists very infrequently and you may well be the only foreigner that has been there in the past month. That said, it makes a visit to these areas satisfying if you're interested in getting off the beaten track to have a more local experience.
There are ATMs in Bandungan, but not in Kopeng and police posts in both.
Medical facilities are available in Ambarawa, but serious concerns will need to be tended to in Semarang.
Internet facilities are available in both towns on their respective main roads and mobile internet access is available in Bandungan and Kopeng via Telkomsel.
By Adam Poskitt.