Home to over 60 percent of the total population of Indonesia, Java is the most crowded island in the world. On its northwest is the Indonesian capital of Jakarta and the island is the undisputed hub of Indonesian economy and culture.
Java offers a variety of attractions for travelers. There are so many things to do and see in this big island that you are often spoilt for choice. Java’s scenic beauty is fascinating and you can find relatively quieter places even in this thickly populated island. Java has it all – big metropolis, volcanoes, rice and tea plantations, rainforests, huge waves and what not. If the beaches in Java disappoint you because of the dangerous tides, you may explore the white sand beaches in nearby Karimunjawa or Pulau Seribu.
Among your must-see places will be the Bromo- Tengger-Semeru National Park, a volcanic region with some active craters and recognized as a World Heritage Site. Enjoy the beautiful sunrise on Mount Bromo that will take your breath away. If you like rainforest and wild animals, visit Ujung Kulon National Park as well as Mount Halimun Salak National Park that offer you both.
In the central part of Java, Pangandaran is highly popular for its fabulous beaches which are ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Snorkeling is all the more enjoyable here because of its rich and colorful underwater marine life. There are also beautiful waterfalls, gorges, caverns and a national park in the area.
Your visit to Java would remain incomplete if you do not visit Borobudur, the historical Buddhist temple in the central part of the island near Yogyakarta, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. In Bogor, there is a feast for your eyes in the form of green gardens and Bandung, Java’s third largest city, will give you a glimpse of its exquisite architectural sites.
With Yogyakarta as your operation base, you can visit Prambanan Temple, the biggest Hindu temple complex on the island. Besides the famous Bali beach, the eastern part of Java also boasts of beautiful lakes, wildlife reserves, volcanoes and temples. Among other destinations worth visiting are Madura, a beautiful island, Dutch war cemeteries located in Central Jakarta and Ancol (north Jakarta), Gunung Gede volcano and Anyer, an excellent beach and gateway to Krakatoa volcano.
In case you are fond of playing golf, you can visit the Merapi golf course. The volcano only a few miles away forms a fabulous backdrop for the beautiful course. There are enough opportunities for water sports such as snorkeling for those who are not content with just sightseeing. Shoppers can enjoy themselves at the beautiful shopping malls in Jakarta where one can buy almost everything.
If you are keen to get a taste of the local food, ask for mie goreng in the street food stalls. Also have a go at martabak – you won’t regret it. Enjoy ice-cream at Toko Oen. And enjoy an excellent Sunday brunch in any Jakarta international hotel. Drink only boiled water.
There is no need to be extra careful in Java – it’s as safe as your own hometown.