According to 800Zipcodes, Java is not the largest island, but it is the mother island in the Republic of Indonesia with an area that is more than 3 times as large as the Netherlands. The island has 130 million inhabitants in the 4 provinces that the island is rich. The island is also the place where the national government is located. The country is very diverse and typical of Java are the rice fields and the many volcanoes that are located on the island. Many Indonesians move from the other islands to Java to try their luck, hoping to build a better life there. With almost 900 inhabitants per square kilometer, Java is a melting pot of many different peoples who all give a bit of color to this mother island of Indonesia.
Top 10 things to do in Java
The Borobudur is located at the most active volcano of Indonesia “the Merapi”. This temple was built in the period 750 – 850. The Borobudur is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and was only discovered in the 19th century by international explorers. Built as a stepped pyramid, this temple was hidden under a layer of volcanic ash. On the top layer of the Borobudur are small stupas with a Buddha hidden inside. Local superstition is if one can touch the Buddha in it through the stupa one receives eternal happiness.
Malang is the city as a Javanese city looked like before the major construction projects and the ever-increasing crowds. With a cooler climate and rich greenery inside and outside the city, Malang was a popular travel destination during colonial times. It was nicknamed “the Paris of East Java”. This is evident from the stately and colonial buildings that can still be seen in this peaceful city. Within a short travel distance there is also the possibility to visit the city of Batu and the volcano Bromo.
Mount Bromo is one of the many volcanic mountains in Java. Many travelers climb the neighboring mountains to watch the sunrise over Mount Bromo in the early morning. With the fog still hanging and the white volcanic smoke that the mountain continuously produces, you get a beautiful spectacle of mother nature at sunrise. This is breathtaking to behold and well worth the early trip.
#4. Dieng Plateau
The Dieng Plateau is a huge plateau in the middle of Java created by active volcanoes. Many Hindu temples dedicated to the god Shiva were built here in the 8th century. Only 8 of these temples have survived. The plateau is also known for its mineral lakes, steaming geysers and Lake Talaga Warna. Due to the high sulfur content, this lake has a beautiful turquoise glow. Once a prosperous monastic site in the distant past, the Dieng Plateau means freely translated “hometown of the Gods”.
Pangandaran is a coastal town in the south of Java. The beaches are considered to be one of the best on the island and are ideal for surfing. Located on a peninsula is the national park “Penanjung Pangandaran”. Here you can find the flower Rafflesia that can weigh up to 10 kilos and have a diameter of 1 meter. When dusk falls you see the flying foxes (very large bats) returning from the small islands to the mainland in large numbers. While you watch the fishermen with large nets pulling their catch on the sand and it being prepared for you on the barbecue.
This huge Hindu temple complex is located not far from the city of Yogyakarta and is one of the largest in Southeast Asia. Together with the Borobudur, the Prambanan is one of the most visited sights of Java. Also, it may share the same past with the Borobudur to be rediscovered in the 19th century. The temple complex consists of 237 temples that vary in shape and size, but are recognizable in 3 rings. Due to the earthquake of 2006, a lot of damage was caused to some buildings, so that some buildings are still in the process of restoration. Prambanan is visited by many around sunrise and sunset. Not only for the great photos that can be made then.
Jakarta is an unmissable experience with a mix of traffic chaos, insignificant tourist attractions to cultural gems, many shopping complexes and vibrant nightlife. It is the capital and largest city of Indonesia with more than 20 million inhabitants. Sights not to be missed in Jakarta include a visit to the old harbor “Sunda Kelapa”, the “Monumen Nasional”, the “Istiqlal” mosque, Chinatown “Glodok” and the Jakarta Zoo. A city to read and not to be skipped as a destination.
The Kraton is a palace complex and covers 14,000 square meters and has a deep philosophical meaning for the Javanese. In 1756 the first sultan came to live there and most of the amenities you can find in a city can be found here within the complex. It is a city for the sultan who still lives there in the city of Yokyakarta. Today it houses many royal heirlooms, beautiful carriages, antique weaponry and numerous gifts from royal guests. And on certain occasions you will find the court in ceremonial costume.
The heart of Java, geographically but also culturally. The city has the status of a special district and is seen as the fifth province of Java. Yogya is known for manufacturing all kinds of Batik. Also for its silversmiths that you will find in the city. Also called Yogya silver. Worth seeing are the water palace of the sultan “Taman Sari”, the colonial “Fort Vredeburg” and the famous shopping street “Jalan Malioboro”.
#10. Kebun Raya
Also known as Bogor Botanical Gardens. A visit to the park takes you along rivers and ponds. A breath of fresh air when you come out of busy Jakarta. This beautiful garden, which measures 87 hectares, is home to 15,000 tree species, including 400 different types of palms. Not to mention the countless different plants on display. Adjacent you will find the presidential palace that functioned as the official residence of the governor-general in colonial times. The Kebun Raya Bogor is one of the four Kebun Raya Indonesia that are part of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences that is committed to the conservation of the rare flora.