Eight Reasons to Visit Java


The most many visitors to Indonesia see of Java is Jakarta airport. But, while Indonesia’s gridlocked capital is a tough city to love, and hectic traffic makes this populous island tough to get around, there’s more to Java than sprawling Asian mega-cities. If you’re thinking of visiting Java, here’s eight good reasons to get up and go.

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Borobudur

Smaller than Angkor Wat, yet at least as majestic, this serene, 8th-century temple is one of the world’s great religious monuments, and especially awe-inspiring when shrouded in mist. If you can, visit during Waisak, the three-day ceremony for Buddha’s Birthday (it falls on 11 May in 2017), to see it in all its vibrant glory.

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Bromo

Possibly the most iconic of Indonesia’s volcanoes, Bromo stands stark amid a sea of black sand, where the local Tenggerese still ride horses as they have since time immemorial. It’s volatile and very active, and the Tenggerese still propitiate the volcano with offerings at the Yadnya Kasada festival in June.

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The Ijen

Just a short hop from Bali, the Ijen plateau offers tranquil highland landscapes, coffee plantations, perfectly conical volcanoes and the Kawah Ijen crater lake, from which miners draw chunks of sulphur. It’s possible to stay at hotels in Banyuwangi, like the Hotel Santika Banyuwangi, but, although accommodation is more basic, the highlands themselves make a better choice.

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Krakatau

Java really is at the epicentre of Indonesia’s Ring of Fire, and Krakatau, midway between Java and Sumatra, rocked the world when it erupted in 1883. There’s little of the original volcano left, just the shattered edge of a caldera and Krakatau’s “daughter”, Anak Krakatau, which continues to rise from the sea at a spectacular 6 metres per year.

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Yogyakarta

Indonesian cities can be hard to relate to, due to largely uncontrolled development, pollution and litter. But cultured Yogya, with its vibrant modern art scene, attractive old town and university city lifestyle, is the exception that proves the rule. It’s also a perfect base for exploring Borobudur.

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Dieng Plateau

While today Java is overwhelmingly Muslim – albeit with some distinctly Hindu and animist features – this serene highland landscape is scattered with literally hundreds of Hindu temples. The temples themselves aren’t stunning, but the crater lakes and rural landscapes are: consider staying in Wonosobo for a better choice of accommodation.

Ujung Kulon

The Sumatran rhino might get all the press, but in this national park in far west Java, the rare Javan rhino is still occasionally seen. Not far from Krakatau, with striking offshore islands and unspoilt forest full of bird life, Ujung Kulon is rarely visited.

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Bandung Tea Plantations

Back in the Dutch colonial era, tea grown around Bandung was a rival to the British plantations around Assam and Darjeeling – and, while most teas are mass-market, a handful of growers are producing organic, hand-crafted teas for connoisseurs. Stay here for colonial hill stations and misty tea plantations, many of which are open for tours.


Image credits: Borobudur 4 by Thrillseekr, Mount Bromo by Ronald Tagra, Sunrise from Ijen Crater, Indonesia by Jimmy McIntyre, #Krakatau by Valdemar Anthony Kornholt, Kereta Kuda, Malioboro, Yogya by Danumurthi Mahendra, Telaga Warna Dieng Plateau by Jimmy McIntyre, Orange Umbrellas by Riza Nugraha and Tea Garden in Indonesia by Skyseeker, all on Flickr’s Creative Commons.

8 Responses

  1. Rosita says:

    Very beautiful pics. Is there any beautiful beach in Java? Are Javanese Muslims aggressive with non-Muslims foreigners?

  2. Zoom says:

    Wow this is amazing! I was originally going to go to Indonesia on my current trip, but ended up staying in Kuala Lumpur a little longer than I planned (it was just so fun there). When I visited Angkor it was magical, so I think I’d love Borobudur!

    What made you want to go here Java in the first place?

  3. Kriysti says:

    Nice information sharing, awesome pictures. Such a amazing place Java and I think it’s a brilliant experience for traveling.

  4. Bill says:

    Despite Java’s crowded cities, there’s plenty to love about this island … great guide!

  5. Abe says:

    Nice original article about Java, It is difficult these days to get great information like this. This is good quality stuff! Thank you.

  6. It’s so beautiful and its so real, Lovely place my wish to travel is Krakatau.

  7. Steven says:

    There are many parts of Java that can be explored and its so beautiful like Karimun Jawa island, or other city. People in Java mostly are moslem and they are very nice even to foreigner, i live in Java and we are welcome for the tourist especially foreigners, so dont be hesitate to come and visit.

  8. Really beautiful destination. My travel wishlist has been updated after reading this article.

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