Southeast Asia and the world’s largest archipelago: Over 240 million Indonesians inhabit over 18.000 islands, spanning three time zones. 300 languages are spoken, although the lingua franca Bahasa Indonesia, is spoken by almost everybody. Indonesia bore the grunt of over 350 years of colonization by the Dutch. The island of Java is the most densely populated, its large, hectic cities attracting labor migrants from far and wide. Bali, the small Hinduistic island to the west of Java, is the main port of call for most tourists. Capital: Jakarta Population: 240 million State religion: Islam Languages: Bahasa Indonesia Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (RP)
It is estimated that Borobudur took 75 years to build, at the peak of the Syailendra dynasty in the 9th century. It consists of ten platforms — six of square shape, three round, and one main stupa at the center of top platform. For over four hundred years since the 14th century, the temple was abandoned following the decline of Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms as well as the spread of Islam in Java. Now it is one of Indonesia's major tourist attractions.
As the most populous place in Southeast Asia, Jakarta is a bustling and a chaotic city that can easily overwhelm visitors. Being Indonesia’s capital, it is the center for both the nation’s government and the main economic sector. Behind the restlessness of everyday rush hour, Jakarta is sprawling with various attractions that you can indulge in. Whether you want to kick back and relax or party all night long, Jakarta has it all. These insider tips showcase my favorite places to eat, shop and play!
By: Emma Kwee
West Java is the most populated province in Indonesia, with over 43 million inhabitants. The capital Bandung is the third largest city in the archipelago and home to a whopping 8 million people. West Java offers stunning vistas, smoking volcanoes, tea plantations, historical (often colonial) architecture and great food and shopping. Sundanese culture and language are an intricate web of traditions and customs. Great food and open-minded friendly people will make you feel at home at once in West Java.
Bandung is the capital of the Sundanese, the main culture of the provinces West Java and Banten. Within this cultural hemisphere, only Jakarta is excluded. The Sundanese have their own cultural legacy and language, which is truly unique and can be experienced in no place better than Bandung.
By: Abmi Handayani
Central Java is full of mysterious enchantment. This province is sandwiched between the more populous West and East Java provinces. Semarang is its capital city, even though Yogyakarta is often considered the cultural heart of the region.
Central Java is rich in natural beauty and historical significance. Covering about ±32.548 km2, Central Java offers a lot of diversity. With more than five volcanos looming large over the province, the land here is very fertile. Green rice paddies in the coastal lowlands are followed by vegetable, coffee and tea plantations on the central mountain slopes.
Besides its natural resources, Central Java is also somewhat of a treasure chest for archeologists. In 1891, Dutch paleoanthropologist Eugene Dubois found fossils of the Pythecanthropus erectus, later dubbed the Java Man, in a karst area in Sangiran. Since that time, many other other ancient sites and fossils were found, both by the foreign as local researchers. In 1814 Raffles struck gold when Indonesians pointed him in the direction of the Borobudur temple (Magelang). The Prambanan (at the border area of Yogyakarta and Klaten), discovered in 1811 is a ninth century Hindu temple, and one of the biggest in Southeast Asia.
By: Emma Kwee
East Java (Java Timur in Bahasa Indonesia) is the easternmost part of the island of Java. it includes the island of Madura and some other smaller islands in the region. The capital of East Java is Surabaya, the second largest city in Indonesia and a major industrial center and port. East Java is the second most populated province in Indonesia, after West Java. The population consists of Javanese, Madurese and a sizeable Chinese community.
Most visitors to East Java only see the Bromo volcano, the star attraction in the region, located around 70 kilometers from Surabaya. The Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park it sits in is a popular hiking destination. Typically, people will stay near the bromo overnight and hike or ride on horseback to the volcanoe at sunrise. While its views are indeed spectacular, East Java has a lot more to offer.