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Click on the colored areas of the
map to access a travelogue. The colors indicate different regions of Java -- scroll down for explanation and introduction for each location. (Original
map comes from Microsoft
Introduction. The island
of Java is Indonesia's heartland, home to the country's capital,
Jakarta. Like much of Indonesia, Java is multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and
multi-religious. Islam dominates but the Javanese culture is a mix of
Islamic traditions of the Middle East combined with indigenous traditions based
on Hinduism, Buddhism, and other tribal faiths. The Javanese are friendly,
hard-working, and family-oriented.
Politically, Java is divided into four provinces, named West
Java, Central Java, and East Java. (Jakarta is considered part of West
Java, though like Washington DC it has its own "province".) The
majority of the ancient Hindu and Buddhist temples reside in the Central and
East provinces, particularly around Yogyakarta near the southern coast.
The travelogues available currently concentrate on the environs
around two of Java's major cities -- Jakarta and Yogyakarta. Around
Jakarta, the attractions are
mostly modern additions -- botanical gardens in Bogor, a wildlife conservatory
in Puncak, and the many resorts of the 1000 Islands. Many of the towns and
villages in West Java cater to Jakartans venturing out for the weekend,
although plenty of expatriates from the capital get out, too. As for
Yogyakarta, the attractions are historic and scenic. "Jogja" as
it is known to Indonesians, played a central role in Indonesia's independence
from colonial rule. Its surroundings have great landmarks dedicated to
each of four major world religions -- the Buddhist temples of Borobudur, the
Hindu Candi Prambanan in Yogyakarta's east, the Roman Catholic "Lourdes of
Indonesia" in Sedang Sono, and the Muslim sultanate in the Kraton palace
complex in Yogyakarta's center. All these are in a setting of magnificent
volcanos, jungles, and beautiful rice fields.
The "list" for Java includes a return to Yogyakarta to
visit even more of the many temples and attractions we have not yet
visited. New locations would include the mountain city of Bandung in west
Java, and Surabaya in the east.
coloring of the locations on the map above indicate different locations in
Indonesia, as shown below.
(5-Chapter Travelogue). The
city of Jakarta is a sprawling metropolis, where
buildings tower over shanty villages, where rice paddies are grown
alongside the main access road to the airport, and where the city's
largest Catholic cathedral sits across the street from the country's
grandest mosque, the Istiqlal. Westerners are most likely to visit
Jakarta for business, and the largest
international business district is in the Golden
Triangle in the center (national monument "Monas" pictured
above). The Taman Mini II is the
country's showcase, a cultural museum where the architectures and cuisines
are on display. Ancol (below) is the
local playground, with amusement parks and outdoor concert halls.
The final chapter covers a piece on Sights and
Sounds, especially written for potential ex-pats to get a hint of what
living in Indonesia is like.
YOGYAKARTA Province, Sendangsono, and Borobudur.
After Bali, Yogyakarta (pronounced joke-ja-KAR-ta and commonly known as
"Jogja") is Indonesia's second greatest tourist
due to the number of temples, palaces, or landmarks representing four
major world religions, all within about an hour radius within.
Buddhism's great landmark is the massive 8th century temple of Borobudur
Roman Catholics routinely make pilgrimages to the tiny
and remote village
of Sendangsono, the "Lourdes of Southeast Asia".
Meanwhile, the great city of Yogyakarta (better known as "Jogja")
is not only a famous university town, but it is home to the massive Hindi
temple of Candi Prambanan and the Kraton (shown below), the palace of Indonesia's only sultinate.
West Java (Jawa Barat). The further from
Jakarta you get, the less European influence you are going to see -- western
Java is dominated by thick jungles, rice paddies, and tall mountain
ranges. The three travelogues available here cover parts of western
Java that the locals (particularly from Jakarta) like to go. Bogor
(pictured above) is a primarily residential area that a number of
commuters like to live. It's primary attraction is a beautiful botanical
garden near the brilliant white Bogor Castle. Further south is Puncak,
home of the Taman Safari (pictured below), a wildlife conservation center
and amusement park that's a popular family destination. In the
opposite direction out to sea are western Java's 1000 Islands,
a collection of small islands turned into individual resorts.
Tangkuban Perahu is a series of volcanic craters near Bandung, and a
travelogue on it is coming soon.
Java Road Trip. This is a photo
gallery of the great scenery in
the center of Java Island, as captured on the drive between the West Java city of Cirebon, along the
northern coast to Semarang, stopping at the border with Yogyakarta
province. Included are gorgeous mountains and jungle passes, and
rice fields as far as the eye can see.
Links. The below links connect you to
external sites in a new window. All links are official sites sanctioned by
the national, state, or local governments unless otherwise indicated.
While some home pages are in English, others will open to the Bahasa Indonesia-language home page which will usually offer
an icon or link to an English-language section (normally limited content).
The most common icon used is that of an American or UK flag. If an English
language link is not available, click on links named "Tourisme".
This is for the tourism page, which should have English content. Links updated
25 January 2006.
Regional and City Links: