Why Java – the 5th Largest Island in Indonesia – Should be on your Travel Radar

by - August 22, 2018

Java is an island in Indonesia, similar in size to England. It is the 13th largest island in the world and the 5th largest in the country. More than half the Indonesian population live on Java, a figure of over 141 million people. It is also where the capital city of Indonesia – the popular tourist destination, Jakarta – is situated. 

Formed mainly from volcanic eruptions, its natural landscape is rainforest, which supports a huge and varied amount of flora and fauna. Most of the forests are now on the mountain slopes, as the development of the island resulted in many of the flat ground forests being felled off. For nature lovers though, Java is a paradise because along with the unusual plants and flowers, it has over 450 species of birds and more than 130 species of fishes. There is also wildlife such as the Javan rhinoceros and the Javan warty pig.


Whether it is small boutique hotels or large resorts, Java has all types of accommodation you would find in a tourist locale. If you truly want to be a part of the action, you should consider staying at the local properties, some of which are listed on https://www.rumah.com/rumah-dijual/di-area-surabaya-idji29/dibawah-400juta-rupiah, rather than staying in a hotel. The local properties are cheap, comfortable and situated right near the major attractions in Java. You will have stunning views and be made very welcomed by locals, who also love to have photos taken with their visitors. 


Traditional Javanese food, which you can read about at http://indonesiacalling.com/25-javanese-foods/, is known for its spices, freshness, and simplicity. Compared to other parts of Indonesia, the food cooked here is sweeter since a lot of palm sugar is used along with the sweet soy sauce in the preparation. Rice is a staple part of the Javanese diet and is served at most meals.

Fresh produce is bought from the markets daily and prepared for lunchtime. You can buy traditional meals from the carts by the streets and local cafes, where you will get a lot of food for very little money. For example, a plate of Nasi Goreng, which is a delicious fried rice dish with chicken and vegetables, will cost you less than 100 rupees.

There is also fine dining if that is what you prefer, and international cuisines are served too. If you're missing your friendly burger and french fries, then you would find your beloved snacks across Java.


Java is one of the few places in Indonesia that has public buses, and they are mainly in Jakarta. The service is good and cheap. There are also public minibuses that go to some of the more outlying towns and villages. When at the bus stop, you will come across motorcycle riders who carry passengers, but hey, negotiate before you jump on it! These motorcycles are a safe and fun way to travel, but they could try to charge you more! However, if you stay wise and assertive, then you might land the best ride.

Taxis are readily available, most of which have meters. And yet again, if your taxi does not have a metre, do not get in the car until a price is agreed upon. You will also come across private cars offering to give rides, but these are certainly not regulated and the safety standards could vary.


The Javan island has a ton of wonderful places to visit but when you're in Indonesia, visiting a Buddhist temple should unmissably be on your list. Borobudur is a sacred temple situated in central Java. It lies just outside the town of Jogjakarta and dates back to the 8th and 9th centuries. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Built on nine levels, it is still a sacred place for Buddhist monks who walk seven times around each level every morning. If you visit at sunrise, the sunrays light up the temple, which makes it a beautiful opportunity for photographs.


As Java was mainly formed from volcanic eruptions you would expect to see some volcanoes on the island and be able to cross off 'Visit a volcano' from your bucket list finally. There are several volcanoes, including Mount Merapi which is one of the most dangerous and active volcanoes in the world, having last erupted in 2010. Mount Bromo, which is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Java, lies in the middle of a sea of sand and Ijen is close to a wide turquoise lake that together with the volcano is used for very labour-intensive sulfur mining.

It is advisable to take a guide with you to most volcano sites, as getting lost is apparent here.


The World Heritage site of Prambanan has the remains of some 244 Hindu temples built in the 9th century. It is one of the largest places of worship in Indonesia, the central compound being the highlight of any tour. This has eight main and eight minor temples, the largest and finest being Candi Shiva Mahadeva that can be found in the main courtyard.

The site has suffered damages from earthquakes and volcanic eruptions but is now restored to its former glory (however, you might still find some bits of it fenced off while the work is finished).


Nightlife in Java is varied and plentiful. There are movies, theatres, bars, nightclubs and restaurants dotted about all over the island. If you want a quiet meal for two, or to party the night away, you will have no shortage of options in Java.


A tropical paradise is how some of the beaches in Java feel. Soft white sand and clear blue waters are ideal for a lazy day on the beach, or to take part in many of the water sports. Surfing is especially popular here, but you can try diving and snorkelling too. Boat trips are another option and are the only way to access some of the exotic bays around the coastline.


Each one of us has different expectations, but with Java, you are almost guaranteed not to be disappointed, no matter what type of holiday you prefer. With delicious cuisine, stunning scenery and some of the friendliest people you will ever meet, Java has something for everyone...

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