Two hundred years ago, British Statesman Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles re-discovered the sprawling temple of Borobudur on a remote hilltop in Jave, Indonesia, under a tangle of thick jungle. A UNESCO world heritage site, the world's largest Buddhist shrine endures in a Muslim country.
Eighth and ninth century builders laid out the temple to mirror the form of the sacred lotus flower. Erected during the Sailendra dynasty, the temple consists of 72 bell shaped, perforated stupas, each housing a statue of a Buddha. Tours start at dawn, allowing visitors to enjoy the meditative walk of more than 3 miles.
Java is Indonesia's fifth-largest island. Its 130 million people make up 65% of Indonesia's entire population, and makes Java the most populated island in the world. Covering an area of 127,569 sq. km (7% of Indonesia's area) and with a population density of 940 people/sq. km, Java is the world's most crowded major island as well.
Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, is located on northwest region of Java. Surabaya (the second largest city in Indonesia), is located on East Java. Java acts as Indonesia's center of cultural and economic activity.
This is a quite remarkable island geographically with no less than 121 active volcanoes. Add to that a host of major national parks and, despite its very crowded nature, the island has lots to offer the visitor who appreciates outdoor attractions.
- Trek in Ujung Kulon National Park and Mount Halimun Salak National Park, see excellent examples of rainforest and wild animals.
- Dive in the pristine waters of the Karimunjawa islands.
- Rent a fisherman's boat and sail around the Kepulauan Seribu National Park archipelago.
- See the crater of a volcano real close at Tagkuban Perahu (in Bandung).
- Watch the sunrise at the breathtaking Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park.
- Surf one of the world's great waves at G-Land near Banyuwangi.
- Travel from Jakarta to Yogyakarta by day train. Beautiful landscapes and a cheap and more relaxing way to travel around Java.
- Visit the Dutch war cemeteries Menteng Pulo (central Jakarta) or Ancol (in the north of Jakarta by the sea). They are haunting and quiet getaways from the bustling city. To visit Ancol, take a taxi and ask for "makam kehormatan Ancol".
- Visit Kebun Raya (botanical gardens) in Bogor.