Java is a magnificent maelstrom of wild rainforests and urban jungle, mystical sites and magical beaches. Outside dazzling Jakarta, tiny villages give a hint of the many age-old cultures that ripple through the country. Watch traditional music and dance performances in Yogyakarta. Let your jaw drop at the Buddhist temple of Borobudur and Prambanan Plain palaces. Skirt rice terraces and volcanic craters as you travel this extraordinary Indonesian island.
Raw beauty and riveting culture pack this incredible Indonesian island.
- Capital city: Jakarta.
- Currency: Indonesian Rupiahs (in 2,000Rp, 5,000Rp, 10,000Rp, 20,000Rp, 50,000Rp and 100,000Rp notes).
- Cuisine: Flavours flex depending on what side of Java you travel to. Broadly speaking, central island dinners tend to be sweet and savoury, while the eastern edge serves up a spicy, saltier kick. Both often pair dishes with rice, cassava or a type of spring roll.
- Tipping etiquette: Most luxury hotels and high-end restaurants tie in service charges. You can tip anyone who provides particularly good service – but it’s not expected.
- Saying hello: In formal situations say “salam sejahtera”. Day to day, “Hi” or “Halo” will get you by.
WHEN TO GO
May to roughly October tend to be the driest months on Java, but there’s very little to split the seasons here. After all, it’s known for its tropical climate. It’s also famed for a brimming events calendar – from colourful carnivals to contemporary film festivals.
Java is volcano country, taking hiking to a whole new level. Try trekking to Mount Bromo, Merbabu or the glowing turquoise lake at Kawah Ijen.
Top tip from SLH