This post has been submitted by Bastiaan Blikman, the blogger behind Want2discover.com. We have yet to visit Java, so it was fun taking a virtual trip to this intriguing destination.
7 reasons to visit the island of Java in Indonesia
I traveled in Asia for 10 months and there were many highlights. One of them was a visit to the Philippines, a country blessed with amazing people, stunning beaches and unspoiled nature, but another was Indonesia.
I spent a month in Indonesia, but this is by far not enough time to discover everything this country has to offer. I decided to make a choice and only visit Java, Bali and Lombok.
In this article, I will give you 7 reasons why I think you should visit Java.
Java is the most populated Indonesian island, with almost 50 percent of Indonesia’s population living on the island. That’s 114 million people, which is almost six times the population of my home country The Netherlands.
The capital of Indonesia, Jakarta, can also be found on Java. This bustling big city has 20 million inhabitants and is one of the biggest cities in the world.
1. Mount Merapi
Mount Merapi is one the most dangerous and active volcanoes in the world. In 2010 it erupted, leaving behind a path of destruction.
I vividly remember climbing Mount Merapi. Adrenaline rushed through my body. The climb took about 4 hours and I was really hoping that the volcano wouldn’t decide to erupt at that moment!
Gladly it didn’t and I returned safely.
When I came down, a French guy approached me. He told me that he had taken a picture from the other side of the mountain. I gave him my email address and the next day I received this stunning picture in my mailbox.
Climbing the Mount Merapi is one of the most gorgeous and exciting things you can do on Java. The rewards of the climb are a spectacular sunrise and stunning views over Java.
Borobudur is a sacred Buddhist temple in the middle of Java, near the town of Jogjakarta.
The temple has 9 levels and is still used as a sacred place for Buddhists. Every morning Buddhist monks walk 7 times around each of the 9 levels.
The best time to visit Borobudur is at sunrise. When the sun rises, it lights up the temple and you will able to take beautiful photos. Here are some of my best photos.
3. Mount Bromo
Mount Bromo is one of the top attractions of Java. It is a big volcano lying in the middle of a sea of sand. The volcano is best visited at sunrise, because the lighting is amazing.
When I visited the volcano, it was covered in a thick layer of mist – I couldn’t even see it! I had to pay a local guide to take me to the foot of the volcano because I didn’t know where I was going. When the mist cleared away, the volcano revealed itself.
Ijen is a volcano in East Java. Near the Ijen volcano there is 1 kilometer wide turquoise lake. The lake and volcano are known for the labor-intensive sulfur mining. Every day, miners collect the big pieces of sulfur, put them in baskets and walk up the mountain on a 35 to 40 degree angle. The baskets can weigh up to 90 kilograms.
They walk 300 meters up the mountain and then they have to walk another 3 kilometers to the weighing station. Most miners make this journey twice a day and they earn about $13 per day.
5. The temples of Prambanan
Prambanan is one the largest Hindu temple sites in South East Asia, and the largest in Indonesia.
Visually it looks a lot like the temples of Angkor in Cambodia.
6. The Kraton Yogyakarta
Kraton means palace in Indonesian. The Kraton in Yogyakarta is the place where the Sultan of Yogyakarta lives.
The Kraton is a perfect example of traditional Javanese architecture. You can see servants wearing traditional clothing and if you are lucky you can see traditional Javanese dances.
7. Feel like a celebrity
I traveled in Asia for 10 months, but nobody ever asked to take a photo of me. But when I was in Java, almost every Indonesian person I interacted with wanted my photograph.
Whether I was walking around in Jogjakarta, Prambanan or Borobudur, everywhere I went people wanted to take a picture of me. So, if you want to feel like a celebrity for a few days, definitely visit Java.
I had a great time on Java. The island is beautiful and offers plenty of exciting things to see and do. It’s also an easy location to visit the popular islands of Bali and Lombok.
Have you visited Java or Indonesia? What was your most memorable experience?
Author bio: This guest post was written by Bastiaan Blikman. He is a Dutch travel writer and blogger and the founder of the travel and lifestyle blog Want2discover.com. He has been traveling around the world for over 2 years and is currently living in New Zealand. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.