Java is “undoubtedly the most fertile, the most productive and the most populous island within the tropics” declared famous 19th century British naturalist Alfred Wallace.
Stunningly beautiful, from the air the island of Java is a patchwork of spectacular lush green vistas of terraced green rice fields, forests and tea and coffee plantations, climbing from valleys to mountain slopes. Imposing volcanic cones exhale wisps of smoke, and picturesque villages peek among the green.
Among this lush scenery, the amazing Borobudur stupa on a hill commands serene surroundings. While mainly along the coast are busy cities : Jakarta, Surabaya, Semarang , but also located inland, Bandung , Yogyakarta and Solo – cities filled with modern high rise towers, and people and people everywhere.
From centuries past, powerful kingdoms have risen and fallen, leaving precious heritage of sophisticated civilizations, wise philosophical thoughts, masterful monuments, and enduring arts and crafts. Since the first century AD international trade thrived with India and China, and since the arrival of Europeans in the 16th. century, Java became the entrepot in the Asian and European sea trade.
Java is the home of Batik, the Wayang shadow puppets, the Keris dagger, all of which UNESCO declared World Cultural Heritage. The 8th.Buddhist temple Borobudur and adjacent 9th century Hindu temple, Prambanan, have similarly been declared World Heritage sites. While in the westernmost corner of Java, the sprawling Ujung Kulon-Krakatau Nature Reserve was Indonesia’s first National Park, conserved habitat for the near extinct Java one-horned rhino. While East Java was the seat of the 14th century mighty Majapahit Kingdom which reigned over the archipelago.