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Java (Indonesian: Jawa) is an island in Indonesia.

Mount Bromo (left) and Mount Semeru (top right), East Java


Java is the fifth-largest island of Indonesia. Population: 120 millions people. (65% of Indonesia's population). The population of Java is greater than other islands in the world. Area: 127569 sq. km (7% of Indonesia's area). Density: 940 people/sq. km.

Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia is located on northwest region of Java. Surabaya (the second largest city in Indonesia) is located on East Java. The center of cultural and economical activity in Indonesia is located in Java.

The island has given its name to a programming language and a blend of coffee.

The main ethnic group in Java is Javanese, except for the West Java region where most people are Sundanese. In the province of East Java, 22% of the population is of Madurese descent. Half of them lives on the island of Madura.

Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia. Population: 8 millions (within city limits). The total population of Jakarta and its suburbs: 12 millions people. The population of Jakarta is a mix of many ethnics. The native ethnic of Jakarta is Betawi.


Map of Java

Java is split into six provinces:

  • The province of Banten. The capital city of Banten province is Serang.
  • The province of West Java. The capital city of West Java province is Bandung.
  • The province of DKI Jakarta.
  • The province of Central Java. The capital city of Central Java province is Semarang.
  • The province of DI Jogjakarta.
  • The province of East Java. The capital city of East Java province is Surabaya.



  • Cengkareng -- suburb of Jakarta. Soekarno Hatta International Airport is located at Cengkareng.
  • Tangerang -- suburb of Jakarta.
  • Cilegon -- industrial and port city.

West Java

  • Bandung -- great nightlife, restaurants, cheap fashion
  • Bogor -- the summer capital of the Dutch, known for its botanical garden and beautiful palace.
  • Depok -- suburb of Jakarta. University of Indonesia is located at Depok.

Central Java

  • Semarang -- port city, old buildings and inspiring museums
  • Solo (also known as Surakarta) -- beautiful palace, inspiring museums and batik factories

DI Jogjakarta

  • Jogjakarta -- beaches, beautiful palace and inspiring museums.

East Java

  • Surabaya -- old buildings and inspiring museums
  • Banyuwangi -- the most eastern regency of Java and port to Bali
  • Selo -- small village where to start the trek of Gunung Merapi, magnificent active volacano

Other destinations

  • Ujung Kulon -- Beautiful national park (Banten).
  • Anyer -- Beautiful beach (Banten).
  • Borobudur -- The largest ancient Buddhist temple, one of the world's seven wonders (Central Java).
  • Prambanan -- A great Hindu temple (Central Java).
  • Mount Bromo -- The region where one of the last pockets of Javanese Hindus is to be found (East Java).
  • Mount Tangkuban Parahu -- Ancient volcano, located in West Java
  • Anak Krakatoa -- New active volcano, sinking island (Banten).


While Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) is the lingua franca understood by almost everyone, the majority of Java's population also speak Javanese, a related but mutually incomprehensible language. As the largest single language in Indonesia, Javanese influence on Bahasa Indonesia has been quite significant, and particularly in Central and East Java you'll even hear the local pronunciation change — the most notable change is a turning into o, so eg. Surabaya becomes Suroboyo.

Other significant local languages include Sundanese, spoken in West Java, and Madurese, spoken on and around the island of Madura.

Get in

By Air

Most visitors arrive at Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang, Surabaya and Yogyakarta. There are several domestic airlines such as Garuda, Lion Air, Mandala, Sriwijaya Air. International airlines: AirAsia, SQ, Qantas, MAS, Cathay Pacific, PAL, Thai International, JAL, KAL, Eva Air, Air India, etc.

By Sea

  • PT Angkutan Sungai Danau dan Penyeberangan/PT ASDP,

ferry services: 1. From Gianyar(Bali) to Gilimanuk (East Java). 2. From Bakauheni (Lampung/Southern Sumatera) to Merak (Banten). 3. From Kamal (Madura) to Tanjung Perak (Surabaya).

  • PT Pelayaran Nasional Indonesia/PT PELNI (Website: PELNI). Passenger ships:

1. From Medan (North Sumatra) to Tanjung Priok (Jakarta). 2. From Pontianak (West Kalimantan) to Tanjung Priok (Jakarta). 3. From Makassar (South Sulawesi) to Tanjung Perak (Surabaya). 4. many other routes.

Get around

Java's infrastructure is by far the best in Indonesia, and it's possible to cross the entire island by land in a single (long) day. However, the sheer density of population means that roads, buses and trains can get overcrowded if you're moving at the same time as everyone else.

By bus

The main form of long-distance transport, vast armadas of buses cross the island and connect every city and mountain hamlet. Watch out though, as many drivers have near-suicidal driving habits that emphasize speed above all else. Many criminals often offer drinks laced with sleeping pill.

By train

Java has the best railway network in Indonesia, with trains connecting the capital city of Jakarta with most other cities and towns in the island. The eksekutif class is the best class, and consequently the most expensive.

Ticket reservations can be made starting one month in advance. No on-line ticket reservation is available, but availability can be gleaned on PT Kereta Api's ticketing site. Description of various trains are available on Kereta Api website.

By road

Java's toll roads are built nearly to Western standards, with dual grade-separated lanes in both directions and elevated interchanges. Tolls are quite affordable, usually Rp 1,000-5,000 every 10 km or so. However, signage is often lacking and driving habits are atrocious, so it's very wise to pay a little extra and get a car with driver instead of attempting to drive yourself.





Stay safe

Get out

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