Java is such a magical island and one that people will overlook on their travels to Indonesia. However, this incredible and diverse island has something for everyone.
Traveling will be an overland affair on local buses, so you will have to polish up on a little bit of Bahasa as English will only get you so far. There are also not as many hostels in some of the more remote areas, meaning that you will be staying in guesthouses for some nights which generally tend to be quite cheap. Most of the hostels are located in the larger city regions such as Jakarta and Yogyakarta. There are a few other hostels scattered in different locations around the island; just use the internet to find them.
Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia as well as the financial hub. It is an interesting city with quite a bit to do. Whatever it is you do here, if you are a junkie for anything antique or nautical, go to the antique markets. Some of them have quite impressive relics.
Yogyakarta is the second most popular of the island’s larger cities. It is your gateway to the amazing Prambanan and Borobudur ruins. These are spectacular and not to be missed if coming to Java.
Other really popular destinations towards the eastern part of the island are the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park and Kawah Ijen Volcano and Crater Lake. Bromo is an active volcano complex that has some stunning views. You can hike your way up to the top of the active volcano which even has a spot where you can watch the sun rise over all of the volcanoes. It is best to get up at 3:30 am and start the walk to the view point so you don't wind up fighting all of the other tourists with their hired jeeps at the top.
Kawah Ijen is an active volcano and sulfur mine. Stepping into this landscape feels like something out of this world. You again should travel in the middle of the night and hike down into the crater rim in the dark, before sunrise. The sulfur miners will be there, too, carrying massive baskets for very little money up the mountain and down the other side. If you ask and give them a tip, you can take photos with them. They love people. At night, you will also get to see the blue flame that is emitted by the volcano’s burning sulfur.
To get to Java, you either fly into one of the major cities or catch a ferry from Bali into Banyuwangi. You can even score a cheeky "I love Banyuwangi" t-shirt while you are there.
Hi, I'm Globetrotter,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Java hostels. Welcome.