Don't Miss these Five Hot Spots in Java, Indonesia

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Indonesia is a nation of islands (over 17,000 at last count!) and no island defines the Indonesian experience more than Java. With a population of 120 million people making their living in a place only half the size of Great Britain, you’d think it would be difficult to find a quiet spot, let alone wilderness. And yet Java’s volcanic spine ensures there is adventure to be had outside its teeming cities.

Our local guide Dadang was born and raised in Yogyakarta city, long considered the cultural capital of Java. He’s here today to share with us five quintessential experiences he thinks all visitors to his island should enjoy.

One of the famous icons in east Java is Mount Bromo. Mount Bromo volcano is located in the eastern district of Probolinggo near Malang city. Many tourists visit Bromo to enjoy the beautiful sunrise from the edge of the enormous crater. The unique view of Bromo crater and the sea of sand and clouds that surrounds the mountain looks particularly beautiful and almost other-worldly in the morning.

Yogyakarta is one of the provinces in Indonesia. Although it is located in Central Java, Yogyakarta has the privilege of being its own distinct province because of its integral part in the history of the island. It is considered the second most important tourist destination in Indonesia, after Bali. This is the best place in Java to explore the island’s cultural and artistic heritage. Yogyakarta is also an excellent base for exploring two more of Java’s treasures: Borobudur and Prambanan.

Borobudur is an easy daytrip from Yogyakarta. This enigmatic and beautiful temple complex is one of South East Asia’s highlights. Miraculously, it has survived numerous eruptions by nearby Mount Merapi, along with the tread of thousands and thousands of visitors each year. This is an excellent place to learn about the story of Buddha Gautama.

Make sure not to miss Prambanan. This temple complex has a scope nearly as vast as Borobudur’s, but its striking silhouette makes it a very different place. Prambanan was founded around the 9th century AD, is one of the largest collections of Hindu Temples in the world, and is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Candi Sambisari/Sambisari Temple is unique on Java. Unlike other candi, it sits approximately six meters below the ground line, and was excavated from beneath layers of volcanic ash. It is easy to reach because it is located close to Adisucipto International Airport. (You can go there by taxi.) The 9th century Hindu temple consists of one main temple and three supporting candis (perwara). You can see lingga and yoni, symbol of male and female sex, inside the main temple. In the main temple's wall, there are three statues, Agastya in south side, Ganesha in east side, and Dewi Durga in north side. From the lingga, yoni, and the statues, it has been concluded that the Sambisari was built to adore Siva Gods.
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