West Java Holiday Tour Destinations
West java Travel Destinations Information
The enchanting land of Sunda stretches from the Sunda Strait in the West to the borders of Central Java in the east. The region is primarily mountainous, with rich green valleys hugging lofty volcanic peaks, many of which surround the capital of the province, Bandung. The history of West Java is a story of trade, spices, and the rise and fall of powerful kingdoms.
In the late 1500’s the region was ruled from mighty Cirebon, which still survives as a sultanate today, although a shadow of its former glory. West Java was one of the first contact points in Indonesia for Indian traders and their cultural influences and it was here that the Dutch and British first set foot in the archipelago.
Bandung, capital of West Java , is a great place to visit any time of the year as it’s not only renowned for its picturesque open vista, but the town also offers many attractions well worth a visit. Surrounded by green fertile mountains, Bandung today is Indonesia’s center for learning and creativity. Here is the well known, Institute Tekonologi Bandung (ITB) established since 1920, the university that has produced many of Indonesia’s top scientists from engineers, geologists to leaders in business management. Today Bandung is one of Indonesia’s most prestigious university towns. Bandung is also the center of Indonesia’s burgeoning ICT technology, at the same time it is a center of arts and artists. Every weekend and long holidays the city is filled with young people from Jakarta who flock to Bandung to enjoy its youthful creative atmosphere in music, painting, fashion, and the culinary arts.
Originally established in the late 19th century as a colonial garrison town, Bandung soon grew into a town for wealthy planters who owned the miles and miles of tea, coffee and cinchona plantations, fruit orchards and vegetable gardens in the cool and fertile hills of West Java. Bandung thus became the town of the European elite. And since this was the era of art deco, Bandung has a rich heritage of buildings in exemplary art deco architecture. They include the beautiful Villa Isola, – now housing the University for Education-, the Concordia, the present Asian-African Museum, which was then the Society’s Clubhouse- , the main Braga shopping center, where the Dutch colonial elite went to shop, and the Savoy-Homann and Preanger hotels, where they would overnight and hold grand balls.
While along the present Jalan Juanda, then known as Dago Boulevard, were the houses of the elite with their green lawns and flower gardens fronting opulent homes. In those colonial heydays in the early 20th century, Bandung became known as “Parijs van Java”, or the Paris of Java, where Dutch planters and ladies paraded and flaunted their wealth and beauty along the boulevards and Bragaweg, then the Champs Ely sees of the East.
Today, Bandung is remembered in history internationally as the venue of the First Asian-African Conference held in 1955 which brought together for the first time, leaders of 29 Asian and African countries, who declared to jointly fight colonialism for national independence. Attending the Conference were noted national leaders, among whom, Jawaharlal Nehru and daughter Indira Gandhi of India, Chao En Lai of China, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia and Indonesia’s own President Soekarno. The Asian-African Conference became the precursor of the Non-Alighned Movement.
Later Bandung also became the center for textile mills producing much of Indonesia’s textiles for fashion wear, linen and upholstery.
Standing some 768 m above sea level, Bandung is today the country’s third largest city after Jakarta and Surabaya. Since the opening of the Cipularang Toll road, which cuts down travel from Jakarta to two hours from the previous four hours over the tortuous Puncak Pass, Bandung has become the favorite weekend getaway to relax and escape from the hectic pace of metropolitan Jakarta.
For Bandung offers trendy fashion wear at reasonable prices at its myriad factory outlets, a wide range of delicious local and international cuisines, and a distinct colonial European-style atmosphere combined with captivating traditional arts.
Bogor Botanical Garden
Just 60 km south, or a mere one hour by road from Jakarta lies the town of Bogor, once known as “Buitenzorg” meaning “free of care”, located at the foothills of Mt. Salak. It has a high, year-round rainfall and a much cooler climate compared to metropolitan Jakarta. Here are spread out the 87 hectares world famous Bogor Botanical Gardens (Kebon Raya Bogor), with the impressive out-of-town Bogor Presidential Palace fronting it and soaring Mt. Salak at its background.
Bogor Botanical Gardens boasts over 400 species of palm trees, 5,000 trees gathered from around the tropical world, and an orchid house containing 3,000 varieties. Records show that the Bogor Botanical Gardens harbours 3,504 plant species, 1,273 genus in 199 families.
The Gardens are said to have been initiated by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, who, between 1811-1816, became Governor General of the East Indies during the interim reign of the British over the archipelago. With the help of botanists from London ’s famed Kew Gardens, Raffles first laid out a small garden. However, the Gardens were officially established by the Dutch in 1817 under the directorship of CGC Reinwardt. A memorial to Raffles’ wife still stands in the Gardens.
The Bogor Gardens today function as an ex situ conservation site, a research center for taxonomy and plant utilization. In horticulture the Gardens study adaptation, planting and propagation of plants and develop the science of plant growing.
Ciater hot spring
The cool highlands of Subang in West Java provide an idyllic setting for an unforgettable personal experience where the crisp mountain air and the refreshing sounds of bubbling mountain streams soothe the soul.
The town of Ciater is known for its natural hot springs with their healing qualities which promote physical well being. Here the Ciater Hot-Springs Spa makes the most of nature’s rich rehabilitative resources, by pampering its guests in tranquil surroundings, delivering professional care through therapies and treatments that revitalize both the body and mind.
If you are tired of life in a metropolitan city with its sky scrapers, you should take a few days off to stay in the Dragon village within Neglasari village, Salawu sub-district, Tasikmalaya, West Java.
This 1.5 hectares village is still ‘green’ and not influenced by modernization. Some 311 people live in this village. You will have to take several hundred steps to cover the villages over 500 meters. You will see hundreds of high ebony trees, large green paddy fields and the long Ciwulang river. In addition, you will feel the cool air and sounds of river waterflows in the distance.
Gunung Gede – Pangrango National Park
Because of its easy access, the Mount Gede-Pangrango National Park with its spectacular panorama is a favourite site with visitors. Located in the province of West Java this Park encompasses the peaks of Mt. Gede, Mt. Pangrango. Around these peaks are tea plantations, recreation parks, waterfalls, hot springs, lakes and accommodation facilities within the park as around its periphery. The Park was declared nature conservation area in 1889, although prior to this the Cibodas Botanical Gardens was already established here in 1830, where cinchona (quinine) and coffee were first cultivated to become Java’s most prominent exports in the 19th century.
Most notable about the Gede-Pangrango Park are its three very distinct ecosystems: a sub-montane ecosystem (1,000 m to 1,500 m altitude), a montane ecosystem (1,500 m – 2,900 m) characterized by large tall trees, and a sub-alpine ecosystem (2,400 m. and higher), characterized by grassy meadows where the Java edelweiss grows in abundance. It also has a savanna as well as marshland ecosystems.
In 1977 UNESCO declared the Gunung Gede-Pangrango National Park a Biosphere Reserve.
Today the Gunung Gede-Pangrango National Park covers 15,196 hectares that include Cibodas, Cimungkat, the Gunung Gede-Pangrango Reserve , the Situgunung recreation area, and the forests on the slopes centered on two volcanoes. These are Mt. Gede, (2,958m ) with its gaping crater and fumaroles, and Mt. Pangrango (3,019 m). The two are connected by a high saddle at 2,500 m above sea level.
Gunung Halimun Salak National Park
Established in 1992, Gunung Halimun Salak National Park (GHSNP) is the largest remaining primary lowland forest in Java, home to 23 mammal species, at least two of which are endemic and endangered (the Javan gibbon and the grizzled langur).
The roughly 113,000 hectares found within its boundaries also cover a wide range of plant and animal species. The park also supports more than 200 bird species, of which 18 are endemic, and over 500 plant species. Indigenous Kasepuhan and other Sundanese communities live in and around the park and depend heavily on its natural resources.
The park protects an important watershed for Java. However, small-holder and plantation agriculture, infrastructure development, small-scale gold mining, and unsustainable fuel wood and non-timber forest product harvesting threaten GHSNP’s resources.
Visitors trek here to observe rare primates, birds, or other forest attractions, and to relax in the tranquil setting of towering waterfalls.
Ujung Kulon National Park
Ujung Kulon National Park is the first national park, founded in Indonesia. The park (80,000 ha) lies on a peninsula in south-west Java and includes the islands Pulau Peucang, Pulau Panaitan and the Krakatau archipelago. On 1 February, 1992, the Proposed Ujung Kulon National Park complex and the Krakatau Islands Nature Reserve were declared a World Heritage Site. The borders on the north, south and west side of Ujung Kulon are made up by the Indian Ocean. The Honje mountain range, including the highest point of the park Gunung Honje (620 m), forms the eastern border. The Indian Ocean is the main access route. It includes the volcanic island group of Krakatoa and other islands including Handeuleum and Peucang. The park encompasses an area of 1,206 km² (443 km² marine), most of which lies on a peninsula reaching into the Indian Ocean.
Permits for the park are available at the town of Labuan, where there is a National Park office. There is also an office at Tamanjaya. Accommodation is available on Handeuleum and Peucang islands.
This national park, located in the extreme south-western tip of Java on the Sunda shelf, includes the Ujung Kulon peninsula and several offshore islands and encompasses the natural reserve of Krakatoa. In addition to its natural beauty and geological interest – particularly for the study of inland volcanoes – it contains the largest remaining area of lowland rainforests in the Java plain. Several species of endangered plants and animals can be found there, the Javan rhinoceros being the most seriously under threat.
Ujung Kulon has large tracts of undisturbed lowland rainforest, swamps and beaches. Because it is protected on three sides by sea, and on the fourth by the Honje mountains, it has provided a refuge for wildlife, some of which are now rare in the rest of heavily populated Java (population: over 100 million). And it has always been of extremely high conservation value and contains several species of endangered or threatened animals. Oriental small-clawed otters, hornbills, leopards, Asian wild dogs, Javan leaf monkeys, crocodiles, green peafowl, Javan gibbons, Javan warty pigs, green turtles, milky storks and Banteng wild cattle all make their homes here. In total, over 350 species of animals and 250 species of birds have so far been recorded here.
The most important resident of the park is the Javan or Lesser One-horned rhinoceros. This is the most endangered large mammal in the world and only two wild populations remain (there are no Javan rhinoceros in captivity). Ujung Kulon contains 50-60 animals while Cat Tien National Park in Vietnam has another 10-15 with different physical characteristics. The two subspecies used to be common over India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Sumatra and Java.
Single-horned RhinocerousHabitats in the park consists of lowland rainforest, swamp, mangrove and beach forest. Vegetation on Pulau Panaitan consists of dry-beach forest, mangrove forest and lowland rain forest which is characterized by an abudance of palms. On Anak Krakatau, the island that came into existence after the Krakatau exploded, flora and fauna are still young. Small animals and birds gradually colonize the lava island. The principal flora consists of grasslands, beach forest, lowland rain forest and moss forests at the higher altitudes. The most important reason to declare Ujung Kulon a National Park is the existence of the almost-extinct Javan Rhinoceroses in the area. The population of these extremely endangered animals in Ujung Kulon is estimated to be 50-60.
Tangkuban Perahu’s Volcanic Craters
Tangkuban perahu is an active volcano, situated 30 km north of the city of Bandung in the direction of Lembang. It is the only crater in Indonesia that you can drive up to its very rim. Mount Tangkuban Perahu has a distinctive shape, and looks like an “overturned boat”. The huge crater is an astonishing view and you can walk around and explore this for around two hours. Here you will be greeted by sulfur fumes which the crater continues to emit although the volcano is not active.
Like so many of Java’s unusual geographical features, there is an interesting legend behind this fascinating mountain as expressed in the local legend of Sangkuriang. Sangkuriang was a strong young man, who had been separated from his mother, Dayang Sumbi since childhood. Yet, through God’s he came to meet her again. On the way home, he stopped by a small village where he met and fell in love with a beautiful girl, without realizing that the girl he loved was in fact his own mother, Dayang Sumbi, who had remained youthful through the years.
When Dayang Sumbi discovered the terrible truth of her lover’s real identity, she was horrified and knew that she could never marry her own son. She, therefore, challenged him to build a dam and a huge boat during one single night before she would agree to marry him. Seeing that her son was about to complete this impossible wish, she called on God to bring up the sun early. With a wave of her magic shawl, Dayang Sumbi lit up the eastern horizon with flashes of light. Deceived by what looked like dawn, the cocks crowed and farmers rose for a new day.
When Sangkuriang realized that his endeavor was lost, in his rage he kicked the boat that he had built turning it upside down, which was transformed into Mount Tangkuban Perahu, the name that in the local Sundanese language translates roughly to “overturned boat”.
Tangkuban Perahu has definitely a significant role especially in the development of the surrounding Parahyangan (land of God) Highlands. Its eruption contributed immensely to the formation and fertility of the hills north of Bandung when through its flow of lava carrying large boulders into the valleys, these formed huge cliffs over which waterfalls leapt to form the lake that today covers the Bandung plain.
Saung Angklung Udjo
Saung Angklung Udjo (SAU) is one–stop cultural workshop, consists of : performance venue, bamboo handicraft centre, and bamboo instrument workshop. Apart from that, SAU has an honorable function as an educational laboratory and training centre to preserve the Sundanese culture – Angklung in particular.
Green Canyon (Cukang Taneuh)
You may know Grand Canyon in United State of America. Here Indonesia also owns a beautiful Canyon, called Green Canyon. The name was popularized by a France tourist in 1993. Actually the original name of this lovely place is Cukang Taneuh, meaning Land Bridge. It because, over the valley and slopes of Green Canyon, there is a land bridge used by farmers around the Canyon to go to their farms.
Indonesia Green Canyon is located in Kertayasa village, Cijulang subdistric Ciamis regency, West of Java. Its distance is approximately 130 km from Ciamis city or 31 km from Pangandaran. There are Batukaras tourist resort and Nusawiru airport nearby.
This wonderful tourist resort is actually a flow of Cijulang river that goes through a cave full of enchanted stalaktif and stalakmit. The area is also flanked by two hills, also with many rocks and grove of trees. All shall make a nature painting, so unique and so challenging to be explored.
To reach this tourist resort, we shall depart from Ciseureuh small port. Then continue the journey by pedal boats which are many available there. The distance between the port and the Green Canyon is about 3 km that can be traveled within 30-45 minutes. Along the journey we shall sail on the tosca green colored river. Perhaps, that is why it is called Green Canyon.
When you see the cascade with narrow flow that is hardly passed through by boat, it means you have arrived at the mouth of Green Canyon, where the water is so clear colored in aquamarine. Here the adventure of exploring the beauty of this object begins. Tourist can continue the journey up by swimming or by crawling on the stone edges. Tires and buoys are provided there for ones who choose swimming. The safety is fully guaranteed, even for 6 years-old children up, it is safe enough to down the river flow by tires and lead by the rent-boat owner.
For those who really want to enjoy the beauty of Green Canyon must understand its season. The best time to enjoy this tourism is some times after entering the dry season. In rainy season, the river color will become brown and the flow is racing along. Also you had better prepared enough cash before deciding to go to Green Canyon, because there is no bank or ATM. For ATM, the completed lodging for the night and facilities can be found in Pangandaran. Meanwhile there are many rent-paddle boats, approximately 100 boats, provided to deliver you to go along this object. Every boat is equipped by a skilled worker and a stone worker to lead you in the journey.
|West Java Tour Destinations|
□ Bogor Botanical Garden
□ Kampung Naga
□ Gunung Gede
|□ Pangrangau Natioinal Park
□ Mount Halimun
□ Mount Tangkuban Perahu
|□ Museum Asia Afrika
□ Taman Safari
□ Mount Krakatau
□ Ujung Kulun
□ Badui Village
□ Alun Alun
□ Traditonal Market
West Java Activities and Excurtions
|□ Surfing at Cimaja Pelabuhan Ratu
|□ Becak Riding
□ Village sightseeing
Mt. Bromo East Java