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Culture, Heritage and Nature: Java is the Pulsating Heart of Indonesia

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Did you know that Java is not only Indonesia’s most populous island but also the world’s? That’s right, over 136 million people live in this 132,187 square kilometer piece of land. In other words, more than 60 percent of the country’s citizens call this island home. Some other interesting facts: Java has more than 120 active volcanoes! Despite the population, the island is an enchanting region home to fertile highland plains, ancient archeological wonders and friendly people with age old traditions. We’ll take you to the heart of the island to experience the island’s highlights.

Jogjakarta will be your first foray into Java. The town is a lively art center and offers good shopping experiences, especially at Maliboro. Hop on a cycle rickshaw and experience the lively town firsthand. And plunge into the culture as you get your hands busy with batik making and your eyes busy with an evening traditional dance performance.

Jogjakarta is also popular for another thing; its close proximity to some amazing temples. And yes, you’ll get to see these awesome relics. Mendut and Pawon temples serve as a good warm up to your archeological experience. These even pre-date Borododur, perhaps the world’s largest Buddhist temple. And while you’re at it, check out the jagged edged, rocket like Hindu temples of Prambanan.

And now your journey takes on a more natural twist, with some history and heritage thrown in of course. Enjoy the scenic two-hour drive to Wonosobo, the gateway to the Dieng Plateau. This is where a network of active volcanoes, a mineral lakes and ancient Hindu temples merge under the cool air (remember you are high above sea level, more than 2000 meters to be exact).

Now for some coffee. That should get you going. Head over to Ambarawa and get a firsthand account of traditional coffee harvesting at the Losari Plantation. And yes, you can have more than a sip or two. Another temple touring experience awaits at the 8th century Gedong Songo. This time, you’ll admire the area on horseback, a fitting to recap your memorable and educational Central Java trip.

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