Being one of Indonesia’s most urbanised regions, some travelers may be deterred from West Java. However, this lively area is actually an interesting and diverse intertwining of cultures and landscapes showcasing some of the most characteristic features of Indonesia’s identity.
Because of its proximity to Jakarta and its cool weather, Bogor has always been a favourite escape from the city. Visit the Botanical Gardens and the Istana (the Presidential Palace) and discover its glorious times as the capital during the British occupation or as a summer getaway for the Dutch elite at the time of colonization. Fresh weather, hilly views, golf courses and street markets are some of the main attractions in the city, which is also famous for being the home of tempeh, the soybean patty. You can take a visit to a tempeh factory, where traditional and eco-friendly methods of production are combined.
Known as the ‘City of Flowers’ and Indonesia’s Silicon Valley, Bandung conceals the country’s contradictions, displaying tradition and modernity. Explore its street markets and find out how the Anklung - Indonesia’s most iconic musical instrument - is made, or be fascinated by craftsmen hand-carving traditional puppets. Home to many universities, cultural centres and museums, Bandung provides an insight into the life of the new generations of Indonesians; an educated youth eager to enjoy life but also preserve their rich heritage. Bandung is the gateway to waterfalls, lakes and volcano craters, making it a sought-after destination by nature lovers as well.
Towards the east coast you will find Cirebon, a pleasant town in which you can admire the Dutch colonial legacy and Islamic heritage by rickshaw, or shop and treat yourself to a stay in a high-scale boutique hotel.