Wonderful Indonesia


Jakarta and Yogyakarta - Java’s heart and soul

Comprised of about 300 native ethnic groups and over 261 million people, Indonesia’s thousands of islands comprise a country abundant in art, culture, and heritage. The single island of Java is home to over half of the population of the country. 

Java’s history of immigration, powerful Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms, Islamic sultanates, and European colonies, means it is an incredibly diverse place to visit. It is also where visitors will find Indonesia’s most important archaeological sites.

Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital, is situated on the northwestern coast of Java. It is the world's second largest urban agglomeration and the most likely arrival and departure point for visitors to the country. 

Due to the rapid expansion of the city, many small villages have been incorporated in the growth, meaning it is common to find superhighways crossing provincial-looking streets lined with scooters, small homes, shops, and pot plants. 

The three top things to do in Jakarta? Advise the free bus tour with Transjakarta, tasting the street food that can be found around tall buildings and malls, and visiting Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, a park filled with pavilions, museums and giant replicas of famous Indonesian sights. 

Yogyakarta, in central Java, is renowned for its cultural heritage and traditional customs. The city is home to the sultan who still inhabits a walled palace, Kraton, making it the only Indonesian city still ruled by a monarchy. An important centre for Javanese fine arts, Yogyakarta is famous for wayang puppetry, batik textiles, traditional drama, literature, music, and poetry.

Borobudur Temple, the world’s largest Buddhist temple and the most popular destination the country, is situated just over an hour’s drive from Yogyakarta. It was constructed in the 9th century and comprises of two million blocks of stone that are covered in symbolic carvings. The temple, candi in Indonesian, is particularly stunning to see at dawn and dusk. 

Prambanan, a 45-minute drive northeast of central Yogyakarta, was also built in the 9th century, and while Borobudur is one grand structure and still a site of pilgrimage, Prambanan is characterised by many pointed temples and shrines, 18, including the innermost eight main temples and eight smaller shrines, of an original 240 monuments have been restored. 

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