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 valley hugging lofty volcanic peaks, many of which surround the capital of the province, Bandung. The history of West Java is a story of trade, spice, 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. Banten, once a powerful maritime capital rivaling the vast Javanese Mataram empire, is today a fishing village with an illustrious past. West Java was one of the first contact point in Indonesia for Indian trades and their cultural influences, and it was here that the Dutch and British first set foot in the archipelago.
Was Java surround the nation’s capital of Jakarta on three sides, and good roads provide links to most of the province, passing through rugged mountains, iridescent paddy fields and along pastoral stretches of palm-fringed coastline. There are a number of popular resorts on the western and southern coasts with modern hotels and extensive facilities, favorite weekend get aways for people living in Jakarta.
West Java provides visitors with an extensive array of fascinating things to see and do. Venture to the brink of the awesome power of Krakatau or explore the pristine wildlife reserve of Ujung Kulon on the south western tip of Java. Take refuge in the Pulau Dua Bird Sanctuary off the coast of Banten or visit the mysterious Baduy peoples in the remote Halimun Mountain Reserve. Discover unspoiled beaches at Pangandaran and treasure in the royal palaces of Cirebon or wonder through the world-renowned botanical gardens of Bogor. West Java has something for everyone.
Bandung is about 180 kms southeast of Jakarta and is called “The Paris of Java” because of its tree-lined boulevards and artistic influences. The city gained international fame in 1955 as the venue for the first Afro Asian Conference, which brought together the leaders of 29 Asian and African Nation with the aim of promoting economic and cultural relations and taking a common stand against colonialism.