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West Java

Many tourists only experience the lush, volcanic panoramas of West Java (Jawa Barat) through the murky window of a lumbering bus or train, but this dramatic, diverse region has plenty to detain the inquisitive traveller who enjoys breaking away from the standard Java traveller circuit. Historically, it's known as Sunda, and its people and language are Sundanese.

West Java stretches from the remote islands of the Ujung Kulon National Park (last Javan home of the one-horned rhino) in the west to the sweeping beaches of Pangandaran in the east. In between, you can visit the infamous offshore volcano of Krakatau; surf in the chilled coastal resorts, Cimaja and Batu Karas; experience local culture in Cianjur; and stroll through Bogor’s lush botanical gardens. It's also the most densely populated region in the entire country, and road travel can be exasperatingly slow going as a result.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout West Java.