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Explore Indonesia's capital Jakarta with its Dutch influences, admire the cultural treasures in Yogyakarta including the temple at Borobudur and trek in the most stunning volcanic scenery.

Located between Bali and Sumatra, Java is Indonesia’s most populated island (with 145m inhabitants), and from the capital Jakarta, the political driving force of this diverse nation of islands. Jakarta’s National Museum, established by the Dutch in 1774, is well worth a visit and one of the best museums in South East Asia.

Yogyakarta is the cultural hub of Java. The highlight is the ornate 18th-century royal complex, which includes the Sultan’s Palace. The complex has many pavilions, which host Javanese dance and concerts. The historical centre is a wonderful place to explore, alive with street markets, food and ancient architecture.

Located a short drive from Yogyakarta is the incredible Buddhist Temple at Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world. To see the sunrise here over the mystical stacked platforms is a special experience. The 8th century Hindu temple at Prambanan is equally impressive, with 240 temples within the complex.

Java has a good choice of beaches and some of the most dramatic scenery, including Mount Semeru, a still active volcano over 3,600 metres high and Indonesia’s highest peak. There are many options for trekking and cycling adventures visiting local villages and tribes who have retained their cultural identity.

Hugh Clayson

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