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See Java On The Way To Bali

After a long haul flight some travellers like to see more of Indonesia than just their usual ultimate destination of Bali.
A good place to start is the always-on-the-go capital city of Jakarta.
Jakarta is a modern megapolis with some of the finest shopping in southeast Asia but tourists usually hone in on the old Dutch quarter on the north coast where Jakarta or Batavia as it was once known was founded five hundred years ago.
Here you can see architecture straight out of Holland, the City Hall from where the Dutch colony was governed, the incredibly sturdy warehouses in which valuable spices and other goods were stored and the offices and homes of merchants and even the governor general, some of them dating from the 17th century. There are Canals and a bridge exactly like those we can still see in Amsterdam.
There are six extremely interesting museums in the old city explaining and showing off its long history and Jakarta has literally dozens more beginning with the National Museum at Monas.
A must-do side trip is to see the traditional wooden phinisi or sailing ships at Sunda Kelapa to this day still hauling goods between the islands as they have done for centuries.
There are hotels you can stay at in the old city which is convenient if you plan to take the train south through spectacular mountains to Bandung City, with many Dutch buildings still in daily use especially around Braga Street.
The high point of a tour of Java is to continue through the mountains southward to the ancient royal cities of Yogyakarta and Surakarta, known as the cradle of Javanese culture.
The sights to see you will not see anywhere else in |Indonesia or the world and the colourful, eclectic, distinctive Javanese culture is very much alive and well.
Close to the two royal cities are the great Buddhist monument of Borobudur, the world’s largest Buddhist temple,  and the equally great Hindu monument of Prambanan, each built in the 9th century.
Travelling still further east tourists love to stop at the massive volcano of Mount Bromo with its Lunar landscapes.
The last stop on this journey of a lifetime is the magical Hindu island of Bali.
You can tour Java by yourself  with a guide, in a group, by car or by train or by a combination of both. You will find excellent accommodation and restaurants along the way or you can opt to live like a local.

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