Java : Main City
The National Museum is one of the finest museum in South East Asia. There are wide range collection from prehistoric, ethnographic and archeological artifacts. You can see an outstanding collection of South East Asian Ceramics and Hindu Javanese Art. Drive further North from Central Jakarta and meet the Taman Fatahillah. Near this square, you can visit three most prominent museums in Jakarta : The Jakarta History Museum, The Wayang (Puppet) Museum and the Fine Art and Ceramic Museum.
If you do not have time to take a long vacation thoroughout the archipelago, you can visit Taman Mini Indonesia Indah. With the area of 160 hectare, the beauty and the diversity of Indonesia culture will great you. Besides showcasing the miniature of this country, they also have cultural performances, usually on Sunday.
Along Kemang area you will meet lots of traditional and internaitonal cafes and restaurants, with cozy atmosphere. Besides cafes and restaurants, there are galleries, gift shops and reproductions of Indonesian antique furnitures. At the Ciputat area (South Jakarta) and Surabaya road (Central Jakarta) also sell repro antique furniture, interior decorations, old textiles, record players and other interesting antique Indonesian handicraft from wood, brass, or silver.
Last but not least, do not forget to bring home Indonesian handicrafts. From batiks, ikats, rattans, silverwares, jewelries, to interior decorations will amaze you at Sarinah or Pasaraya Grande.
Shopping, its the reason most locals go to Bandung these days. The city has a reputation for cheap clothes and shoes and is particularly famous for the dozens of Jeans shops along Jl. Cihampelas plus an ever reproducing swathe of new factory outlets. Jl. Cibaduyut attracts tourists looking for good value footwear.
In this town you will find much that is quintessential Indonesia: Towering volcanoes, verdant rice terraces, royal palaces, anciente temples, intricately patterned batik and graceful dances. Impressive archaeological sites remains such as the temples of Borobudur which is still the world's largest Buddhist Monument, and the magnificent Hindu Temple at Prambanan. From Jogyakarta one can travel easily to the Borobudur and Prambanan temples, which are half-day trips from the city
The 300 year old city of Jogyakarta is the cultural heart of Java. Here also is Indonesia's oldest palace 'The Kraton,' still the domicile of Jogya's royalty. Even now the current Sultan of Jogyakarta retains remarkable political prestige. Jogyakarta offers an abundance of Javanese art, painting, silverwork, batik handcraft, traditional Javanese dances, gamelan music, wayang shadow puppetry, as well as contemporary art.
Most areas of interest centre around Jalan Malioboro, whose wide, canopied sidewalks offer shelter from the mid-afternoon heat and by night turn into a colourful street market where you can buy leathergoods, textiles, batiks, wayang puppets and much more. Close to the extraordinary monuments of Borobudur and Prambanan, the silversmiths' village of Kota Gede and the beaches at Parangtritis.
The gamelan bronze gong orchestra is as much a part of Java as rice fields and volcanoes. An ancient, sophisticated and complex musical form, the gamelan accompanies every ceremonial occasion, from the coronation of the Sultan to the arrival of a tourist group in a hotel lobby. And no art form captures the essence of Java better than the wayang, the shadow puppet theatre which summons forth omniscient gods, heavenly nymphs, monstrous ogres, noble kings and skillful warriors, in a magical, flickering display.
Surabaya, known as the "City of Heroes" because of its role in the nation's independence struggle, has grown into an elegant city of large, colonnaded buildings bordering broad, tree shaded avenues. It serves as the commercial centre of a thriving industrial and agricultural hinterland. The city's historical sites include Kali Mas harbour with its tall-masted trading schooners and , nearby, the narrow alleyways and shops of the Arab quarter, redolen of the middle east. The historic Hotel Majapahit, where Indonesia's war of Independence was begun, and the elegant Grahadi State Buildings, an 18th century mansion, have been restored as monuments to an era of colonial grace.
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