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 valleys hugging lofty volcanic peaks, many of which surround the capital of the province, Bandung. The history of West Java is a story of trade, spices, 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. West Java was one of the first contact points in Indonesia for Indian traders and their cultural influences and it was here that the Dutch and British first set foot in the archipelago.
The central areas of Bogor, a city in West Java, has one of the highest population density worldwide, while Bekasi and Depok are respectively the 7th and 10th most populated suburbs in the world (Tangerang in adjacent Banten Province is the 9th); in 2014 Bekasi had 2,510,951 and Depok 1,869,681 inhabitants. All these cities are suburban to Jakarta.
Domestic airlines serves to Bandung every day. Buses from Central Java and Jakarta arrived in Leuwi Panjang. Several trains operate from Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Surabaya to Bandung. Alternatively you can use rental service from neighboring cities to visit Bandung
The oldest human inhabitant archaeological findings in the region were unearthed in Anyer (the western coast of Java) with evidences of bronze and iron metallurgical culture dated back to the first millennium AD.
The prehistoric Buni (the present-day Bekasi) clay pottery were later developed with evidences found from Anyer to Cirebon. Some artifacts (dated from 400 BC — AD 100) such as food and drink containers were found mostly as burial gifts. There is also archeological evidence in Batujaya Archaeological Site dating from the 2nd century, and according to Dr Tony Djubiantono, the head of Bandung Archeology Agency, Jiwa Temple in Batujaya, Karawang, West Java was also built around this time.
Recorded history of West Java administration was started from the fourth century with the existence of Tarumanagara kingdom. Seven inscribed stones written in Wengi letters (used in the Indian Pallava period) and in Sanskrit language describe most of the kings of Tarumanagara. Records of Tarumanegara's administration lasted until the sixth century, which coincides with the attack of Sriwijaya as stated in the Kota Kapur inscription (AD 686).
The Sunda kingdom then came into the ruling power of the region, the reference to which were found in the Kebon Kopi II inscription (AD 932).
An ulama (holy man in Islam) known today as Sunan Gunung Jati settled in Banten Girang, with the intention of spreading the world of Islam in this still pagan town. In the meantime, the Sultanate of Demak from central Java grew into an immediate threat to Sunda kingdom. To defend against the threat, Prabu Surawisesa Jayaperkosa signed a treaty (known as the Luso Sundanese Treaty) with the Portuguese in 1512. In return, the Portuguese was granted an accession to build fortresses and warehouses in the area, as well as trading agreement with the kingdom. This first international treaty of West Java with the Europeans was commemorated by the placement of the Padrao stone monument at the riverbank of the Ciliwung River in 1522.
Although the treaty with Portuguese had been established, it could nptSunda Kalapa harbour fell under the alliance of the Sultanate of Demak and the Sultanate of Cirebon (former vassal state of Sunda kingdom) in 1524 after their troops under Paletehan alias Fadillah Khan had conquered the city. In 1524/1525, their troops under Sunan Gunung Jati also seized the port of Banten and established the Sultanate of Banten which was affiliating with the Sultanate of Demak. The war between the Sunda kingdom with Demak and Cirebon sultanates then continued for five years until a peace treaty were made in 1531 between King Surawisesa and Sunan Gunung Jati. From 1567 to 1579, under the last king Raja Mulya, alias Prabu Surya Kencana, Sunda kingdom declined essentially under the pressure from the Sultanate of Banten. After 1576, the kingdom could not maintain its capital at Pakuan Pajajaran (the present-day Bogor) and gradually the Sultanate of Banten took over the former Sunda kingdom's region. The Mataram Sultanate from central Java also seized the Priangan region, the southeastern part of the kingdom.
In the sixteenth century, the Dutch and the British trading companies established their trading ships in West Java after the falldown of Sultanate of Banten. For the next three hundred years, West Java fell under the Dutch East Indies' administration. West Java was officially declared as a province of Indonesia in 1950, referring to a statement from Staatblad number 378. On October 17, 2000, as part of nationwide political decentralization, Banten was separated from West Java and made into a new province.
People and Culture
The native people are called Sundanese. Sundanese are friendly folks who value tradition. However in some big cities, like Bandung, the capital of West Java, other ethnic groups begin to dominate as well.
Day 1 - Jakarta Arrival Selamat Datang,
Welcome to Jakarta, known as the Big Durian, Jakarta is a bustling cosmopolitan city steeped in history.
On arrival to the airport be met by your guide and private vehicle and transfer to your hotel for check in. Dinner at leisure and overnight in Jakarta.
Day 2 - Jakarta City Tour - Bogor (B,L)
Begin today with a city tour of Jakarta. Take photo stops at the Presidential Palace and Istiqlal Mosque, the largest mosque in Southeast Asia; continue to the neo-gothic Jakarta Cathedral and the National Monument. Known locally as ‘Monas’, this structure was built to commemorate the country’s Proclamation of Independence in 1945. You’ll stroll through ‘Kota’, the formerly walled part of Dutch Batavia which still retains many examples of colonial Dutch architecture.
This afternoon you’ll have the opportunity to step off the tourist trail and discover the ‘real’ Jakarta. Travelling by local transport, walking along hidden laneways and meeting friendly locals you will get a taste to see what the city is all about. Visit China Town or locally known as Glodok where the first Chinese temple in Indonesia still stands.
This afternoon travel to the town of Bogor and check in to your hotel arriving early evening (2-3 hours).
Distances and journey time:
Jakarta – Bogor (61 km): 2 hours
Day 3 - Bogor - Bandung (B,L)
After breakfast, check out of your hotel and set off for an excursion through Bogor and on to Bandung.
You’ll begin with a visit to Bogor’s outstanding botanical gardens. Home to more than 15000 species of trees and plants and over 5000 species of orchids, these botanical gardens are also a haven for birds and bats. Spend time walking around the gardens and enjoying the beautiful landscapes. From the Garden can be seen Bogor’s Presidential Palace, which is noted for its distinctive architecture. It was built in 1744 as a retreat for the Dutch Governors and was later used by the British administration. (Note: palace is not open to the public, but will be viewed from the outside)
Drive along the Puncak Pass to Bandung. Puncak is a mountainous road that takes you past one of the first colonial tea plantations, several scenic rice fields and typical Javanese villages. There are plenty of opportunities to stop for photos or for a short walk through the tea plantation.
Stop for lunch in a local restaurant and then continue the journey to Bandung. Arrive in Bandung this afternoon and check-in to your hotel. Once known as the ‘Paris of Java’, Bandung is a dynamic, modern city yet retains many grandiose Art Deco buildings and historical houses resulting in an intriguing mix of old and new. Overnight in Bandung.
Distances and journey time:
Bogor Hotel area – Bogor Botanical Garden (8 km): 20 minutes
Bogor Botanical Garden – Gunung Mas via Puncak Pass (40km) : 1 hour 20 minutes
Gunung Mas – Bandung (85 km): 3 hours
Day 4 - Bandung - Tangkuban Perahu - Ciater - Bandung (B,L)
After breakfast in Bandung proceed to Tangkuban Perahu, a smouldering 2000 meter wide volcano. Start with a walk around the main crater, Kawah Ratu.
Nearby, you’ll stop at the Ciater (also referred to as Sari Ater) hot springs. This resort-area has natural hot water spring pools and you can swim in the therapeutic waters if you wish.
Then continue to a nearby tea factory for a tour. Pass through the expansive tea plantation and learn about the growing, harvesting and processing of the legendary leaves.
ALTERNATE OPTION: MORNING EXCURSION TO KAWAH PUTIH
This morning depart for a tour to Kawah Ciwidey and its surroundings. Located south of Bandung near the Mountain Tilu Reserve, this area is full of spectacular landscapes. Visit Mount Patuha where you can see two volcanic craters 600 meters apart. One is dry but the other has a greenish-white crater lake, earning it the name ‘Kawah Putih’ or ‘white crater’. Continue to the nearby Strawberry Farm where you can buy fresh fruits raised in the cool highland air.
On the return to Bandung, stop for lunch.
Drive back to Bandung and should time allows, stop for a visit at Saung Angklung Udjo workshop, a venue aimed at preserving the rich culture of Java. You’ll see an energizing performance of Angklung (traditional bamboo instruments) by village students and then you can try your hand at playing this instrument.
Continue to Bandung and return your hotel. Dinner is at leisure. Overnight in Bandung.
Distances and journey time:
Bandung Hotel – Tangkuban Perahu (26km): 1 hours 15 min
Bandung Hotel – Kawah Putih (48 km): 1 hour 40 min
Tangkuban Perahu – Saung Angklung Udjo Workshop (26km): 1 hours 15 min
Day 5 - Bandung - Yogyakarta (B)
Awake early for breakfast and to check out of your hotel. Transfer to Bandung’s railway station and board the morning express executive train to Jogjakarta (train ticket not included and no guide will accompany you on the train to Jogjakarta).
Note: Recommended route is aboard Argowilis train, departing at 08:30 and arriving at 15:56; Schedule subject to change without prior notice.
Rate : USD 750/person/twin share, Minimum 2 person
- Airport pick up and transfer
- English speaking guide
- 3 meals a day
- Air condition vehicle
- Entrance fees and tickets
- Refreshment ( Mineral water, Coffee and Teas )
- National Park fees
- Flights to and from Jakarta and Yogyakarta
- Alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks
- Additional services or activities not listed above
- Additional food and beverages
- Personal expenses
- Additional gratuities
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