Central Java, Indonesia: Travel/Tourist Information Guide
Central Java is a province located in the heart of Java. It is bordered by West Java Province to the west, East Java Province to the east, Yogyakarta Special Region and the Indian Ocean to the south, and Java Sea to the north. With an area of approximately 34,206 square kilometers, Central Java is divided into 29 regencies or kabupaten and 6 cities or kota with Semarang as its capital city. Included in the province are the offshore islands of such as Karimunjawa on the north and Nusakambangan on the southwest. Yogyakarta was once a historical and cultural part of Central Java, however, it is now a separate administrative entity. Within the whole province are mountain ranges in the center with lowlands near the northern and southern coasts and active and stratovolcanoes. On the east lies an active stratovolcano, Mount Slamet, while on the further east is the Dieng Volcanic Complex on Dieng Plateau, a volcanic area in the highlands with the oldest standing temples in Indonesia. Other volcanoes are the Kedu Plain on the southeast of Dieng Plateau and the twin volcanoes of Mount Merapi and Mount Merbabu on its east side; the Mount Ungaran on the south of Semarang, while on its northeast lies Mount Muria; and the Mount Lawu near the border with East Java, where its eastern slopes are already located on the East Java.
Central Java is a newly created area of Indonesia founded on the 4th of July of 1950 although its history dates back to antiquity as Javanese cultures flourished here during the 8th and 10th centuries under the Syailendra and Old Mataram Kings. Today there are many remnants of these Javanese kingdoms as well as those of other cultures and peoples who populate this area of Indonesia making it an interesting place to visit because of the very diverse elements that form its features.
The whole province has a strong Buddhist and Hindu heritage, which makes it the island's cultural, geographic, and historic heartland. Central Java is the home of an A-list UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Borobudur Temple in Magelang is the biggest Buddhist temple in the 9th century measuring 123 x 123 meters. Hailed as the largest and most complete ensemble of Buddhist relieves in the world, it is one of the best-preserved ancient monuments in Indonesia that had been one of the primary tourist attractions in the country. Aside from this massive temple complex, there are are other attractions specifically in Semarang and Solo. These are the center of cultural, historical, and natural attractions that can be found in Central Java. Its capital city, Semarang, is an old harbor city with multicultural history. It is a melting pot of Chinese, Indian Arab, and European cultures that gave birth to its cultural attractions. The most known landmarks are the Koepelkerk or locally known as the Gereja Blenduk, which is a copper domed Dutch church, and the Gedung Batu, which homes the old Chinese temple and the statue of Admiral Cheng Ho. The culture of Central Java can also be traced in Solo Surakarta, an old city that was once the center of power in Central Java.
If planning to get in by plane, the airports in Yogyakarta and Solo are the best options. These airports have well-connected domestic flights and some international flights. An addition to the convenience in arriving at these airports are the close proximity to the Borobudur Temple. An alternate option is to arrive at the airport in Semarang, which has several domestic flights. Another way of getting in Central Java is by train. The Purwokerto and Yogyakarta are connected to Semarang, Solo, and other cities with intensive railway service. The cities often have more than one railway station.