The province of West Java is home the Sundanese people and is rich in their cultural traditions - art, music, and dance.
West Java is also home to Indonesia’s bloated capital and largest city, Jakarta, as well as Bandung- Indonesia’s third largest city, and the provincial capital. West Java tourism is dominated by Indonesian residents and the large number of expats working in Jakarta and Bandung who spill into West Java on the weekends to enjoy the many natural wonders it has to offer. But, during the week, the West Javan countryside is mostly quiet, making it much easier to experience its beauty and traditional culture.
Once a sleepy hill resort that provided relief from Jakarta’s heat, Bandung has become a shopping mecca – so much so that many Singaporeans and Malaysians fly in everyday just to shop, on the daily direct flights from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
Bogor has been swallowed up as a Jakarta suburb, so has lost its small town charm, but the beautiful Bogor Botanical Gardens (Kebun Raya) remain as one of the finest anywhere.
Heading out of Bogor towards Bandung, you’ll experience the scenic wonder of Puncak Pass. Most of the road from Bogor to Bandung is lined with hotels and resorts, and features miles long traffic jams on weekends, but a short distance away from the highway is peaceful and quiet.
West Java’s west coast offers very good beaches and has a wide selection of hotels in all price ranges, and is a good place to book tours to the famous volcano, Gunung Krakatau, and the world heritage site - Ujung Kulon National Park.
Though a bit shabby, Pelabuhan Ratu is the closest beach resort to Jakarta and not a bad option if you find yourself in Jakarta over the weekend and want a break from the frenzy of the city.
On the eastern edge of West Java lies Pangandaran – Java’s top beach resort. It’s a great vacation destination for a week or two of surf, sun, and fun if you want something a bit more laid back and less crowded than Bali and Lombok. Pangandaran is on the way for those traveling to Jogjakarta from Jakarta or Bandung, so it’s a very easy stopover.