West Java (Jawa Barat) is the western third of the island of Java, Indonesia. West Java used to include Banten Province (Banten Province is in the western part of what used to be West Java and West Java Province is in the eastern part). This article covers both provinces.
- Jakarta — the chaotic, congested yet oddly fascinating Indonesian capital, Jakarta Special Province is encircled by Banten Province on the west and West Java Province on the east, except for the beach in the north.
- Baduy Village — in an area of virgin rainforest
- Bekasi and Depok— satellites of Jakarta, but belong to West Java Province
- Bogor — world-class botanical gardens (60 km south of Jakarta)
- Bandung — the Parijs van Java of Dutch colonial days, now a university town with great factory outlet shopping
- Garut, cool climate, famous since before World War II, when Charlie Chaplin visited Garut twice; still worth visiting, because Bandung is not so cool anymore, and many hotels have a pool or bath with natural hot spring water
- Rangkasbitung, in Banten Province
- Serang, in Banten Province
- Banten — the westernmost tip of the island, formerly an independent sultanate and now once again its own province
- Batu Karas - a small fishing village in West Java
- Carita Beach — beach resort, in Banten Province
- Puncak — a weekend getaway for Jakarta people, but with frequently heavy traffic jams on weekends
- Ujung Kulon National Park — one of the last holdouts of the Javan rhinoceros and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Banten Province
- Pangumbahan — sea turtle nesting beach
- Pelabuhan Ratu — a port and resort on a spectacularly beautiful bay
- Kampung Naga — a traditional village
- Pangandaran — a beautiful beach located in the southeasternmost part of West Java
- Pulau Seribu National Park — belongs to Jakarta Special Province, though access with traditional boats is easier from Banten Province
West Java is near Jakarta, so on weekends and school holidays, people from Jakarta and the rest of West Java head for the tourist sites in this area of the country. Bandung can be accessed from Jakarta within 2 to 3 hours via the Cipularang toll road, making Bandung the favourite domestic tourist site for Jakartans. Based on arrival data from Husein Sastranegara Airport, Bandung's foreign tourists mostly come from Malaysia and Singapore, and they arrive throughout the year. From Bandung, some tourists go to other destinations within a 60-kilometer radius, such as Garut and Ciwidey.
Indonesian language, being official, is widely spoken and understood, and is the main language used in big cities and the Jakarta metropolitan area, almost universally understood. The local language is Sundanese, related to Indonesian/Malay but not mutually intelligible.
West Java surrounds Jakarta, the Indonesian capital city. Most of the cities in West Java can be reached by bus, car or train. To get to the southern parts of Cianjur or Sukabumi you need a high clearance vehicle, but 4-wheel drive is not necessary. Bandung, the largest city in West Java can be reached in two hours from Jakarta via toll road.
- Banten Kraton, the ruin of Banten Sultanate Palace, burned and destroyed by the Dutch in 1808.
- Umang Island, a beautiful private owned resort island on the west of Pandeglang, Banten, near "Anak Krakatau" volcano.
- Gunung Padang Megalithic Site, a 29-hectare megalithic site just recently discovered in 2012. It is the biggest megalithic site in Southeast Asia, dating back to 4500 BC, and built at least in 4 different eras, possibly even older than the Egyptian Pyramids and bigger than Borobudur.
West Java is best known for Sundanese food, which unusually for Indonesia places a special emphasis on fresh or even raw ingredients. The quintessential Sundanese dish is nasi timbel, which consists of rice wrapped up in a banana leaf, an assortment of raw vegetables known as lalapan (a term that covers cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, coriander leaves, cabbage and more), a freshly pounded chili sauce known as sambal dadak, some tofu or tempeh and maybe a chicken leg, catfish (ikan lele) or some salted fish. This is commonly served with sayur asam, a sour vegetable soup flavored with tamarind. A textural specialty of Sunda (West Java) is karedok, a fresh salad made with long beans, bean sprouts, and cucumber with a spicy sauce. Other Sundanese dishes include mie kocok which is a beef and egg noodle soup, and soto Bandung, a beef and vegetable soup with daikon and lemon grass. A hawker favourite is kupat tahu (pressed rice, bean sprouts, and tofu with soy and peanut sauce). Colenak (roasted cassava with sweet coconut sauce) and ulen (roasted brick of sticky rice with peanut sauce) are dishes usually eaten warm.
- Bajigur, coconut fluid with coconut sugar and usually drink with plain taste banana cook
- Bandrek, a ginger hot drink and serve in the cool area
Almost all cities have one- or two-star hotels, and there is even a 5-star hotel in Bandung.