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Java

Jakarta is of course on Java, and while there may not be any great beaches to speak of on the island, it does lay the bold, yet justifiable, claim to having the most mesmerising temple in South-East Asia and many fantastic volcanoes to hike. Rise with the morning adhan (call to prayer) for a dawn viewing of the 8th-century Buddhist temple Borobudur, a Unesco World Heritage site and one of Indonesia’s biggest draws, and you can explore the intricate lattice stupas while the morning mist unveils the surrounding paddy fields.

Once abandoned, Borobudur is one of the largest Buddhist monuments in the world, containing around 500 statues of Buddha. The monument was built between 840AD and 780AD to resemble a mandala – a wheel-shaped symbol of the cosmos. Walking up the monument is said to replicate the path to enlightenment, beginning at the base in the realm of desire and ending with the realm of formlessness at the top.

When you’ve scaled that, you can hike (or take a 4x4) up Mount Bromo for lunar-like, cloud-carpeted views of Java’s nobbled volcanic spine of craters and steam-spewing peaks. Yoschi’s Guest House is located at Ngadisari, which lies about five kilometers from the crater rim, or you can choose Cafe Lava Hostel or the Cemara Indah Hotel at Cemoro Lawang, which are even closer.

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