West Java

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.


Other destinations


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. In June 2015, Cikopo-Palimanan (Cipali) Toll Road (116 kilometers) has already opened and connected with the existing toll road to Pejagan in Central Java, so from Merak in the west of West Java to Cirebon in the east of West Java are all toll roads.

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.

Get in

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.



Sundanese nasi timbel (rice in banana leaf) with ayam penyet ("smashed" fried chicken), sambal chili sauce and lalapan fresh veggies

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.



Almost all cities have one- or two-star hotels, and there is even a 5-star hotel in Bandung.

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