East Java might be the least populated area in Java island, but its charm and unique terrain will captivate its visitors. Capital of East Java province, Surabaya, is a cosmopolitan city and you can find any comfortable surroundings and facilities there. However within a short trip you might be tempted to enjoy the natural charms such as climbing Mt. Bromo and enjoying fabulous sunrise there or probably trying to conquer Mount Semeru, the highest mountain in Java (about 3676 meters above sea level).
Some parks are available for those who prefer natural surroundings. An island on the eastern part of Java called Madura is also famous for its distinct culture and bull races of karapan sapi, usually held in August and September every year.
The province is efficiently connected to the rest of Java by good roads, regular trains, and air service between Surabaya and other major cities in the country including Denpasar on Bali, which only takes about half an hour.
The Majapahit Dynasty, based in and arround East java, began the foundations of an empire that was to dominate the entire Indonesian archipelago, the Malay Peninsula and part of the Philippines for hundreds of years. This was the beginning of profitable trade relations with China, Cambodia, Siam, Burma and Vietnam. As the power in Central Java declined in the 10th century, powerful kingdoms rose in East Java to fill the power vacuum. During the reign of King Erlangga, both East Java and Bali enjoyed lucrative trade with the surrounding islands, and an artistic and intellectual renaissance. Part of the Mahabarata epic were translated and re-interpreted to conform to an East Javanese philosophy and view of life, and it was from this area that East Java inherited most of its temple art.
East Javanese people love to eat and you can enjoy various dishes while you’re around. From sea food variety to beef and chicken, each dish is cooked lovingly and with great care. Make sure to try soto Madura (chicken soup Maduran style) and sate Madura (roasted skewered chicken with tasty peanut sauce) and avoid the sambal or chili if you’re not into spicy food.
PEOPLE AND CULTURE
East Javanese are known for their outspoken manner and loud voice. They are the type who would talk to strangers and help them if need be. They tend to be frank and enjoy a good conversation.
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