TRAVEL EAST JAVA
East Java, the rugged Indonesian province, includes the eastern part of Java plus Madura and some smaller islands. The regional capital, Surabaya, has all the accoutrements of a booming Indonesian city, including freeways, multiplexes and a trademark traffic problem, there are far more attractive bases. Other attractive city, Malang is a civilized city with a temperate climate ringed by some fascinating Hindu temples. Banyuwangi, linked to Bali by a 24-hour ferry service, makes a decent launch pad to two exquisite national parks and one spectacular volcanic plateau. East Java is all about the raw, rugged appeal of its volcano-studded scenery and awesome landscapes. The Bromo area and its puffing giants is an undisputed highlight, but the Ijen Plateau ranks very close, with a stunning Crater Lake, evocative coffee plantation, and good hiking place.