Like the landscape, East Java's climate is varied, depending upon altitude. The plains and lower hill regions are hot and humid, making conditions ideal for wet rice cultivation (sawah). Further up in the hills the air becomes quite cool, while in high mountainous areas at night the temperature can drop to near zero. Hill regions are well suited for the cultivation of a large variety of fruits and vegetables, which thrive in the colder climate.
Principal crops, aside from rice, include corn. tobacco, sugar cane, coffee, rubber, kapok, cloves, tea, cocoa, peanuts, soybeans and cotton. In addition, there are extensive plantations of teak and pine. East Java has a marked wet and dry season, with rain occurring between October and April. The wettest months are December, January and February.
The true homeland for the Javanese people is in Central and East Java. The western third of the island is dominated by another ethnic group, the Sundanese, who have their own separate language and customs. In East Java the population consists mainly of native Javanese, together with a sizeable number of settlers from the neighbouring island of Madura. The Madurese. who form yet another distinct ethnic and linguistic group, account for about 10 percent of the total population of East Java.
Since the earliest times there has tended to be a marked difference between the people of the agricultural hinterland and the coastal dwellers. Port towns like Tuban, Gresik and East Java's capital of Surabaya have for centuries been centres of trade and thus agents of change. The civilization which has grown up in these towns is the result of a blending of many different cultural influences. Chinese, Indians, Arabs and Europeans have, in turn, contributed to the growth of these trade centres,which in turn have influenced, and at times challenged the more conservative and traditional community inland. Today, the historical harbour towns of East Java are lively and colourful centres of commerce and industry, where a variety of religious traditions live side by side in a spirit of tolerance. The sacred graves of early Islamic missionaries can be seen alongside European style churches and colourful Chinese temples.

For the tourist, East Java has much to offer. The landscape is one of great variety and natural beauty and includes, aside from its impressive volcanic peaks and sparkling rivers. Iarge areas of natural rain forest, waferfalls, picturesque lakes, mysterious caves and secluded beaches. There are eight national parks, preserving a wide selection of native animals and plants.
There is also history to be found in East Java, beginning with the fossilzed remains of prehistoric animals and mankind's early ancestors at sites such as Trinil. Evidence of ancient megalithic culture can be seen in the regions of Situbondo and Mt Argopura in the eastern part of the province. Then there are the numerous temple ruins from the classical Hindu/Buddhist period (7th - 15th C.,), as well as the historical sites dating from the early days of Islam and Dutch colonial times. More recent history, concerning Indonesia's struggle for independence and the birth of the modern nation can be seen in several well arranged museum displays and in the many monuments which stand in cities and towns throughout the province.
Arts, crafts and cottage industries are plentiful in East Java and each region has its own speciality. Tuban and Madura, for instance, are well known production centres of batik, the cloth for which Java is especially famous. At Tulungagung there is a marble industry, at Pacitan agate, at Situbondo shell handicrafts and at Nganjuk the speciality is onyx and brassware.
'Adventure', or 'special interest' touring is still in its infancy in East Java, yet there is enormous potential in this area. Mt Bromo, of course. is already a well known destination, but other remote and exciting places to visit, such as the crater lakes of Ijen and Kelud, or the forested slopes of Semeru. Lawu and Argopura, receive comparatively few visitors. There are also many small islands Iying off the coasts of East Java and Madura, among them the Kangean group, as well as Bawean Island, with its unique species of deer.
For rest and relaxation there are beach resorts like Pasir Putih, Prigi or Slopeng; hill towns such as Batu and Sarangan, or the lake areas of Karangkates and Selorejo, to name just a few. Whether one'staste be swimming,sailing, horse riding,waterskiing, hiking,fishing,orjust enjoying beautiful surroundings. there is sure to be something for everyone in the fascinating province of East Java.

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