Considering East Java's average population density of about 670 people per square kilometre, it is surprising to learn that almost 28.5% of the land is covered in forest. This figure makes East Java by far the greenest province on the island, forest areas in Central and West Java accounting for only 20% and 21% respectively. East Java's forest land is classified under a number of headings, according to function. National Parks, Nature reserves and protected areas account for just under 50% of the total, while the rest is designated production forest. Javanese teak is world famous and large areas of land, especially on the northern coast, have been given over to the production of this precious wood. Extensive natural forest, on the other hand, can be found mainly in mountainous regions and in more isolated areas of East Java's south coast.

Mountain Panorama from the road Pacet ( Mojokerto), with Cangar and Batu, malang.
Accommodation facilities at South Banyuwangi


The true homeland for the Javanese people is in Central and East Java. The western third of the island is dominated by the Sundanese, a separate ethnic group with their own language and customs. In East Java the population is made up mainly of the native Javanese, together with a size able number of settlers from the neighboring island of Madura. The Madurese, who form yet another distinct ethnic and linguistic group, account for about ten percent of the total population of East Java. The difference between the people living in East Java's agriculture heartland and the coastal dwellers is clearly noticeable. Historical port towns like Tuban, Gresik and the provincial capital of Surabaya were in the past dynamic centres of trade, open to a wide range of cultural influences and supporting a substantia population of foreign merchants and settlers.
Chinese, Indians, Arabs and Europeans have, in turn, contributed to the growth of these ports, which today continue to be lively centres of industry and commerce, where a variety of religious traditions exist side by side in a spirit of tolerance; where the sacred tombs of Java's early Muslim missionaries can be seen alongside European style churches and colourful Chinese temples (klenteng).
For the tourist, East Java has much to offer; a fact confirmed by the sharp increase in foreign visitors to this province during the last few years, and especially since Surabaya has opened its airport to international flights. Aside from the splendour of the mountains, there are large areas of unspoiled, natural rainforest, waterfalls, picturesque lakes, mysterious caves and secluded beaches. History can also be found, beginning with the fossilized remains of pre-historic animals and mankind's early ancestors at sites such as Trinil. Then there are the numerous temple ruins and other remains from the classical Hindu/Buddhist period (8th -15th C), as well as historical sites dating from the early days of Islam and the Dutch colonial era. More recent history, concerning Indonesia's struggle for National 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 specially famous. At Tulungagung there is a marble industry, at Paciran agate, at Situbondo shell handicrafts, while onyx and brassware are produced in the Nganjuk region.
Recently, there has been a growing demand for 'Adventure' or 'Special Interest' tours, and for these East Java has a plentiful supply of activities and destinations. Mt. Bromo, of course, remains the province's principal attraction, yet there are many other natural wonders, such as the crater lakes of Ijen and Kelud, the forested slopes of Mt. Semeru, Argopuro and Lawu, impressive waterfalls like Sedudo or Rambut Moyo, the wild beaches of the south coast, or the cool and peaceful hill resorts of Sarangan, Batu and Ngebel. In fact, whatever one's taste, there is certain to be something for everyone in the fascinating province of East Java.

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