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When we visited Java, the fifth largest but most populous and industrialized
island in the Indonesian archipelago, it was suffering from political unrest.
At this writing (2001), it continues, making the immediate future of tourism
here rather uncertain. It is unfortunate because Java is a fascinating island
with captivating rural landscapes: rice paddies, tea plantations, and ancient
shrines set against a backdrop of rugged, still-live volcanoes.
It is a destination that offers myriad natural wonders, dramatic cultural
sites, and rituals, as well as unique crafts for bargain prices. We hope that
it soon gets beyond its current problems so that more people will feel
comfortable exploring its wonders.