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Published on December 8, 2014

Indonesia's communities welcome visitors with open arms – these villages expose travelers to fascinating individual facets of Indonesia found nowhere else in the world.


1.1. Pentingsari Village

Pentingsari Village lies close to Yogyakarta and Mount Merapi, a cool countryside getaway surrounded by fruit trees and riverbanks. A visit to Pentingsari will immerse you deep into Javanese folklore and the spirit world. From the luweng stone associated with Indonesian freedom fighter Diponegoro; to the mysterious Ponteng cave where two rivers meet; to learning traditional Javanese arts like gamelan music and batik-making; all these allow visitors and their families to live as the Javanese of Pentingsari have done for generations. 


1.2. Laweyan Village

The oldest "kampung batik", or batik-making village, in Indonesia, the Surakarta village of Laweyan is slowly reviving its native art: the houses clustered around Laweyan's narrow alleys mostly shelter batik shops now, with both hand-painted and stamped batik produced at a frenetic pace in their back rooms. Many of these houses date back to Laweyan's heyday as a batik producing city; its history can best be seen at the Haji Samanhudi Museum, whose displays highlight the village's glorious batik history and its slow comeback in the 21st century. 


1.3. Kampung Naga

The West Java village of Kampung Naga lives according to traditional values that have held fast over generations. Set on the banks of Ciwulang River, Kampung Naga is surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature, with an abundance of rice paddies and towering ebony trees. Only 111 buildings have been permitted to stand in the village, using only traditional material like nipah and bamboo; and traditional leaders have forbidden the use of electricity. Without electronic distractions, you're free to rediscover nature in the West Java countryside.