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The city of Bantam near the western end of Java was a strategically important site and formerly a major trading city, with a secure harbor on the Malacca Strait through which all ocean-going traffic passed, at the mouth of a river (Cibantam River) that provided a navigable passage for light craft into the island's interior. which itself provides a good access to the hinterland.

As a trading city Bantam received an early influx of Islamic influence in the early 16th century. Later, the Portuguese and Dutch fought for control of Bantam in the 17th century. Bantam was the seat of a powerful sultanate.

The Dutch found that they could control Batavia more thoroughly than Bantam, which contributed to its decline.

Today, Bantam is a small local seaport, economically overpowered by the neighbouring port of Merak.In Bantam, the Chinese are an important component of the community.

A bantam is a miniature domestic fowl, originally imported from Bantam. It image has been taken up for an imprint of the publisher Random House.

"Bantamwork" in 18th century England signified a particular style of export lacquerware.

For the town in Connecticut, see Bantam,_Connecticut.

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