Some 60 km south of Jakarta, Bogor is the "bo" of the massive Jabotabek conurbation, with 3,000,000 people or so of its own. The town was the capital of Indonesia during the brief British occupation, and under the name Buitenzorg was also the summer capital of the Dutch in the hot dry season. Located 290 meters above sea level, Bogor is noticeably cooler than the torrid lowlands, and the place where many of the Indonesian elite have their villas. Once a place of beauty, rapid development has turned central Bogor into the same congested mess as every other Indonesian city, but there are still rivers, canals, red-roofed houses, mosques, churches, trees, flowers and views of nearby Mount Salak to be had.
Bogor's epithet is Kota Hujan, meaning "City of Rain". Statistically, it's the rainiest city on Java, and locals jokingly advise getting any sightseeing done in the morning because it's guaranteed to rain in the afternoon. Then again, tramping through the Gardens can actually be more pleasant in a cool drizzle. Lovers of Bogor will tell you that most of the time it is dry; normally, the rain falls only in heavy bursts late in the day.
Tourist Information Centre : Jalan Kapten Muslihat no 51. Mr. Adang is there the boss. Phone : 087870348768. To find the centre : in case you arrive by train, follow the crowd and after 100 m you enter in a kind of garden with designed little house; between them you can look up the Tourist Information Centre.
Mr. Adang speaks English and Dutch, he knows all about Bogor and he organises even trips to Bandang for a good price.
People in Bogor are extremely friendly and will go out of their way to help you. Be polite and smile, and it will get you very far. English is not prevalent, but basic English is spoken by many in restaurants and in the local warung food-stalls.
If you are a Westerner be prepared for Indonesians asking you for a photo. Do not be shy. They just enjoy visitors to Bogor, and posing for a photo with a smile can make someone's day.
The nearest airport is Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta Airport. There are direct Damri buses from there to Bogor (Rp. 35.000 as of February 2011). If you charter a helicopter from Soekarno Hatta airport, you can request (in advance) permission to land at Atang Senjaya airport, Bogor. This airport is a military base, but will be used for civilian flights in the future.
Eksekutif-class trains called Pakuan Express depart Jakarta's Kota station line 11 or 12, with a stop in Gambir, Djuanda and Gondandia station roughly hourly (RP 11000). During 10 days before and after Idul Fitri, the Pakuan wont stop at Gambir station. Make sure to check the schedule at the station. Avoid the rush hour train hence it will be crowded.
Ekonomi-class trains depart Jakarta's Kota station every 20 minutes or so, but can be crowded beyond belief and it does not stop in Gambir. Nor do some of the Pakuan trains; if returning to Jakarta from Bogor, check the schedule near the ticket booth to make sure the train you want to take stops at Gambir (GMR).
Another class is Economy-AC. You only pay for Rp 5.500 per trip from Jakarta. This train class is cheaper and more comfortable but can be very crowded.
In case you stay in Jalan Jaksa - THE place for backpackers, you are just 10 min. walking from station Gondangdian; all train, included the Pakuan stop there.
Buses from Jakarta depart from Lebak Bulus, Kampung Rambutan and Kali Deres bus terminal and take about 1-2 hours depends on the traffic. There are two types of buses available Executive (Air Conditioned) and Economy.
Buses from Bogor to Bandung take about three hours. Executive buses are taking Cipularang highway route while the Economy buses are still using the old route via Puncak pass (and during weekends had to take a loop through Sukabumi, adding an extra 1 hour).
The easiest way to get to Bogor is to hire a car and a driver; this is relatively cheap; the journey time is about one hour. There is more than one road to Bogor, and the minor roads are often the most interesting. By toll highway, Bogor is about 40 minutes from Jakarta. During traffic jam (rush hours), it will take 80 to 120 minutes. Many commuters stay in Bogor and work in Jakarta. On weekend and holidays, the trip from Jakarta to Bogor may take up to 3 hours.
You can take metered taxi to Bogor from Jakarta. The cost will be approx. US$15-30 plus toll road fees of approx. US$2. The trip may take up to 3 hours depending on the traffic. Be cautious during the rainy season (Nov - Mar) because the route to Bogor is subject to flash flood. It's better to use bigger companies like the Blue Bird Group because with the biggest fleet between Jakarta and Bogor they are the most reliable.
There are many pleasant traffic-free walks in Bogor, alongside rivers and canals.
The traffic in Bogor is chaotic. There is a daily traffic jam in Bogor from early in the morning to late in the afternoon. On weekend and holiday, people from Jakarta often go to Bogor with their cars.
The easiest way to get around Bogor is by angkot, little green minibuses, hordes of which infest Bogor's central streets. Any trip from anywhere to anywhere costs Rp. 2000, paid when you get off.
The downsides to using angkot are that the drivers are reckless and theft is all too common (guard your belongings). Also,some angkot like 02 or 03 only depart from their pangkalan (terminals) when full — 10 minutes on a good day on a busy route, 90 minutes on a bad day on an unpopular one.
By horse cart
Horse carts known as delman can be found in central Bogor and not too bad an option if you want to cruise around and take a look at the city. The poor beasts aren't very comfortable in the traffic scrum though.
Blue Bird Taxis operate in Bogor, but prepared as they generally can turn up late or sometimes not at all, make sure you call 10 minutes after ordering to check it is coming. Allow an extra half an hour for your airport taxi.
By car rental
Things to Do
There are many traffic-free walks by the side of rivers and canals. One is reminded, if one squints, of Venice in earlier days. One is likely to encounter colourful little houses and gardens, children flying kites, people bathing, vendors of snacks and spectacular views of Mount Salak. On the edge of Bogor one can walk beside rice fields and fruit orchards.
Most exciting are the traditional markets, filled with cheap clothing, toys, fruit, vegetables and the like. You should come every Sunday morning in Sempur for "in the morning" shopping while you have exercise. Tons of things and food for breakfast.
Bogor's local specialities include pickles (asinan) and grilled bean sprouts (tauge goreng).
It is quite hard to find a bar that serves beer and is not in a hotel. Bali Blitz is a one stop entertainment center. located in Jembatan Merah area, the place has unique Bali decoration on each floor. on the first floor there is Cafe and an internet cafe, on its second floor Bali blitz provide 2 rooms of music studio and 4 cozy luxurious karaoke rooms. and on its 3rd floor, Bali Blitz has its full bar, with complete selection of Beers and cocktails, a wide dance floor, private section and DJ booth. Lips Karaoke Bar and Club provides karaoke, a pool, and a bar. Warbal Cafe is a great friendly bar that serves beer and has live music; the owner speaks English, and it is a good place for Westerners to go. Cafe Gumati is a lovely cafe overlooking Bogor, you will find Westerners here, too. It is near Sunset Cafe.
It is hard to find something to drink in Bogor. Stronger than 5% alcohol is even forbidden. The only place where you can find beer is Superindo. If you arrive by train, follow the crowd and at Jalan Kapten Muslihat ( 100 m from the station ) where you see the fastfood KFC, take on your right side, about 700 m further you see the sign of Superindo : a lion. By night it is closed and to find some fresh beer, take after the fastfood KFC the first street on your right Cepta Sartika, 50 m in that street on the right side, you can buy your beer until midnight. A bottle of Bintang costs IDR 20.000.
Bogor is very safe to walk around during the day and at night. Looks can be deceiving, however; it is advisable to stick to the 188.8.131.52 04:16, 2 March 2011 (EST)main roads if possible.