| || |
| || |
Revision as of 11:45, 18 September 2006
Orchids in the Orchid House, Botanical Garden
Bogor  is a city in West Java, Indonesia.
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. Located 290 meters above sea level, Bogor is noticeably cooler than the torrid lowlands. 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.
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.
The nearest airport would be Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta Airport. There are direct Damri buses from there to Bogor.
Eksekutif-class trains called Pakuan depart Jakarta's Kota station, with a stop in Gambir, roughly hourly. Ekonomi-class trains depart Jakarta's Kota station every 20 minutes or so, but can be crowded beyond belief and do not stop in Gambir.
Buses from Bogor to Bandung take about three hours, except on weekends when they're not allowed to use the Puncak pass and have to loop through Sukabumi, adding an hour to the trip.
By highway, Bogor is about 40 minutes from Jakarta in ideal traffic, but when there are jams (which is often) you may have to double or triple this.
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. There are also some Bali-style bemo minibuses, mostly outside the city center, which are even more cramped than angkot and charge around Rp. 1500. A full table of angkot and bemo routes is available here.
The downsides to using angkot are are that the drivers are reckless and theft is all too common (guard your belongings). Also, angkot 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 are 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.
In the Botanical Garden on a typical rainy day
- Botanical Garden (Kebun Raya Bogor), . Bogor's pride and joy, the extensive Botanical Gardens were founded in 1811 as a private garden of the Governor-General's summer residence by Sir Stamford Raffles, who also went on to found Singapore. However, it was Casper Reinwardt who adopted the gardens for more scientific use, with Johannes Elias Teysmann continuing in his footsteps. Today, the gardens stretch out over 87 hectares, parts carefully manicured like the palace gardens they are, parts seeming like wild jungle at first glance (if not for the tags detailing where every tree and plant comes from), with lakes, two rivers and hilly trails. If you're lucky, you may be able to spot a blooming giant arum (Amorphophallus titanum), the world's tallest inflorescence (flower cluster) which can reach an astounding 2.5 meters — but, alas, smells like rotting meat. Open from 8 AM to 5 PM daily, although (despite the size!) they can get crowded on Sundays. Entry is Rp 5,500 for people, Rp 10,000 for cars, which can also drive around on main roads and are a bit of a nuisance.
- Presidential Palace (Istana Bogor), in the northwest corners of the Botanical Gardens. Originally the summer residence of the Governor-General of Java, now one of the Indonesian president's summer escapes and noted for the 250 tame deer grazing in its grounds. Suharto took this rather literally in 1998, when he fled from riots in Jakarta to this palace shortly before being forced to resign. The palace grounds can be visited from within the Gardens, but tours in the palace require 5 days advance notification — however, the Bogor TIC (see Contact) may be able to squeeze you at shorted notice in if there's a tour going on.
- Orchid Garden (Rumah Anggrek), in the northeast corner of the Botanical Gardens. Large greenhouse housing orchids of all shapes and sizes, with two separate halls so there's always something blooming. Entry Rp 2000, separately charged.
- Riverside Golf Club, Cimanggis, Bogor, tel. (62)(21) 8671533. Greg Norman designed golf course. They just changed the management recently and improving all the facilities. They just added pathway for the golf cart and made the course a cart only course.
Bogor's local specialities include pickles (asinan) and grilled bean sprouts (tauge goreng).
- De Daunan, east side of Botanical Gardens. Formerly Cafe Botanicus, serves up a mix of Dutch and Indonesian favorites, with lazy ceiling fans and a breezy veranda on a small hill looking over the garden. The rijsstaffel set is popular if a bit pricy at Rp 45,000.
- Sotomie Ciseeng. Jl. Suryakencana No. 302. A type of noodle with beef tendons and deep fried chives.
- Ngohiong, sold along Jl. Suryakencana. An originally Chinese dish (五香 wǔxiāng) made from flour and scraps of pork, deep fried and then served with tofu, fried potato wedges, a thick sweet sauce and pickles. Halal (non pork) version of the dish may also be available.
- Hotel Salak, Jl. Ir. H. Juanda No.8 (opp Presidential Palace), tel. +62-251-350400. Bogor's grand old hotel with the best location in town. Rooms from US$60.
- Bogor Tourist Information Centre, Jalan Paledang 35 (west side of the Gardens) tel. +62-251-332775. Hands out rough maps and may be able to arrange palace tours. Open 8 AM to 2 PM Mon-Thu, 8 AM to 11 AM Fri, 8 AM to 1 PM Sat.
- Puncak — highlands and tea plantations along the road to Bandung
|This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!