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. 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.
- 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 8AM to 2 PM M-Th, 8 AM to 11 AM Fri, 8 AM to 1 PM Sat.
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 restuarants and the local warung food stalls.
If you are western be prepared for Indonesians to ask you for a photo, do not be shy, they just enjoy visitors to Bogor and posing for a photo with a smile can make someones day.
The nearest airport would be Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta Airport. There are direct Damri buses from there to Bogor. If you charter helicopter from Soekarno Hatta airport, you can request (in advance) for 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 depart Jakarta's Kota station, with a stop in Gambir, roughly hourly (RP 11000). 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.
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.
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.
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 8AM 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. 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 in at short notice 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.
- Kujang, at triangle park on Jl. Pajajaran, Jl. Otista and Jl. Baranangsiang. This statue commemorated the struggle for Indonesian Independence by people in West Java. Kujang is a traditional weapon from West Java.
- Batutulis, at Batutulis village, Bogor. A carved stone to commemorate King Siliwangi from Kingdom of Pajajaran. Created in 1533 by King Surawisesa, son of King Siliwangi.
- Cirauteun, at Cirauteun, Ciampea, Bogor. A large carved stone to commemarate King Pakuan from Kingdom of Taruma (5th century).
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.
- Fishing Valley Bogor , The Biggest Fishing Venue in Bogor. Jl. Pemda Raya no. 107, tel. +62 (251) 662808, [. Freshwater fishing in a valley with Mount Salak view. Carp, Catfish (Lele, Patin) , Nila, etc).
- Riverside Golf Club, Cimanggis, Bogor, tel. +62 (21) 8671533. Greg Norman designed golf course. They just changed the management recently and are improving all the facilities. They just added pathways for the golf carts and made the course a cart only course.
- Klub Golf Bogor Raya, Bogor, adjacent to Perumahan Danau Bogor Raya, tel. +62 (251) 271888. Bogor Raya is an 18-hole golf course designed by Graham Marsh Golf Design. It is located at an altitude of 500 metres above sea level and the setting is natural, with mature trees, natural rivers and lakes. The golf course measures 6195 metres, par 71 with four sets of tee boxes (black, blue, white and red).
- Rainbow Hill Jl. Raya Bukit Pelangi, Ciawi, Bogor, tel. +62 (251) 272111. Located 10km from Bogor city. J. Michael Poellot Golf Design Group designed the course.
- Rancamaya Golf and Country Club Jl.Rancamaya Utama, Ciawi, Bogor, tel. +62 (251) 242282. Designed by Ted Robinson.
- Jagorawi Golf & Country Club (JGCC) Jl. Karanggan raya, Cibinong-Bogor, West Java, tel. +62 (21) 87902488. JGCC is the only golf club in the country that offers 45 holes of championship golf. The Old Course is the jewel in the crown of Indonesian golf and can stand any form of competition with reputed golf courses anywhere in the world.
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.
- Botani Square, Jl. Raya Pajajaran, (in front of Tugu Kujang/Kujang Monument), +62 (251) 838-6658, . Food court, Convention Center, Meeting Point. The most prestigious shopping mall in Bogor. Easy to access via Public transportation. Located next to Terminal ( Bus Station ) Baranangsiang. 24 hours ATM services with reputable Banking partners. It is also recommended for city check-in, with airport bus ready to take you directly to International Airport, Soekarno Hatta. Located also next to Botanical Garden & Bogor Agriculture Institute.
- Bogor Trade Mall, Jl. H. Juanda. Food court.
- Eka Lokasari Plaza, Jl. Siliwangi 123. Food court.
- Pangrango Plaza, Jl. Raya Pajajaran. Food court.
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.
- Kedai Telapak, Gd. Alumni IPB Pelataran Parkir Pool DAMRI Jl. Raya Pajajaran No.54 Bogor, Located Next to Botani Square on west side of Pool DAMRI Parking Lot in Baranangsiang, phone : +62 251 8393 248, ,Green Cozzy Cafe and Free Wifi Internet.
- Gang Selot, at Jl. Ir Juanda, next to SMU Negeri 1 Bogor. This is the best place for food lover. Varoius food with very cheap price. Come and taste the food from this area.
- Cafe Harly's, Dadali Street No. 10 (near Goodyear factory), ☎ +62 251 8347928. Established January 1st 2010. Steaks, pool, sports coverage on big tvs and open until whenever. Happy hour 5-7.
It is quite hard to find a bar that is not in a hotel that serves Beers. Lips Karaoke Bar and club provide Karaoke and Pool and a Bar. Warbal Cafe is a great friendly bar that serves Beer and has live music, the owner speaks English and is a good place for westerners to go. Cafe Gouramati is a lovely cafe overlooking Bogor, you will find westerners here too. It is near Sunset Cafe.
Bogor is very safe to walkaround during the day and at night, looks can be deceiving, however it is advisable to stick to main roads if possible.
- Hotel Bogor Inn, Jl. Kumbang No. 21, ☎ (0251) 8328134. Cheap, near to Jalan Malabar (The favourite place for students restaurants)
- Puncak — highlands and tea plantations along the road to Bandung.
- Citarik River - there are two white water rafting companies on this river about 2 hours out of Bogor on the Cikidang Road (turn right off Jalan Sukabumi after the petrol station). These companies are on the way to the beach in West Java, at Pelabuan Ratu. Great river all year round, but peak season is strangely the dry season (May-August), it gets more fun in the wet season, but more unpredictable. Great boats and good fun to be had, plus some bungalows by the river for sleeping.
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