Earth : Asia : Southeast Asia : Indonesia : Java : West Java : Bogor
Bogor is a city in West Java, Indonesia. Bogor is the 6th largest city of Jabodetabek (Jakarta metropolitan region) and the 14th nationwide. Bogor is an important economic, scientific, cultural and tourist center, as well as a mountain resort. One of the most ancient cities in Indonesia, the city was the capital of the ancient Sunda Kingdom (Indonesian: Kerajaan Sunda) and was called Pakuan Pajajaran. During the Dutch colonial era, it was named Buitenzorg (meaning "Without a care" in Dutch) and served as the summer residence of the Governor-General of Dutch East Indies.
With several hundred thousand people living on an area of about 20 km2 (7.7 sq mi), the central part of Bogor is one of the world's most densely populated areas. It is also one of the nation's center for education, particularly in Agricultural science.
Some 60km 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 290m 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.
The first mentioning of a settlement at present Bogor dates to the 5th century when the area was part of Tarumanagara, one of the earliest states in Indonesian history. After a series of defeats from the neighboring Srivijaya, Tarumanagara was transformed into the Sunda Kingdom, and in 669, the capital of Sunda was built between two parallel rivers, the Ciliwung and Cisadane. It was named Pakuan Pajajaran, that in old Sundanese means "a place between the parallel [rivers]", and became the predecessor of the modern Bogor. In 1579, Pakuan was captured and almost completely destroyed by the army of Sultanate of Banten, ceasing the existence of the State of Sunda. The city was abandoned and remained uninhabited for decades.
In the second half of the 17th century during the dutch colonial period, the abandoned Pakuan (as most of West Java) while formally remaining under the Sultanate of Banten, gradually passed under control of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). The formal transition occurred on 17 April 1684 by signing an agreement between the Crown Prince of Banten and the VOC.
The first, and temporal, colonial settlement at Pakuan was a camp of lieutenant Tanoejiwa, a Sundanese employed by the VOC who was sent in 1687 to develop the area.It was seriously damaged by the eruption on 4–5 January 1699 of the Mount Salak volcano (Indonesian: Gunung Salak), however the concomitant forest fires removed much forest, leaving much area for the planned rice and coffee plantations. In a short time, several agricultural settlements appeared around Pakuan, the largest being Kampung Baru (lit. "new village"). In 1701, they were combined into an administrative district; Tanoejiwa was chosen as the head of the district and is regarded as the founder of the modern Bogor Regency.
In 1746, by the order of the Governor-General Gustaaf Willem van Imhoff, the Palace, a nearby Dutch settlement and nine native settlements were merged into an administrative division named Buitenzorg (Dutch for "beyond (or outside) concerns," meaning "without worries" or "carefree," cf. Frederick the Great of Prussia's summer palace outside Potsdam, Sanssouci, with the same meaning in French.) Around the same time, the first reference to Bogor as the local name of the city was documented; it was mentioned in the administration report from 7 April 1752 with respect to the part of Buitenzorg adjacent to the Palace. Later this name became used for the whole city as the local alternative to Buitenzorg.
Buitenzorg, as well as the rest of Dutch colonial possession in Java, were given to the British for a brief period of time (1811-1816) when the British occupied Java to prevent their capture by Napoleonic France which then conquered the Netherlands. The head of the British administration Stamford Raffles moved the administrative center from Batavia to Buitenzorg and implemented new and more efficient management techniques.
Java, as well as Buitenzorg, was formally returned to the Dutch in 1816 and fell under the rule of United Kingdom of the Netherlands rather than VOC. The Buitenzorg Palace was reinstated as the summer residence of the Governor-General. A botanical garden was set up nearby in 1817,a legacy of Raffles, which was one of the world's largest gardens in the 19th century.
During World War II Buitenzorg and the entire territory of Dutch East Indies were occupied by Japanese forces; the occupation lasted from 6 March 1942 until the summer of 1945. As part of the efforts by the Japanese to promote nationalist (and thus anti-Dutch) sentiments among the local population the city was given the Indonesian name Bogor.
As part of independent Indonesia, Bogor has a significant role in the cultural, scientific and economic development of the country and West Java in particular – in part due to the legacy of infrastructure built during the colonial period. Its special position was further reinforced by the transformation of the former summer residence of the governor-general into the summer palace of the President of Indonesia
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 major international airport is Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta Airport.(IATA: CGK). If the traffic is OK (i.e., non rush-hour times), the drive between the airport and Bogor is about 1.5 hrs. If the traffic is bad (rush hour times), it can be double that.
There are direct Damri buses from the airport to Bogor Rp 55,000 (~ 4 USD; can also be taken in the opposite direction to get to the airport), running every 30 minutes. The bus is very convenient, comfortable, and air conditioned, and can be picked up easily near the exit. The standard bus luggage racks underneath are available if you have lots of luggage. Upon arrival, just go outside and ask an airport official for the "Damri bus to Bogor". They will point you to the spot to wait. Tickets are bought on-board (i.e., you don't need a ticket beforehand -- but you will need cash/rupiah). The bus will take you to the Bogor bus terminal which is adjacent to a large shopping mall called "Botani Square", which is centrally located in Bogor.
Another option from the airport is by taxi, that with meter costs around Rp 350,000 (~25 USD + ~ $2 for highway tolls, which are above and beyond the taxi fare). Please note that the traffic can be very bad during rush hours (6-9 AM and 4-6 PM) and especially on Monday and Friday afternoon. For a taxi, find or ask for the "Blue Bird Taxi" stand, which is directly outside the airport exit. Do not take any other kind of taxi. Blue Bird taxis are metered and will not rip you off.
If you charter a 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 it may be used for civilian flights in the future.
Commuter trains depart Jakarta's Kota station every 20-30 min or so via Gondangian, Manggarai and Depok, but can be crowded beyond belief (especially at peak commuting times) and they do not stop at Jakarta's main Gambir station. If returning to Jakarta from Bogor, check the schedule near the ticket booth to make sure the train you want to take is the correct one. Other trains from Bogor take different routes within Jakarta after departing from Manggarai and do not call at Gondangian and Kota.
Commuter trains to Depok (which is 3/4 of the way along to Bogor) seemed more frequent and far less crowded than trains going all the way to Bogor, from Gondangian station. Probably more comfortable to take two trains, first (longer) one to Depok on more empty frequent train, then change there and get on train to Bogor (only 4 more stops). Not sure if you can do that on one ticket or if you need to buy two separate tickets. Even the crowded train was air conditioned and clean though.
Fares are extremely cheap (a couple of thousand rupiah), but the first time you'll also need to pay the deposit on a reusable ticket card to work the entry and exit gates (about IDR10,000). The deposit can be refunded by returning the card at the ticket counter in any of the commuter railway stations in the Jakarta / Bogor area.
In case you stay in Jalan Jaksa, the place for backpackers, you are just 10 min. walking from station Gondangdian.
There are also three trains each day from Bogor to Sukabumi.
Buses from Jakarta depart from Lebak Bulus, Kampung Rambutan and Kali Deres bus terminal and take about 1-2h depending upon the traffic. There are two types of buses available Executive (air conditioned) and Economy.
Buses from Bogor to Bandung take about 3h. Executive buses use the Cipularang highway route while the Economy buses are still using the old route via Puncak pass, during weekends they may take a loop through Sukabumi, adding an extra 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 1 hr. There is more than one road to Bogor, and the minor roads are often the most interesting. By toll highway, Bogor is about 40min from Jakarta. During traffic jam (rush hours), it will take 80-120min. Many commuters stay in Bogor and work in Jakarta. On weekend and holidays, the trip from Jakarta to Bogor may take up to 3 hr.
You can take metered taxi to Bogor from Jakarta. The cost will be approx. USD15-30 plus toll road fees of approx. USD2. The trip may take up to 3h depending on the traffic. Be cautious during the rainy season (Nov - Mar) because the route to Bogor is subject to flash flooding. 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. They can be flagged down anywhere along their route (i.e., they will stop anywhere to pick-up), and similarly will stop anywhere along the route to let you off. Any trip from anywhere to anywhere costs IDR3,500, paid when you get off. There is a community-maintained zoomable map of inner-city angkots (it does not contain the regional ones). Some angkots like 02 or 03 only depart from their pangkalan (terminals) when full — 10min on a good day on a busy route, 90 minutes on a bad day on an unpopular one. But overall, once you figure out where they go, they are unquestionably the best way to get around Bogor using public transportation.
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 10min after ordering to check it is coming. Allow an extra half an hour for your airport taxi. If you can't find a taxi, but need private transport for a few hours, you can cut a deal with an Angkot to take you somewhere, wait for you, bring you back, but you need to explain that in bahasa. A cheap and convenient alternative is installing the Uber app on your smartphone. A less-used competitor of Uber is GrabCar.
Motor taxis ("ojeg") are very popular in Bogor, and faster than car taxis during traffic jams. You can look or ask around for an Ojeg stand and negotiate a price, and insist on a helmet. Alternatively, install the Go-Jek app on your smartphone (can also be used for sending a driver to a shop or to a pharmacy). A less-used competitor of Go-Jek is GrabBike.
Getting back and forth to Jakarta is easy on the train. But, avoid rush hour!! Outside of rush hour (weekends are OK), taking the train is about an hour from the Bogor station to Jakarta Kota. Very pleasant, air conditioned, and very cheap (less than 1 dollar). Trains go all the time, so just show up and ask for "Jakarta" and anyone will point you in the right direction. As mentioned above, paying is a 2-step procedure where you will be given a plastic card that is credited with however much you pay, and then can be reused. Like a metro in any big city, there are maps above the seats indicating where the stops are, and everything is well marked and organized. All in all, a great way to travel between Bogor and JKT (outside of rush hour).Go for it!
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.
Whitewater Kayaking & Rafting
Whitewater Kayaking course is available for novice to advance paddler e.g Playboating course.
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.
A good traditional market is located along Jl. Ir.H. Djuanda, near the main entrance to the Botanical Gardens (south boundary of the gardens). The market is best at night, or early morning. Endless fruits, veggies, live animals, and the usual chaos you would expect from a traditional Asian market. Bring your camera, and ask to take photos. People will gladly oblige with smiles and a thumbs up.
Bogor's local specialities include pickles (asinan) and grilled bean sprouts (tauge goreng).
It has become more and more difficult to locate beer in Bogor now. It used to be sold in mini markets and supermarkets but that has been stopped now, as of approximately April 2015. So if you want a beer, it will have to be a bar or a hotel. However, any bar that sells beer will sell you beer that you can take away (just tell them you want to take it, so they don't open it).
If you arrive by train, follow the crowd and at Jalan Kapten Muslihat, 100 m from the station where you see the fastfood KFC, 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 Rp 20,000.