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 is a city in West Java with a population of approximately 800,000 people in the CBD area and 2,000,000 in suburban area, bringing a total of 3 million populations. It was the capital of Indonesia during the British occupation under Stamford Raffles and was used as the capital by the Dutch during the dry season, then known as Buitenzorg (meaning "beyond cares").
Bogor boasts a Presidential palace, a deer park and a botanical garden in the town centre. It is home to the Institure Pertanian Bogor (or Bogor Institute of Agriculture).
Bogor is on a main road from Bogor to Bandung, over the Puncak pass. To the south of the city are large tea plantations. During colonial times the Bogor area developed as a centre for plantations.
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.
During colonial times the Bogor area developed as a centre for plantations. Apart from the tea (Mount Mas), there were coffee plantations at nearby Sukabumi and later vast rubber plantations that stretched from Bogor as far as Citereup and Bukit Sentul.
The suburban area of Bogor is part of the Bogor Regency, while the urban is the Bogor City. Currently Bogor bears the nickname "the Rain City" (Kota Hujan), suggesting that it is very wet and nearly always rains even during the dry season.
In 450 A.D. Bogor was part of Tarumanegara, the very first Hindu kingdom in Java, and the second in Indonesia after the Kutai Kingdom in Kalimantan. The most popular king of Tarumanegara was Purnavarman, who ruled around the 5th century. It was during his reign the kingdom reached its golden era. The city was then, with the name Pakuan, the capital of Sunda Kingdom, whence came the founder of the Majapahit empire, Raden Wijaya. Bogor was later part of the Pajajaran Kingdom (1482), ruled by King Siliwangi.
Bogor now houses numerous stone inscriptions (prasasti) from both the Tarumanegara and the Sunda Kingdom. These inscriptions, scattered throughout the urban, suburban, and rural areas of Bogor, are written in Sanskrit using the Pallava writing system.
The traditional language of Bogor is Sundanese. However, many think that Bogor's Sundanese is somewhat harsher and uses much more slang than any other part of the province. Due to the expansion of Bogor, more people from different places and different ethnicities stay in Bogor. Indonesian, the official national language, is becoming more common in the urban area.
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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. 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.
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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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.
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).
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There are many traffic free walks by the side of rivers and canals. One is reminded 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 and meet some of the friendliest people in the world.
Fishing Valley Bogor , The Biggest Fishing Venue in Bogor. Jl. Pemda Raya no. 107. Freshwater fishing in a valley with Mount Salak view. Carp, Catfish (Lele, Patin) , Nila, etc).
Riverside Golf Club, Cimanggis, Bogor. 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. 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. Rainbow Hill located 10km from Bogor city is probably the most beautiful Golf resort in the Bogor area. Destined to take its place among the world's great courses, it certainly belongs in the Top 10 of Indonesia's golf courses. J. Michael Poellot Golf Design Group designed the course and each fairway is carefully sculptured into the site to create an exciting series of 18 holes.
Rancamaya Golf and Country Club Jl.Rancamaya Utama, Ciawi, Bogor. Rancamaya Golf and Country Club is located 55 km south of Jakarta via Jagorawi highway in the foothills directly below mount Salak, it is a private club designed by Ted Robinson. Facilitated with 18 holes championship golf course, driving range, restaurant and country club, Rancamaya Golf and Country Club is a thoughtful mix of recreational, residential, resort and commercial.
Jagorawi Golf & Country Club (JGCC) Jl. Karanggan raya, Cibinong-Bogor, West Javal. 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.
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Most exciting are the traditional markets, filled with cheap clothing, toys, fruit, vegetables and the like.
Botani Square, Jl. Raya Pajajaran, (in front of Tugu Kujang/Kujang Monument). 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.
Providing many leisure, shopping, and recent modern lifestyle. Movie Lovers, Fitness Addict, Daily Shopppers, Modern Family, Gadget Freak, Convenience 4 stars hotel, open now - adjacent to Hotel Santika, modern and great staff - and International Convention Center. Owning the largest parking lot (up 5000 vehicles). Making Botani a great venue for outdoor activity and event promotions.
- Bogor Trade Mall, Jl. H. Juanda. Food court.
- Eka Lokasari Plaza, Jl. Siliwangi 123. Food court.
- Pangrango Plaza, Jl. Raya Pajajaran. Food court.
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Bogor's local specialities include pickles (asinan) and grilled bean sprouts (tauge goreng).
Fishing Valley, Located on a valley with natural surroundings, serves Fresh Traditional Indonesian / Sundanese cuisine, specializing on Freshly Grilled Fish. Most popular is the Spicy Grilled Gouramy (Gurame Bakar Pedas) accompanied with Fresh Coconut Drink (Es Kelapa Muda). Dine on one of the Gazebos above the ponds "Lesehan" style.
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.
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.
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