‘A romantic little village’ is how Sir Stamford Raffles described Bogor when he made it his country home during the British interregnum. As an oasis of unpredictable European weather – it is credited with 322 thunderstorms a year – cool, quiet Bogor was long the chosen retreat of starch-collared colonials escaping the stifling and crowded capital.
Today, the long arm of Jakarta reaches almost the whole way to Bogor, and while a ribbon of green still just about survives between the two, the city is already choked with the overspill of the capital’s perennial traffic problem.
But while Bogor’s transformation into a distant Jakartan suburb continues apace, the real oasis remains untouched. Planted in the very centre of the city, with the traffic passing idly by, Bogor’s botanical gardens are truly world class.
The gardens can be visited as a day trip from Jakarta, or since the capital is only an hour away, Bogor can be used as a cooler and more manageable base from which to visit Jakarta. From Bogor you can venture to the nearby mountains that surround the city or continue on to Bandung or Pelabuhan Ratu.
Though Bogor stands at a height of only 290m, it’s appreciably cooler than Jakarta. Visitors in the wet season should bear in mind the town’s ‘City of Rain’ moniker. Bogor has probably the highest annual rainfall in Java, so bring an umbrella and be prepared for wet feet.
Last updated: Feb 17, 2009
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