If Jakarta is the heart of Indonesia and Bali is its beauty, then Bogor is its charm.
Located in Western Java province, Bogor is a sleepy city that is just an hour-away drive from Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta. It is a popular getaway among Jakartan families specially during weekends and holidays because of its chilly and wet weather. Bogor is also known as one of the major scientific and educational centers of the country.
For those who want to try new and extra-ordinary vacation, here are five reasons why you need to pack your bags now and explore Bogor City:
Bogor’s weather is perfect for those who love to relax and to have a lazy afternoon or those who simply want to escape the chaos of the big city‘s concrete jungle. It is known as Indonesia’s “Rain City” because of its very high level of rainfall and the rain pours 320 days in a year. Temperature in Bogor averages 25.2 °C.
The city has a wide variety of fusion cuisines. Top on its list is the Sundanese food. People from Bogor describe this cuisine as heavenly taste from authentic Indonesian herbs and spices. Salted seafoods, satay, karedok, gurame bakar, nasi goreng, lalab and sambal are just some of the mouth-watering delicacies that one’s palate will truly enjoy.
Taman Safari Bogor
Taman Safari is a 170-hectare theme park that houses about 2,500 animals. Located in Cisarua Puncak, visitors can drive through and possibly come within a touching distance of most animals. Included in the safari’s collection are Bengal tigers, zebras, cheetahs, Komodo dragons, giraffes, orangutans, hippos, elephants, and Malayan sun bears.
Another attraction in the safari is the Istana Panda where two giant Chinese pandas, Cai Tao and Hu Chun, who came directly from Shicuan Province in China are being housed. The two pandas are in a 10-year loan from the government of the People’s Republic of China as part of the China-Indonesia Giant Pandas Conservation Partnership Program.
Bogor Botanical Garden
Bogor Botanical Garden, also known in Indonesia as Kebun Raya Bogor, is the oldest botanical garden in Southeast Asia. This 87-hectare botanical garden is located in the center of Bogor city which contains almost 14,000 different kinds of trees and plants of various origin. One of its many treasures is the 105-year old tree they named “King Tree.” An equally important attraction inside the garden is the presidential palace compound of Istana Bogor which is one of the six Presidential Palaces in Indonesia.
The garden is not only a must destination for visitors because of its beauty but it serves an important purpose as it functions as the “lungs” of Bogor City and of nearby towns.
Majority of people in Bogor are Sundanese. Like Filipinos, they have one of the best traits in the world. Although they had been colonized by the Dutch, core values from their ancestors remained intact and is still applied up to this time. They are warm, friendly, respectful and hospitable people that are always ready to give anyone a nod or a smile.
Where to eat in Bogor
Grand Garden Resto and Café
The resto is located inside Bogor Botanical Garden. It serves tasty international and Indonesian food such as beef steak, Nasi Timbel, Poci tea, oxtail soup, chicken satay etc. Visitors will have a chance to dine with sweeping views down to the vast garden and water-lily ponds. President Widodo dines and entertains VIP guests in this resto.
Pesona Alam Resto and Spa’s Banyan Restaurant
The Banyan Resto offers 50 selections of food and beverages, ranging from traditional Indonesian food to classic American and Europen cuisines. On Saturday and Public Holiday, the resto hosts an All You Can Eat BBQ Party, accompany with live music and fire dance performance. After a day roaming the tourist destinations in the area, the Banyan resto is the best spot to relax and to satisfy one’s hungry tummy.
Where to stay?
Pullman Ciawi Vimala Hills Resort Spa & Convention
Pullman Ciawi Vimala Hills Resort Spa is a new 5-star resort in a 10-hectare property in Gadog, Bogor, integrated with the Vimala Hills Villa & Resort complex. Visitors will enjoy an enchanting landscape with views of the three popular mointains – Mount Salak, Mount Geulis and Mount Pangrango. The resort has 229 world-class rooms and villas and facilities that guests will surely love.
Salak Hotel The Heritage
Salak Hotel is where the modern time meets the historical culture and values of Indonesia. This 140 guest rooms hotel is located in the center of Bogor and very near the Presidential Palace and Bogor Botanical Garden. It has five restaurants known for their distinctive ambiances and tasty cuisines. It also has swimming pool and a karaoke room.
How to go there?
Cebu Pacific flies Manila-Jakarta daily. Bogor is an hour-away from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta by car or by bus.
For private escorted tours, all-in package tours or special interest tours you can contact Aneka Kartika Tours and Travels through its website at www.aneka-tours.co.id.
Special thanks to Ms. Charo Logarta-Lagamon of Cebu Pacific, Vernon Prieto and Adjie Wahjono of Aneka Kartika Tours and Travels, Charles Lim and Apollo Santos of SELRACHO.