Go for the Gardens

In the hills about 50 kilometres south of Indonesia’s stifling capital, Jakarta, the urban sprawl merges into the city of Bogor, famed for its grand botanical gardens which form the centrepiece of the town.

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The greater Jakarta metropolitan region is known as Jabodetabek—an abbreviation of Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi—forming one of the world’s most densely populated areas, but Bogor also has connections to prehistoric times and later, as the centre of an ancient Hindu kingdom. Later again, Bogor was transformed into a thriving city during the Dutch colonial period when it was utilised as a hill retreat by the colonial government, then known as Buitenzorg, Dutch for “carefree”.

The Gardens and well and truly worth a wander. : Sally Arnold.
The Gardens and well and truly worth a wander. Photo: Sally Arnold

During the mid-18th century a residence was built for the Dutch governor-general, and it is now known as the Istana Bogor (presidential palace). Located at the northern end of the botanical gardens (Kebun Raya Bogor) which were established in 1817, the gardens serve as a centre for research into botanical specimens from across the Indonesian archipelago. To this day, research continues within the impressive grounds of the 87-hectare gardens and a number of buildings dedicated to this research are visible when strolling through. The gardens are the primary reason many tourists visit Bogor.

Bogor suffers from both heavy traffic congestion and heavy pollution problems but to a lesser extent than hectic Jakarta (lets set the bar low shall we?!) and is much more walkable than its big brother. The air is cooler, and a high average rainfall has given the city the nickname Kota Hujan, the rainy city—don’t forget your ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 500 words.)

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