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 m 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.
- Bogor Tourist Information Centre, Jalan Paledang 35 (West side of the Gardens) ☎ +62 251 332775. Hands out rough maps and may be able to arrange palace tours. Open 8AM-2PM M-Th, 8AM-11AM Fri, 8AM-1PM Sat.
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 International Airport.(IATA: CGK) There are direct Damri buses from there to Bogor Rp 35,000. 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.
Recent changes to the train system allow you to travel for a lower fee, but do require your participation! When you arrive at a station in Jakarta you will be asked for your destination. Specific Bogor and add "pakai AC" (pronounced: pakay ahhsay). You will be told the amount you owe, and now you can go to find your train. It would seem to all outward appearances that all trains now have AC, but, the best way to be sure is to ask a guard in the station. "Mau ke Bogor, pakai AC. Jalur apa?"
Be aware that Gambir station no longer accommodates local trains, only regional trains. If you find yourself at Gambir and wanting to get to Bogor you will need to get over to one of the neighboring stations.
In case you are stay on Jalan Jaksa, the place for backpackers, you are approximately 10 minutes' walk from station Gondangdian. All trains to Bogor stop there.
There are direct Damri buses from Jakarta's Soekarno Hatta International Airport to Bogor for Rp 35,000.
Buses from Jakarta depart from Lebak Bulus, Kampung Rambutan and Kali Deres bus terminal and take about 1-2 hr depending upon the traffic. There are two types of buses available Executive (air conditioned) and Economy.
Buses from Bogor to Bandung take about 3 hr. 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 1 hr).
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 40 min from Jakarta. During traffic jam (rush hours), it will take 80-120 min. 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. US $15–30 plus toll road fees of approx. US $2. The trip may take up to 3 hr 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. Any trip from anywhere to anywhere costs Rp 2,000, paid when you get off.
The downsides to using angkot are that the drivers are reckless and theft is all too common (guard your belongings). Also,some angkot like 02 or 03 only depart from their pangkalan (terminals) when full — 10 min on a good day on a busy route, 90 minutes on a bad day on an unpopular one.
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 10 min after ordering to check it is coming. Allow an extra half an hour for your airport taxi.
- Bogor Botanical Gardens (Kebun Raya Bogor) (a number of local angkots pass the entrance.). 8AM-5PM daily. The Bogor Botanical Gardens (Kebun Raya) is 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 and directed their scientific use, with Johannes Elias Teysmann continuing in his footsteps. Today, the gardens stretch out over 87 hectares, including some carefully manicured gardens as well as areas that look and feel like wild jungle. Fountains, lakes, two rivers and hilly trails make for interesting walking that can easily take 2 days if you really want to see it all. If you visit in January 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 m and smells like rotting meat. The walk around the garden can be long. Taking the tour bus for a quick trip around the garden will give you some better information about planning your walk on foot. Rp.9,500+.
- 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 Connect) may be able to squeeze you in at short notice if there's a tour going on.
- Orchid House at Bogor Botanical Gardens (Rumah Anggrek). Located 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. Entry is included in the Botanical Garden entry fee.
- Kujang. This statue commemorates the struggle for Indonesian Independence by people in West Java. Kujang is a traditional weapon from West Java.
- Prasasti Batutulis (angkot 02 or 15). A carved stone to commemorate King Sri Baduga Maharaja from Kingdom of Pakuan Pajajaran. Created in 1533 by King Surawisesa, son of King Siliwangi Sri Baduga Maharaja (according to Kern/Pleyte and Danasasmita).
- Prasasti Cirauteun. At Cirauteun, Ciampea, Bogor. A large carved stone to commemorate King Pakuan from the Kingdom of Taruma (5th century).
- Taman Safari Indonesia, Jl. Raya Puncak No.601, Cisarua, Bogor, ☎ , fax: +62 251 250555. A beautiful safari park/zoo in Puncak.
- Anand Ashram's One Earth Retreat Center, Jl. Raya Bukit Pelangi Km 5, Ciawi Gadog, ☎ . Meditation, yoga, self development programs, stress management. Sessions are about 90 min long. Rp 50,000-150,000.
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.
- 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. 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. 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. Located 10 km from Bogor city. J. Michael Poellot Golf Design Group designed the course.
- Rancamaya Golf and Country Club, ☎ . Jl.Rancamaya Utama, Ciawi. Designed by Ted Robinson.
- Jagorawi Golf & Country Club (JGCC), ☎ . Jl. Karanggan raya, Cibinong-Bogor. 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.
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.
- Botani Square, ☎ . Jl. Raya Pajajaran, (In front of Tugu Kujang/Kujang Monument). Food court, convention centre, meeting point. A prestigious shopping mall in Bogor. Easy to access via public transportation. Located next to Terminal (Bus Station) Baranangsiang. 24 hr ATM. It is also recommended for city check-in, with an airport bus to take you directly to Jakarta's CGK International Airport. Located also next to Botanical Garden and Bogor Agriculture Institute.
- Bogor Trade Mall, Jl. H. Juanda. Food court.
- Eka Lokasari Plaza, Jl. Siliwangi 123. Food court.
- Pangrango Plaza, Jl. Raya Pajajaran. Food court.
- Bogor Plaza, Jl. Surya Kencana. Food court.
Bogor's local specialities include pickles (asinan) and grilled bean sprouts (tauge goreng).
- 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. The rijsstaffel set is popular if a bit pricy at Rp 45,000.
- 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). Green Cozzy Cafe and free wifi.
- Gang Selot, at Jl. Ir Juanda, next to SMU Negeri 1 Bogor. This is a good place for a food lover. Various food outlets with very cheap price.
- Harly's Cafe and Resto, Dadali Street No. 10 (near Goodyear factory and Immigration Office), ☎ . Established January 1st 2010. It serves some good food including pizzas but only a few brands of beers other than the locals, Bintang and Anker. The spirits are expensive and most likely watered down and the atmosphere reminds one of something Charles Bukowski may have enjoyed. Dark and smokey and typically filled with older expats and women looking to take their money.
- Ngeces Dimsum-Pasta, Jl Soleh Iskandar (In front of Yogya Dept Store, Cimanggu, and FoodCourt Ekalokasari Plaza), ☎ . 10AM-10PM.
- Salak Sunset Cafe (Sunset) (Easy to reach 100m from the road around Kebun Raya, or take 02 angkot up Jl. Paledang from the train station towards the garden.). Quaint cafe owned by an expat who has been in the city a long time. This is a popular place to have a beer with some freshly cooked peanuts. Wonderful view of the sunset over Salak Mountain. Rp.28,000/Tall Bintang.
- Harly's Cafe (Harly's), Jl Dadali 10 (07 angkot will take you right by the front door.), ☎ . 4PM-3AM daily. A bit more for a beer. Excellent ambiance. All the feel of a Dutch neighborhood pub. Excellent food and standard bar fare including popcorn, peanuts, and Dutch bitterballen. Try the Schoarma Schotel with a cold Heineken.
- Bali Blitz, 48A Veteran Street Bogor (10 min walking from Bogor train station towards Jembatan Merah area (away from Kebun Raya).), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 24/7. Asian, fried rice and other Indonesian foods, served with spicy characteristics. 1st floor has a cafe and an internet cafe, 2nd floor has Bali blitz providing 2 music studio rooms and 4 cozy karaoke rooms, 3rd floor has a full bar, with selection of beers and cocktails, a wide dance floor, private section and DJ booth.
- X-One Club Lounge & Music Center (X-One), Jl. Siliwangi No 25 (take angkot 2 (green and orange)). 9PM-4AM daily. X-One sits across from Circle K on Jln. Siliwangi. It's open almost every night, and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday are your best bets if you want to dance with a couple hundred other people. It's smoky, it's loud, and there are air conditioners every 2 meters doing their best to keep it cool. You don't have to go in to enjoy a game of billiards downstairs. Rp.50,000 (includes a free coke).
- Lipss Karaoke Bar and Club (Lipps), Jl. Sukasari 1 No. 5 (Take angkot 02 (orange and green) to Dunkin Donuts (next to X-One) and walk down the hill past Indomaret.), ☎ 0251 328045. 9PM-4AM daily. Dancing, drinking, karaoke and billiards. The billiard and karaoke are separate. Can be a little difficult to negotiate entry. There are extremely pricey "table and drink" packages on offer, but, if you ask, you can usually get in for the price of an over priced beer. Rp.50,000+ (negotiable)).
- Mahoni Bar (Mahoni) (No public transport. A taxi is your best bet. It's quite a distance, relatively speaking, but the roads are good and it's a well known destination.). 9AM-midnight daily. Happy hour 6-8, buy 1 get 1. Live music every weekend 9-11PM. This is a cute little pagoda bar in the middle of the Novotel resort. It's quiet and friendly, and often quite empty. There's a free billiard table.
- Katulampa Lounge Bar (Take the 02 or 14 angkot to the BNR entrance, and then hire an ojeq to take you to the Aston.). 8AM-10PM daily. The Katulampa is located in the Aston Hotel and Resort. This is a premier hotel and offers a number of attractions next door as well as scenic, modern seating. You can also count on prices that will be higher, and some difficulty in reaching this location because no public transport routes go through the Bogor Nirwana Residence where the Aston Resort is located.
- Indomart, Alfamart, and Circle K. These all sell beer, and you can find one on almost every street. The sale of spirits of any kind in a retail establishment is against the law. Circle K is your best bet for a cold beer, and you may have to ask at the counter at Alfamart, which has been known to hide them on shelves in the stock room.
- Hotel Bogor Inn, Jl. Kumbang No. 21, ☎ . Cheap, near to Jl Malabar-the favourite place for students restaurants.
- Abu Pension, Jl Mayor Oking 15, ☎ . Directly behind the railway station. Lovely food, nice terrace over river. Good info on what to do. Offers kampung tour of the small streets (200.000 Rp). Rooms: double/tripple from Rp 125,000 excluding breakfast. A/C room (double) from Rp 200,000 ex breakfast. Some budget rooms with shared (clean) toilet and shower.
- Hotel and Restaurant Mirah Sartika, Jalan Dewi Sartika 6 (From Jl Dewi Sartika 100 m from KFC, enter in a cul-de-sac on your right and there is your hotel.), ☎ . From Rp 350,000 for 2 persons, breakfast included.
- Padjadjaran Suites, Jl. Raya Pajajaran No. 17, ☎ . Flat-screen satTV, tea/coffee making facilities and a safety deposit box. Each room has a balcony. Bathrobes, slippers and toiletries are provided. Outdoor pool, spa and gym. WiFi and parking are free. Business centre and meeting room facilities. Laundry and dry cleaning services are available, and a 24 hr front desk is provided. From Rp 900,000.
- Hotel Santika Bogor, Botani Square, Jl. Raya Padjadjaran, ☎ . Underground connection to the Botanical Gardens and a large mall next door. The staff is friendly and helpful, and the interior is very clean with spacious rooms. ~US $90.
- Novotel Bogor Golf Resort & Convention Center, Golf Estate Bogor Raya (near the 18 hole Klub Golf Bogor Raya), ☎ . Conferencing, banqueting facilities and rooms set amongst tropical gardens.
- Puncak — highlands and tea plantations along the road to Bandung.
- Citarik River - there are two white water rafting companies on this river about 2 hr out of Bogor on the Cikidang Road (turn right off Jalan Sukabumi after the petrol station). These companies are on the way to the beach in West Java, at Pelabuan Ratu. Great river all year round, but peak season is strangely the dry season (May–August), it gets more fun in the wet season, but more unpredictable. Great boats and good fun to be had, plus some bungalows by the river for sleeping.
- Taman Safari (20 km east of Bogor towards Bandung) has an impressive drive-through zoo with lions, tigers, hippos, rhinos, zebras, giraffes, as well as plenty of other animals is well-kept large enclosures. There are also some amusement park attractions for children, a water park, a baby zoo, as well as conventional zoo exhibitions including penguins, snakes, kangaroos and Komodo dragons. This is a very well maintained zoo and a much better visit than other zoos found in the region. Admission is around Rp 100,000 per person. When visiting with children reserve a full day. For adults 3 hr is enough to see the most interesting animals.
- Pelabuhan Ratu