59) Bogor's beautiful Botanical Garden

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August 22nd 2005
Published: September 15th 2005
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Bogor Botanical GardenBogor Botanical GardenBogor Botanical Garden

Beautiful huge palm trees with school girls in front
Our idea had been to avoid staying in Jakarta a second time, the first time we only changed planes at the airport. The cancellation of our morning flight from Medan and the subsequent late arrival seemed to have this plan go up in smoke, in fact we arrived at Jakarta airport only around 9 p.m. But we had found out that there were direct buses from the airport to Bogor and we decided to give it a try. If there were no more buses, we could always get to the centre and find a hotel there. As very often occurs in Indonesia, information was hard to come by, but in the end we found the right place and were glad to hear that the bus service was still in operation. We even met two students who were driving to Bogor as well (the city has a famous agricultural university), who were really nice and helpful. As the city is only 60km south of Jakarta and the road is in very good condition, it took us only an hour to arrive in Bogor, which can be considered as a posh, cool and green suburb of Jakarta. One of the young men went
In the Orchid HouseIn the Orchid HouseIn the Orchid House

Klaudia loves orchids, quite visibly
into the same direction as us and helped us find the right bemo to the hotel. As the place was quite small (only 10 rooms) we were afraid that it would already be closed when we arrived there at 10:30. But to our big surprise there was still a receptionist working, and another man rushed out upon our arrival and immediately took care of our luggage. The hotel was excellent for the price we paid (EUR 8), it was actually a large villa turned hotel, with a nice garden, the breakfast (included in the price) was copious, there was a toaster and hot water, toast bread, tea and coffee, different sorts of jam and even chocolate spread, and we could eat and drink as much as we wanted. Furthermore it was served in the former saloon, with beautiful furniture, chandeliers and exquisite paintings on the walls. The Wisma Gunung Gede was one of the best hotels of our whole trip and we actually regretted that we stayed only two nights. A bit of affordable luxury does you really good on such a long journey!

Next day was more or less reserved for a visit to Bogor's Botanical Garden, practically

Selection of tropical beauties
the city's only sight, but still we were glad to be there and not in Jakarta, as we rather shunned the big Asian cities (Hong Kong being the notable exception). A side entrance was very close to our hotel, and we immediately hit upon the Orchid House for which we had to pay an additional RP 1,000. Klaudia loves orchids, especially the smaller specimens, so both her and Stephan took one picture after the other, making full use of the new camera's macro setting. The garden dominates the centre of Bogor, covering an immense 87ha and was allegedly established by Sir Stamford Raffles, who was a governor-general of Java after he set up a British trading station in Singapore. When we were walking to the ponds with the giant water lilies, we saw many secondary school students who were obviously on an instructive excursion. Soon we detected a fascinating tree with light red blossoms, a big cluster of which formed a huge ball when fully abloom and reminded us of Easter eggs when still in buds. We closely examined this peculiar tree for a long while, when all of a sudden between 20 and 30 pupils (most of them girls)

Refreshing water body in the heat
came towards us with notebooks and pens in their hands, asking us for a comment and a signature. We felt like film stars or famous singers granting plenty of autographs! The kids were sweet, very well-bred and polite, breezy and shy at the same time. There was much for us to admire, huge trees, some with roots growing down into the soil and by and by forming new trunks that way; different kinds of bamboo and giant ferns, and a newly-wed couple who had their picture taken sitting by the river surrounded by rubbish, absolutely romantic! One of the things which quite disturbed us inside the Botanical Garden was the filthy river flowing through the compound and what seemed to be a waste disposal site right in the middle. The other unpleasant thing was the presence of many vehicles, everybody could enter by car or motorbike as long as they paid a small additional fee. We left when it started to rain (a usual thing, it seems, Bogor claims the highest rainfall in Java) and took shelter in a shopping mall that looked like an Indian bazaar. As we are addicted to the internet - the travel diary adds to
Peculiar treePeculiar treePeculiar tree

With wonderful flowers and blossoms that reminded us of Easter eggs
this considerably - we tried to find an internet cafe near our hotel. We had seen one in the glamorous hotel next to ours, but this place was closed. So we went inside to ask and got the address of another one, plus a detailed explanation of the way, from the very helpful receptionist. On the map he had drawn for us it did not seem very far, and as it was not yet late, we decided to walk there. Once again we stumbled across one characteristic of Asian cities - pavements. Indian cities hardly have this convenience and if they do they are not meant for pedestrians but for shop holders or restaurants who gladly use the additional space to spill the merchandise or chairs out. We could observe a similar phenomenon in Singapore's Little India, though to a lesser extent, but still forcing pedestrians into the streets at regular intervals. Indonesian cities claim a different phenomenon - interrupted pavements. You happily walk beside the heavy traffic, glad about the separated space, when the pavement all of a sudden ends for no particular reason and you find yourself right on the street looking for a hideaway. Luckily we arrived
Klaudia the starKlaudia the starKlaudia the star

They all wanted us to write a small comment and to give our signature
safely at the internet cafe which by the way was rather far and we almost had given up several times in between, but when we asked somebody they always sent us further, so we did not give up.

Next morning, we took a bus to Bandung, a town famous for several buildings in the so-called Tropical Art-Deco style, and furthermore it was perfectly on our way. We were looking forward to this bus-ride as it passes over the Puncak Pass and is reputedly very picturesque. We crossed actually really nice landscape, plenty of tea plantations looking quite misty in the further distance and woods of tree fern and pine trees. It seemed we were in the middle of another hill station, the villages on the way were very touristy, with a lot of hotels, mostly of the upper range, posh factory outlets and restaurants and a multitude of souvenir shops. Due to the altitude, rice was not cultivated but instead all kinds of vegetables and the fruit stalls sold a big variety of fruit, among them the exotic-looking snake fruit (called so for its peculiar skin). On the way downhill we passed also many villages with traditional houses topped
Fiery red flowerFiery red flowerFiery red flower

Exotic specimen with the texture of velvet
by roofs with glazed tiles or quite modern mosques which looked much more like a traditional Indonesian house, especially the roof. On the other side of the hill was the region of the production of rocking horse, the road was lined with shops selling these toys in the form of horses but also zebras and even giraffes in all imaginable colours. When we arrived in Bandung, we were no longer sure whether we should really stay and look for some houses that were very difficult to find, or if we should not go on to Yogyakarta. We found out that there were still trains running to our destination, and as the man in the tourist information was very nice and offered a rather good hotel at reasonable prices, the decision was reached. We booked the hotel with a free pick-up service at the Yogyakarta train station at 1 o'clock in the night, and walked around for some time to kill the time until the train's departure.

Additional photos below
Photos: 24, Displayed: 24


Pink ladyPink lady
Pink lady

Another lovely flower

Collection of exotic specimens
Small treeSmall tree
Small tree

Striking combination of colours
Huge treeHuge tree
Huge tree

Just look how small Klaudia is and you will guess the trees' size
Having a restHaving a rest
Having a rest

... between the roots of the giant tree
Special palm treeSpecial palm tree
Special palm tree

This speciman had its roots in the open air
Yellow bambooYellow bamboo
Yellow bamboo

... growing by the river
Another sort of bambooAnother sort of bamboo
Another sort of bamboo

... with partially red trunks

Some of them are edible, like the red banana, for the others we just don't know
Giant fernGiant fern
Giant fern

... at the beginning of its life
New leavesNew leaves
New leaves

... in incredible colours
Different new leavesDifferent new leaves
Different new leaves

Just look at their size!
Giant water liliesGiant water lilies
Giant water lilies

... from Latin America

This leave of a giant water lily looked like a spider web in the end
Grazing deerGrazing deer
Grazing deer

... undisturbed in a fenced area of the Botanical Garden

This is where the governor-generals used to live
Photo shootingPhoto shooting
Photo shooting

While the settings may look romantic, the rubbish floating around is quite disturbing. Maybe only for us ...

21st September 2005

Nice Writing
Hi, Nice report / blog entry. I enjoy reading it very well. And I'm glad you are having a good time in Asia, esp. in Indonesia. Keep up the good work.
26th September 2005

Thanks. Through you two I get to see a botanic garden I likely will never visit. Wonder if I might except some of you comments on a web site I write on walks in a botanic garden? http://www.greenzoo.net
17th October 2006

i've been there before and i had a great time just as you did. i would like to go there one more time as the fasinating plants are so cool
17th November 2006

Hi, My name is Atti and I am Bogorian. I found your writing coincidentally. It's good to read about Bogor Botanical Garden written by people who are not Indonesian. I like reading your writing about Bogor Botanical Garden. The pictures you took are beautiful. I like them. Thanks for telling the garden and publish it in the Internet.
23rd May 2008

Impressed with your work.
Hello, Am called Dickie from Uganda, and am soo impressed with your work. I like gardening and land scaping.
2nd June 2008

nice pictures
it's an interesting article that will help me much as I am now teaching someone who likes plants. I myself never see the bogor's botanical garden since I am not too keen with plants and I live far away in Jember East Java but having read it I would let myself try to see it someday.
17th July 2009

wrong name
banana family called as palm and red trunk palm called bamboo also pandanus called palm tree... actually you can see their name on the tree itself.
23rd July 2009

That's cool
I like bogor's palace image
23rd July 2009

I like Bogor
Bogor has a nice wheater. It is so diffrent with Jakarta. Jakarta is hot and wet. I dislike it. I love Bogor very much. And that's why i get my College in IPB-Bogor
9th October 2009

great garden
Hi I am in the USA and looking for someone who can help me find alsomitra macrocarpa seeds I would be gratful for any help you could give m thanks
11th October 2009

Bogor Gardens
I went to the Bogor Gardens in 2006. They are beautiful. Did you see the corpse lilly? It has a colossal blossom from time to time. It wasn't in bloom when we went but we took photos of many of the other plants in the gardens. I love the fruit stands outside the gardens.
12th June 2010

Palm trees
Hi, I'm brazilian and I know palm trees. I loved your site, but I saw the photo named "Beautiful huge palm trees with school girls in front" (top of the page). These plants aren't palm trees. I don't remember theirs names, but they are from banana familiae. (musaceae family) Here, in Brazil, we call them "bananeira leque", or banana tree fan (hand fan). I don't know the correct name in english. But "leque" is traditionaly used by spanish female dancers and by japanese geishas. kindly Marcos Seixas From Rio de janeiro
12th September 2010

lovely place!!!!!
Lovely and great pictures!!!! Hi.my name is dewi and i am agree with u and your comment about my lovely place Bogor i love that place cos its a lovely place and green. Thanks a lot and keep it up!!!! Cheers ;)

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